GC Services LP is a debt collection agency, which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
What is GC Services?
GC Services , LP or GCS is a third-party collection agency based in Texas. GCS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken and using false or misleading information in an effort to collect a debt. If GCS has contacted you about past due collection items, make sure you know your rights before you respond.
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Is GC Services a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), GC Services, LP was started in 1982. The BBB established a profile page for GCS 3 years earlier, in 1979. GCS has been a BBB-accredited business since 2011. The BBB lists GC Services as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates GC Services’ annual revenue at $246.1 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 350 employees, with an estimated 9,000 employees across all locations.
They were recently subject to a $700,000 fine from the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly prohibited student loan debt collection techniques, yet GCS asserts they provide comprehensive training to all of their staff to follow the ethical and legal standards of the business.
Who does GC Services collect for?
GC Services collects for a wide variety of industries and businesses, including automotive financing companies; banking and financial institutions that issue secured and unsecured auto loans, credit cards, property loans, commercial loans, lines of credit, personal loans, first and second mortgages, and home equity loans; government entities, including federal agencies, several municipal governments, and “all types of taxes, student loans, court fines, municipal debts, a multitude of state governmental debts, and commercial delinquencies of all types”; consumer retail lenders; student loan repayment assistance, including “loan rehabilitation, loan consolidation, administrative wage garnishment, administrative resolutions, and associated customer service”; utility service providers; telecommunications companies; tolls, parking, and traffic fines; and many other types of delinquencies.
According to its website, GCS is “one of the industry’s leading business process outsourcing providers…and offers a wide array of accounts receivable and customer care solutions to both public and private sector organizations.” Originally founded “as a collection agency dedicated to collecting for the oil and gas industry,” GCS has “expanded its business lines to include not only traditional accounts receivable, but also first party/early out receivables management and a wide array of customer care and call center solutions.”
GCS’s accounts receivable management services occupy 3 main divisions—customer care and teleservices; first-party accounts receivable; and third-party accounts receivable. GCS’s customer care division provides a variety of call center services, including customer care call handling; sales order entry; new application processing; credit approval processing; error processing; retention, saves, and winbacks; email and chat services; executive escalation; and back office processing.
GC Services’ first-party accounts receivable division provides cure programs to help prevent pre-charge-off delinquency; early stage collections for newly delinquent accounts; and pre-charge-off collections. GCS’s third-party accounts receivable management division provides skip tracing and post-charge-off collection services for “older accounts in later stages of delinquency, including those accounts typically labeled ‘bad debt,’ or debt that has been worked at least once through internal collection efforts.”
GCS cites membership in professional associations such as the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International). They have also received many corporate recognition awards. However, their site does not include information about their regulatory compliance polices, nor is there a dedicated consumer resources page with links and references to consumer protection laws and enforcement agencies.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many complaints are there against GC Services?
As of September 2019, the BBB has closed 86 complaints against GC Services in the preceding 3 years, with 16 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, with an additional 15 complaints citing problems with customer service. In addition, the BBB has posted a Notice of Government Action taken against GCS. As of September 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 935 complaints involving GCS. Justia lists at least 20 cases of civil litigation involving GCS.
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely GCS would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
In 2016, a judge in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, refused GC Services’ motion to dismiss Dickens vs. GC Services for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the judge’s decision, the customer alleged that GCS failed to notify him that, if he disputed the debt, he would need to notify GCS in writing so as to activate the requirement that the debt collection agency affirm the debt. GC Services claimed that the customer lacked standing to sue, however, the judge refused the debt collection agency’s caselaw citation and allowed the case to proceed.
The BBB had posted an Alert on GC Services’ profile page warning site visitors that the Federal Trade Commission had issued a settlement agreement in which GCS is required to pay $700,000 in fines for violations of the FDCPA while attempting to collect student loan debts. According to a 2017 press release, the FTC’s complaint against GC Services was “filed on the FTC’s behalf by the Department of Justice and alleged that the company’s collectors left phone messages that illegally disclosed purported debts to others without their permission.” GCS employees “also called consumers multiple times after being told that the person who answered did not owe the debt, that they had called the wrong person, or that the person they wanted could not be reached there. According to the FTC, GCS also falsely claimed that it would take steps to prevent its employees from making unlawful calls to third parties to find a debtor.” According to the agreement issued by the FTC and the Department of Justice, GCS “is prohibited from violating the FDCPA and from making the alleged claims at issue in the complaint.”
In May 2018, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, a judge issued a Decision and Order in a case alleging GCS had violated provisions of the FDCPA prohibiting the use of “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” In this case, the plaintiff alleged that GCS had sent her a collection letter “indicating that it would assume the validity of the debt unless she disputed it in writing within 30 days.” In her complaint, she argued “that, although a debt collector can assume that a debt is valid if the debtor does not dispute it within 30 days after receiving written notice of the debt, the debtor need not dispute the debt in writing.” Attorneys for GCS attempted to argue that the plaintiff had cited only a procedural violation that did not result in any injury, and that therefore she had no standing to file a complaint. The court disagreed, stating that sending a letter that required consumers to dispute debts in writing potentially deprived them of some of their rights.
In a similar case in November 2017 in United States District Court in the District of New Jersey, a plaintiff alleged that GC Services had violated the same provision of the FDCPA by sending a letter that “failed to communicate that requests (i) to verify the debt or (ii) to obtain the name and address of the original creditor must be in writing, as required by” Sections 1692g(a)(4)-(5). As with the 2018 case, attorneys for GCS attempted to argue that the violation was merely procedural and that the plaintiff did not have standing to bring charges. In the 2018 decision, the court found that requiring consumers to dispute debts in writing, when oral disputes are equally valid, potentially deprives them of their rights. Similarly, the court’s decision in this case stated that not informing consumers that a request for debt verification must be in writing also potentially deprives them of their rights.
As a result, in both cases the court issued a decision upholding the consumers’ complaints that GCS had violated the FDCPA.
Here are some past Press Releases of Lawsuits Brought On By Lemberg Law Against GCS
November 15, 2015. Once you get into debt, it can sometimes be hard to pay off your balances. Unforeseen circumstances happen and things can snowball. Even once you extricate yourself from the debt, the impact can be lasting and debt collection agencies can make life extremely difficult.
On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Central District of California. The case, against GCS, charges the debt collection agency with violating state and federal law and asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
Our client says that she spoke to GC Services about settling a debt. GCS told her that, in exchange for settling the debt in one immediate payment, GCS would delete the debt from our client’s credit report. Because of this, our client settled the account and made the payment.
About a week later, our client received a letter from this debt collection agency. It said, in part, “GC Services does not report any information to any credit bureaus or agencies. The responsibility for reporting this account to the credit bureaus or for updating any existing report rests exclusively with the above named client.”
What did that mean? That her credit report still said her debt had been in collection. Even now, the once-overdue debt hurts her credit score.
This lawsuit charges that GC Services violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by employing false and deceptive means to collect a debt; and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt.
September 28, 2015. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The case, against GC Services, charges the debt collection agency with violating federal law and state law and asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
We all care about our kids, and our hearts break when our children face tough times. But that doesn’t mean we should put up with debt collector harassment when a debt collection agency is trying to collect money from our children. Our client says that GCS called her in March 2015 and said that her daughter had put her name down as a reference on an application. Our client said that she wouldn’t discuss the issue and that she wouldn’t help them to collect the debt. Nevertheless, GC Services kept calling her.
The lawsuit charges that GC Services violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by engaging in harassing behavior; by refusing to identify themselves, by failing to state that they were acquiring location information, and by communicating with our client more than once without being requested to do so. The lawsuit also alleges that GC Services violated California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
GC Services Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).
Can I sue GCS for harassment?
Yes. If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. Federal laws provide individuals like you with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
“We realize that ours is only one little case among many — and a lot more serious — but are heartened by the fact that you accepted it and represented us with a professionalism that belied the small dollar amount.”
“Seriously! Thank you a thousand times over! The debt collector kept phoning me but would not give me any information regarding the debt that I owed except the sum. They threatened me over and over again and would not stop calling. I hunted on Google for ways to make the calls stop and discovered Lemberg Law. They took my case and found that the debt was too old to accumulate. This firm had ‘bought’ my accounts and expected for me to pay! Guess what? They ended up paying me for each of the harassment they put me through! I was SHOCKED when I received my check.
“I need to commend you and your company for your valuable support to individuals like myself, who have problems they want help with when confronted with collection difficulties.”
“I was struggling so hard and the collection calls were quite painful. Your specialist team sorted out all of these issues. My life is my own again. Thank you.”
Can You Help Me Delete GC Services from My Credit Report?
In short, yes. Contact us to find out more.
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.