The Federal Trade Commission alleges that GC Services:
- Left phone messages that illegally disclosed information about a person’s debts to other people without the debtor’s permission.
- Called people multiple times after being told that the person who answered didn’t owe the debt, that they had called the wrong person, or that the person they wanted couldn’t be reached there.
- Falsely claimed the company would take steps to prevent its employees from making unlawful calls to third parties to find a debtor.
Under a settlement with the FTC, GC Services will pay a fine of $700,000, stop violating federal laws, and keep records – for at least three years – to show they’re in compliance.
It’s important to understand your rights if you’re ever contacted by debt collectors, said Colleen Tressler, consumer education specialist for the FTC. They’re not allowed to:
- Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contact you at work if you’ve told them that your employer doesn’t allow such calls in the workplace.
- Contact a third party about you for any reason other than getting your contact information.
- Harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you.
- Lie about the amount you owe.
- Use deceptive methods to collect a debt from you, including: falsely claim to be law enforcement officers; use a fake company name; claim that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay your debt; or threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or your wages – unless they’re permitted by law to do it and intend to do so.
If you believe a collector has violated those rights, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
If you’re having trouble paying your student loan, visit Student Loan Debt Relief.