FTC schools student loan debt collectors

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If you’ve defaulted on a federal student loan, chances are you’ll hear from a debt collector.

Debt collectors must obey the law when trying to find people who owe money. One student loan debt collector — GC Services, LP — failed to follow the law, and the FTC is taking action against them.

The FTC alleges GC Services was overly aggressive in their efforts to find student loan debtors by:

  • Leaving phone messages that illegally disclosed information about a person’s debts to other people without the debtor’s permission.
  • Calling people 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.
  • Falsely claiming 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 civil penalty of $700,000, stop violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and maintain 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. They:

  • may not call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • may not contact you at work if you’ve told them that your employer doesn’t allow you to get such calls in the workplace
  • may not contact a third party about you for any reason other than getting your contact information
  • may not harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you
  • may not lie about the amount you owe
  • may not 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 are permitted by law to do it and intend to do so.

If you believe a collector has violated those rights, the FTC wants to hear about it.

If you’re having trouble paying your student loan, please read Student Loan Debt Relief.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Ive gotten hundreds of calls...texts...emails...ans messages from debt collectors in the past 49 days on my student loans i just recieved aince 2011 til now. Not fair calls every 2 seconds cant sleep stay stressed out made me really depressed and have anger issues and trust issues which i still pray to God about Amen

You need to report each and every one of the debt collectors that are calling, texting, et cetera., you to the FTC. There are ways to get that stopped. If the agents are not following the law, you should write letters to the debt collecting agency and they are obligated to stop the abuse.

We got calls about our adult child's student loans and this was while my husband was recuperating from open heart surgery. At the time we had no idea where this adult child was due to their being homeless in another state. I asked the collection agency to please stop calling us, that never worked!!! They call all hours and at a times, I asked for their address so I could write a formal letter stating I did not want them calling and the would hang up on me. The collection agency company would put a fake number or "unknown" for the caller ID that showed on our phone. So they kept calling until I think they finally got sick of it. But it took forever for that to happen. The collection companies don't care whether you ask to NOT have them call, because they know you probably can not find them to file a complaint. They would leave a name & number to call and when I'd call back to get an address to formally notify them not to call our house, they would just hang up or say let me put you on hold and never come back on the line.

You can report the calls to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to your state Attorney General’s office. The information you give the FTC goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

This FTC article has information about your rights when dealing with a debt collector.

I have an opposite issue.. Without notice I was informed by my employer that my check would be garnished. Doesn't a collection agency have to contact you before issuing a garnishment for student loans? I was blindsided.

If you don’t pay a debt, a creditor or its debt collector generally can sue you to collect. If they win, the court will enter a judgment against you. The judgment states the amount of money you owe, and allows the creditor or collector to get a garnishment order against you, directing a third party, like your bank, to turn over funds from your account to pay the debt.

Wage garnishment happens when your employer withholds part of your compensation to pay your debts. Your wages usually can be garnished only as the result of a court order. Don’t ignore a lawsuit summons. If you do, you lose the opportunity to fight a wage garnishment. Read more in this article about debt collection.

Wow! I didn't know that thank you ... my experience was a little different... l never had a student loan ! I got more than enough emails about qualifying fort loan forgiveness?! ... and my attempts to stop the persistence wasn't easy ! ... and to make it more frustrating is the unsubscribe link just takes me to a fill in box asking for my URL!

We get constant call for a defaulted student loan, my husband was even offered a 'job' before the loan was sold onto some other debt collector. I still have the notes we took from the fake job offer, tried to get help from a pro-bono state lawyer. There was nothing he could do to help. It eventually resulted in our bankruptcy which kills any chance the loans will be repayed.

If they are using robots calls try nomorobo.com Otherwise, get a phone that enables you to block calls. Well worth it.

I have had them contact me after my wife resolved her student loans under the disability act and was no longer able to work, they have even sent letters to me after I had replied to them that my wife passed away in October of 2015 I no longer pay much attention to the letters anymore but acasionally I still receive a letter

Thank you FTC for giving us the information we need to protect ourselves against these ruthless tyrants.

The more people are forewarned, the better it is for us to be prepared to stand up and speak out against this type of financial harassment.

Again, excellent work in keeping us updated and informed. Thank you for following through and taking action.

SLAC INC IN NORCO,CA NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED

GC services is at it again. I can't believe the Dept. of Education uses this company. I was given the wrong pay off information to keep my loan in default so they can keep billing the government for their services. Then they garnish my wages with no notice to me, the consumer. This company need removed from the government's list of vendors. I have made multiple attempts with the dept. of Ed and with GC services to resolve this loan with just a bunch of run around. Horrible system.

I don't know if you can help me. I had my wages garnished approximately 7 yrs ago for a student loan and the debt was paid. Now I get a letter from this GC Services saying I still owe this debt when I already paid it. What do I do? This is already paid and it's from 1985!!!

GC Services sent me a notice about my defaulted student loans. I gave them a call this discuss the matter. They adviced me to go through the Rehabilitation program. After discussing my income and expenses they said if I would be able to pay a specific monthly amount. It was resonable and aforable to make each month. I was on the phone with them for over an hour. We completed all the questions. Again we both agreed to the amount each month. They emailed me and I signed the rehabilitation documents electronically. I made my 1st pymt over the phone and the additional 9 pymt ACH for the next 9 months. They called back 3 weeks later asking for more money each month. I told them I could not afford the new payments terms. I thought we had settled on the monthly pymt agreed to. They are now threating to break the rehabilitation agreement if I don't pay more. They are calling family members who are not listed on my references to contact asking questions. Can GC Servicing break the rehabilitation agreement after I made the 1st pymt? Can they call asking for more money and change the terms amount agreed upon on the agreement? They have sent me a confirmation of recurring ACH pymt terms. I can not afford more than the original amount listed on the agreement. Can anyone give me some advise on my issue with this credit collector and their unethical business practices?

GC services is handling my defaulted student loans. They are asking for more money after they approved my rehabilitation plan. Stating I went over the allowed expenses. I didn't even know there was capped limits for the expenses. So now they are threating to break/void the "contract" plan they approved because they want more money. Does this make sense? They have taken 2 payments so far by ACH, but every month they are calling several times a week asking for a higher monthly amount. GC calls using random number some of which look like a local calls from my home area. They call and do not leave messages sometimes. I have contacted ECMC regarding GC Services business practices in processing defaulted loans. They can only confirm they did process 2 pymt and GC can only take the monthly amount approved for stated in the plan. If anyone can answer my questions please reply. Can GC Services cancelled the rehabilitation plan they approved because they want more money each month?

You can file a complaint about this with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They help people with problems related to financial products and services. You can also contact your state Attorney General and tell them about the phone calls.

I have never had a student loan/debt. Tried tried to politely ignore these robocalls. But I have had enough. Not sure if I am getting the same company/different # robocalls got me with their "staying in compliance to notify me of debt foregiveness" or if multiple companies are hitting me,but I have waited for a human a few times to tell them to remove my number. Obviously these calls are for someone who owned my phone number years ago. I have had my number for a good four years now. I would not be so upset except for the fact that a couple years back,with this same number I received over 80 logged and documented robotexts from TriCare trying to alert their patient(not me) of appointments. But TriCare is essentially the US Gov so they enjoy sovereign immunity. My point is I have been nuisanced by spam or unwanted contact in the past with no recourse. If there is some way to make these people pay for their nuisance-if anyone deserves redress for being bothered-I believe I do. Tired of it.

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