FTC schools student loan debt collectors

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.

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.

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