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GC Services False Deadline for Debt Settlement Offer FDCPA Class Action

Hand Giving Dollars Bill to Other Person's Hand

Debt collectors will try many tactics to get consumers to pay up on debts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)—and the ability to sue under it—tries to ensure that their tactics are neither abusive nor misleading. The complaint for this class action alleges that debt collector GC Services Limited Partnership used deceptive statements in an attempt to get a consumer to pay up quickly.

The class for this action is

  • All persons whom GC’s records show as living in the state of new York
  • To whom GC sent a letter that was not returned by the postal service,
  • For the collection of a personal, consumer debt purportedly owed to Chase Bank,
  • Where the letter was in substantially the same form as the letters to the plaintiff in this case, and
  • The letter contained violations of 15 USC §§ 1692d, 1692e, 1692e(10), and 1692f for engaging in deceptive, misleading, and unfair practices.

Plaintiff Sarah Neuman allegedly incurred a consumer debt to Chase Bank for personal purposes. At some point, Chase assigned GC to collect the debt.

GC sent Neuman two collection letters. The first was dated September 3, 2017; the second was dated October 3, 2017. A copy of each letter is attached to the complaint as an exhibit.

The first letter offered Neuman an advantageous settlement of $3,772.02. The letter said, “Please note the payment must be for the exact amount stated in this letter and must be received no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of this letter or this particular offer will be null and void.”

The second letter offered an even more advantageous settlement of $2,640.41. It also included a sentence requiring the amount to be paid within fourteen days of the date of the letter or the offer would be null and void.

The complaint says that the letters are deceptive in that they pretend that there is a time deadline. No deadline existed, it says; GC would have accepted either offer at a later time. In fact, the complaint claims that the improved offer in the second letter shows that the deadlines were “illusory and arbitrary.”

The complaint says that GC imposed a deadline only “in order to create a sense of urgency in Plaintiff and make her think that she was under a deadline to pay the debt.” This makes the letters false, deceptive, and misleading, it says, and the FDCPA forbids the use of any false representation or deceptive means in collecting debts.

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