This class action alleges that GC Services, a limited partnership that collects debts for other businesses, used unfair practices in trying to collect consumer debts by not properly informing consumers of what they need to do in order to preserve their rights and protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The class for this action includes all persons with a Kentucky or a Nevada address, who, in the year preceding this action, received a communication from GC services in connection with the collection of a consumer debt that stated one of the following:
The FDCPA was passed because unfair methods of collecting debt have harmful effects on society, contributing to “the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.” Not only are these practices harmful; they also occur frequently. In 2013, the over a third of the complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involved debt collectors’ attempts to collect debt that consumers did not owe.
To combat this problem, the FDCPA requires debt collectors to send consumers “validation notices” with information about the debts they are attempting to collect. The validation notice must inform consumers of their right to dispute the debt or request additional information in writing, unless the information required was containing in the initial communication from the debt collector.
If the consumer disputes the debt in writing within thirty days of receiving the notice, the debt collector must stop attempting to collect the debt until it obtains verification of the debt and sends the customer a copy. This requirement was intended to prevent debt collectors from dunning the wrong person or from trying to collect debt that had already been repaid.
According to the complaint, in certain instances in Kentucky and Nevada, while GC Services did send notices to consumers of their ability to dispute the debt or request more information, it did not notify them that the disputation or request must be made in writing. Because of that, GC Services misstated the consumers’ rights and led them to waive important protections of the FDCPA.
WE will update this lawsuit in early 2016.