If you missed payments on one of your bills, you may start getting phone calls and letters from a company called GC Services.
They are a debt collector whose job is to coerce payments from you in whatever way they can.
They have been hired by the original owner of the debt and authorized to collect on their behalf.
In order to legally collect from you, they must open up a collection account on your credit report.
These entries can harm your credit score and prevent you from qualifying for loans in the future.
These effects can last for up to seven years – even if you pay the debt. The best way to prevent serious damage to your credit is to remove GC Services’ entry quickly.
What is GC Services?
One of the largest collection agencies in the country, GC Services was founded in 1986 in Texas and is currently headquartered in Houston.
They have about 9,000 employees in total and generate roughly $100 million in revenue per year.
They collect a number of consumer debt types.
You may hear from them if you owe money on student loans, utilities, cable, telecommunications, and more.
How to Deal with GC Services Debt Collections
If GC Services appears on your credit report, you need to get them to remove the collection entry as soon as possible.
Here is precisely what you need to do to deal with their debt collections for good.
Request Debt Validation
The most important step to take when dealing with any debt collector is to request debt validation. This is a time-sensitive step, so it is important that you act fast.
Under the FDCPA, you can ask GC Services to prove that the debt belongs to you before making any payments on it. After all, you don’t want to be footing the bill for someone else’s bill.
You should request debt validation even if you know the debt is yours. This is because debt collectors can get information wrong when the debt is transferred from the original creditor.
If you can prove that they are reporting false information, you can get rid of the entry on those grounds alone.
To request debt validation, start by writing GC Services a debt validation letter. This asks them to confirm certain details of the debt, such as the name, date of debt acquisition, and total amount.
Once they receive your debt validation letter, they must respond to it within 30 days. Be sure to request a return receipt to know for sure that they received your letter.
After receiving your letter, they should return with various documents meant to prove that the debt belongs to you. Make sure that you go through each page and look for any inaccuracies.
If you see anything that does not match up, file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus and demand that they close the account.
If You Paid the Debt: Request a Goodwill
If you have already paid the debt in question, you should try asking GC Services if they will grant you a goodwill deletion.
A goodwill deletion is when a debt collector agrees to stop reporting the debt to credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies out of consideration.
However, they will only do this if you paid the debt entirely and are up to date on any current payments.
To request a goodwill deletion, you will need to write a letter to them explaining why you were late on your payments in the first place and why you would like the entry removed.
If they can tell that you are being honest and this is a one-time blunder, GC Services may grant you the deletion. Be prepared to provide documentation for any reasons you cite as to why you were late on payments.
Also, be polite in your letter so that they are more willing to grant you the deletion. After all, they would be doing you an enormous favor if they agree.
If You Haven’t Paid the Debt: Pay-For-Delete Settlement
Goodwill deletions can be a long shot, and they may not even be possible if you still owe money on the debt.
This means that your best bet is to negotiate a settlement in the form of a pay-for-delete agreement.
Debt collectors will sometimes purchase debts from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar, which means they only need to make a portion of the balance back to earn money.
This means that you may be able to get away with paying less than the total amount of the debt.
Start by offering GC Services half of the total balance of the debt. You will need to negotiate with them to come to a reasonable solution that works for both parties.
Whatever the amount, make sure they agree to completely delete the collections entry, not just change it to paid.
Once you come to an agreement, have GC Services send it to you in writing. Don’t make a payment to them until you receive this document.
After you make a payment, wait 30 days to check your credit report. You should notice that their entry has been removed.
If it hasn’t, remind them of the agreement that you struck and let them know that they still need to uphold their end of the bargain.
Hire a Professional
You should be able to get GC Services off your credit report yourself, but you don’t necessarily have to do it alone.
A credit repair company can handle negotiating a settlement and removing the entry for you.
Credit repair companies can help out with trickier credit situations.
They are a great resource for those that don’t feel up to working with GC Service on their own.
Does GC Services Have Any Complaints?
It should come as no surprise that GC Services is not popular among their customers.
They have accrued a number of complaints over the years for treatment from customer service representatives and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations.
Customers have filed 950 complaints against GC Services with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and over 80 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Most complaints are in regard to inaccurate reporting, harassment from collectors, or lack of response to debt verification requests.
You don’t have to accept poor treatment from them. You can file a complaint if you feel that they are violating your rights as outlined in the FDCPA.
Dealing with debt collectors requires knowing what they want from you.
They want payment, yes, but it can be more nuanced than that. Knowing what motivates and restricts them can help you navigate the situation.
By following the steps outlined above, you can prevent harassment from GC Services and reduce their impact on your credit score.