I received your letter offering help and assistance, and frankly that was refreshing in comparison to most companies approach to collecting money. And thank you. But, here's my challenge, if you will please listen and forward this to anyone who can help and use this information.
After having some of the worst financial and job challenges in my life all coinciding with the biggest national financial disaster that I have every lived through, and compounded with the birth of my daughter (a blessing, but the timing wasn't the best financially), I was forced (this was not a conscious choice) to default on some bills and prioritize for simple survival reasons. It literally came down to struggling to keep our 3 basic needs of Food, Shelter, and Transportation, met, and then add diapers, baby clothes, etc. etc. etc.
Having been raised to be responsible and pay my bills and served our Country in the US Air Force during the Gulf War and lived through some very tough times, this has been more unbearable. I went through one of the darkest emotional points in my life when I should have been relishing in the happiness of the birth of our baby girl. I cannot describe the challenges we had without getting emotional. The nights lying awake wondering how we would get through this and how I would provide for my family. The thoughts of worthlessness, and failure were overwhelming. Sitting on the floor with our infant with collectors calling and screaming, yelling, and berating me as though I did this on purpose.
Over the past 3 years, we have lost our home (and we were fully documented "A" borrowers, not subprime borrowers), lost jobs and income to the tune of nearly 50% of what we used to bring in in income pre 2005, and expect it to take years to unravel the accumulated debt that we accrued prior to the financial meltdown. Our equity vanished, our stocks and retirements evaporated, and savings was completely exhausted. I realize that none of this matters when it comes to the debts and business at hand for your company. And frankly I understand your position to have to collect the debts for the survival of your company and shareholders as well.
But, at what cost do we lose our humanity for money, and at what point do we all realize that we are in this together and that if we all remain reasonable and understanding that we can work through this and solve all of our problems amicably?
I can only speak for myself of course, but I did not wake up one day and decide to "not pay" Amex. What has been called the worst financial disaster since the great depression, was bound to affect everyone in one way or another and some worse than others. We have all lost lots of money, and continue to lose more. But with all of that said, I have always made it clear, that I WILL pay my debts with one certain and unavoidable necessary condition, that the company I owe is reasonable and fair in how and when I pay it. Basically time is the issue. Beating me when I'm still down does nothing but push me and others into states of paralysis, that doesn't accomplish anything for anyone.
The fact is, that I and most in my situation, simply don't have the money right now, but will eventually as we all recover. And in the mean time, all of the hostile threats from the hired guns/Collection companies like GC Services, will not change that reality, but rather force us into fully avoiding them and back into a mental survival state; rather than simply working out a nominal monthly payment and 6 month review of my income, job, and cash position. Isn't something better than nothing or forcing Bankruptcy on me/us?
So, with all of that said, I want to address GC SERVICES, the collection company (one of them) that you use. GC Services has got to be one of the most brutal, heartless, nasty, law breaking, firms I've ever dealt with, to the extent that the last account that I had that you sent to them (before this one) resulted in my having to file a lawsuit, although the lawsuit was ultimately settled to my satisfaction. It was the extent I needed to go to to protect my rights as a consumer and stop the brutality, public humiliation, harassment, and overall offensive behavior, that did not lead to anything productive or beneficial to Amex or myself.
I didn't pay any more money than I would have at the time, and the account had to be transferred to another collection firm whom handled the account very professionally and respectfully. And to date, we have been on a solid payment plan and I have paid down a massive portion of the debt over time and continue to do so without ever missing a payment.
What do they know that GC Services does not know? Why doesn't GC services understand this approach and choose to break the law and berate, yell, accuse, and harass people? And finally, why does such a respected company such as AMEX choose to align with such a firm? The only answer can be that their tactics work and the casualties don't matter.
Let me list the consequences of their behavior: 1. Increased rate of Bankruptcies to stop their calls, 2. Increased rate of disappearing debtors trying to avoid paying the debt, 3. Anger and retaliation by debtor by not paying bill,
4. Lawsuits that cost everyone time, energy and money to hold GC Services accountable to their illegal and unethical tactics, 5.The saddest one. Suicides that never get attributed directly to them, but their contribution to crushing someone who has lost everything already, is impossible to ignore.
I was at a funeral 6 months ago for a father of 3 and husband who took his own life because he could not deal with the financial disaster in his life. Apparently the collectors were calling daily and many couldn't care less and just wanted their money at all costs. In the end, he lost his mind. Read the stats, in many communities that have been hit the hardest, the suicide rate is approaching or past 10% higher than pre-financial meltdown periods. No doubt those people were getting beaten up by collectors who wouldn't work out anything reasonable.
These are human beings who thought it was easier to die than push through this! Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters for Gods sake!!! They made a temporary problem permanent and you treat the debt as though it is a "right now" problem that has to be solved... or else! Here are some of the tactics used by GC Services that I personally experienced and witnessed:
Now, I'm sure their tactics work quite often. They worked on me for the first few weeks, until I discovered that much of what they were doing was flat out illegal and I sought out a consumer protection attorney. But, here I am again. My other account was just transferred to GC Services now, and lo and behold, the hostility and anger has begun once again. I immediately contacted my attorney and we are preparing for round two with them.
Three things I would be humbly appreciative for you to please consider: 1. Transfer my account to a new collection company or back to AMEX and I would be happy to discuss some reasonable temporary arrangements while I work to recover financially. And 2. Seriously consider your use of GC Services in future collection needs. 3. Consider keeping these accounts with AMEX longer and working on modified payment arrangements as Bank of American, Citi, and others have.
A final note, this account was never behind one single day, and was closed by AMEX because one of my other accounts fell behind too far and AMEX (you) sent it immediately to an outside collector who was ultimately unreasonable with my payment plan needs. This all could have been prevented.
I work for GC services - and every review is correct. GC services not only treat the customers like crap but also its employees. Try working somewhere and you are told that no matter what the situation is, collect as much money as possible. I had a lady call in and say that she couldn't make a payment because her husband had died only 3 days prior to our conversation. I called over a manager and was told - OK her husband died, what does that have to do with her paying what she owes... I mean, some of these managers act like the payments are coming to them or something. When I was hired I was told it was customer service and it wasn't.
Where I live jobs are few and far between but I saw in our local paper that they were hiring so I went down and applied. Since I was hired more than 60 people have been fired or quit. Now there is about 30 people that work in my department and the number is dropping daily. We get paid time off for sick days - you earn so many hours per pay period. We were told that to take them you have to request them and get approval at least 30 days prior to use. And lunch or breaks... Hahahaha. We are supposed to get two 15 minute breaks.
Yesterday our names went on lists to go on breaks because they are so short handed. I usually take lunch between 4 and 6pm because I work the last shift. I got my first break at 555pm and my dinner/meal at 945pm. I get off between 10 and 11pm. I never did get my 2nd break.
The client is supposed to be at work today and when they come it's horrible. The managers start acting like they care and why haven't you taken your break or meal. Or my favorite, they try to act like they know who you are and try to call you by name until you correct them because they called you someone's name who they fired. Have you ever been written up because you passed out at work and sustained a head injury - one girl did.
She was working over time - to help a specific manager out and she collapsed, hit her head on the concrete and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.... GC wrote her up for being late coming back from dinner, failure to finish her shift, and not calling in the next day.... She was in a drug induced coma by our major hospital because of swelling in her brain.
When she did try to come back to work she was told to go home, another write up. She is now 100% disabled due to the head injury. I know for a fact that customers are getting the short end of the stick. They call in and ask for help in paying their debt and we are told to tell them they can't make arrangements, they have to pay it all now.
Customers, be careful who you have credit with and check to see what their collection department does with accounts. If they use outside collections, its probably GC services. Here are a few companies I know use GC services...Toyota Financial, Credit One Bank, Capital One Bank, Harley Davidson, and Home Depot.
Note: Masked out BJ - the sexual act.
MBNA was the original name of my account..... I deposited a loan of $5000 to help me pay off 2 of my credit cards..... After I PAID OFF the two credit cards I began to pay MBNA back $107 monthly, we were doing well in paying off our debt until August 2006..... My husband and I just had a baby boy in July of 2006, we couldn't have been happier and everything was going really well until we brought our son home from the hospital. After a couple of days he just began projectile vomiting. We had no clue as to why. Went from dr to dr formula to you ,name it he drank it acid. reflux medicine you name it we bought it.
As all this is going on we're still paying down our credit cards. So far we not drowning in debt but getting our feet wet. So after all this back and forth to dr's 25 dollars for co-payments up to 20.00 per bottle of Nutramigen per can we were starting to get nervous already but still managed to do what we had to do to feed our child and take care of him medically but he was still vomiting even after all the medicine and changes in formula... At this point as a parent your main priority is of course your child...
So we finally took our son to a specialist and she tested him to see if maybe he has allergies and of course he does. He's allergic to milk, milk proteins and soy.... So now what well they put him on this formula called Neocate. The Dr said that's the only thing he could drink. Well I was so happy that they had something for him but the down fall and the financial drowning begins here. Just go on the website to see how much this formula cost. And guess what, our insurance company doesn't cover it so for a family of four with only 600 per week coming in, how could we do this. And unfortunately we had to stop paying all our bills.
We were literally living paycheck to paycheck, side jobs galore and God only knows how we managed to feed, dress, and live for we were not used to this struggling and my poor daughter who was seven at the time didn't understand why we couldn't go anywhere, buy anything and had to eat pasta all the time...... But wait, it gets worst I also have my daughter's communion coming up and what do we do.... We had to cancel her party. And guess what, no deposit comes back to us....
And that same day was her reconciliation and right after that we go back to the house, feed our son his first jar of baby food and 10 minutes later his face blows up like a balloon and he starts making choking noises. We all panicked, ran to the ER and thank God we arrived when we did.... He was having a severe allergic reaction to the whey in the food... We almost lost him that day May 10, 2006. I'll never forget that feeling ever. Thank God again He's still here with us...... So after that we had to get an EpiPen.
Guess what, that's not covered by my insurance either. So $300.00 later and definitely worth it digging ourselves into further financial distress still doing what we have to.... just to survive. Now our son develops a bad rash through out his whole body. Back to the drs, this time the dermatologist, he found that my son has atopic dermatitis and severe eczema. By this point I'm drained and just want my son to be healthy. So now to put the icing on the cake he now needs all these special creams which again are not covered by my insurance.
So $75.00 later further in debt..... We're emotionally drained and heartbroken over our son. Want him to just be healthy and happy..... And the bills just keep on growing. All the money that we paid into our accounts are now more than the original debt and can not pay a penny. We can't even afford to go bankrupt..... So now all our original accounts are with collection agencies and we called credit solutions to try to stop some of the intimidating phone calls and they were able to help with some except for the MBNA account which is now Bank of America, whose collection agency is GC SERVICES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP COLLECTION AGENCY DIVISION.
And we now owe them $5559.96. The first time they called me I told them exactly everything I just shared with you in this review about my son but with more emotion. Tears were uncontrollable and my heart was broken to hear the way they responded to my worst experience in my life without a care in the world. They proceeded to say they needed the money in 48 hours and didn't care about me not having the money. Told me I should give my son up for adoption or better yet sell him or even sell my body give my neighbor a **.....
I was never more insulted in my life. I don't know why I didn't hang up on them but I didn't. I told them that I had given power of attorney to Credit Solutions and if they had anything else to add to please address them. And instead of me hanging up on them, they hung up on me.... But to add insult to injury, they called my mother and father-in-law trying to get money out of them because my husband and his father share the same name and believe it or not the same birthday.... My father-in-law is 84 years old and they told him that his son took out a loan in his name and that if he doesn't pay it back they are going to press charges against his son....
And to top it all off they also called my husband's sister and told her the same story that they told his father and also asked her for the money...... Until today and I'm sure tomorrow they call and harass my in-laws and myself. More than 10 messages per day on all of our answering machines and now my whole family knows our business and of course no one is able to help us...... I just don't know what to do anymore. My heart is shattered into a million pieces and I'm afraid to answer my phone..... Please help..........
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- WHO IS REALLY RELIABLE HERE!! Government needs to check on agencies like this! This company GC Services Limited Partnership Collection Agancy Division, 6330 Gulfton, Houston, TX 77081. Citi Bank sells our consumer information to this company once a card has been closed. The GC Services then takes that info, uses it to obtain other info for their own collection purposes, like calling relatives and asking info they already know. They will say CITI BANK gave them the info which again is not true at all.
Even though Sears company & CITI Bank says they have nothing to do with the account anymore and it belongs to GC Services, they should not allow the company any other people's information never to sell anything to this GC Services company again. Why would you after they accused Sears or CITI bank of something they have not even done.
This company says they got personal information provided to them by CITI Bank. Citi bank denied that fact. These GC Services are cold-hearted people that will act like they have a right to have your info. DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM! They have called our family and left messages with them to give to us, even though we have spoken to them 3 days prior & updated our information.
When asked what the purpose for the call to our parents was. They responded with "for location purposes", which like I said, we already updated out info with them 3 days before they called our family. I even told ** extension I will keep private, I let her know I had not received the paper from GC SERVICES yet to verify they have my account. And that as soon as I do we could discuss further payment plans. I did not even get that written letter before she already called our family.
No reason for that call to be made when they had our current address, our current phone number and all info they needed to contact us. Very rude company. ** transferred me over to her supervisor **, which did not answer any of my questions and I started recording the conversation. They assured me all the "FDCPA" laws were being followed. But I assure you they are not. There is no reason for these people to harass us. Do internet searches. They need to be honest if/when they do. I encourage everyone to record any conversation you may have with this company (letting them know of course).
But also please let CITI bank know what kind of people they are selling our information to, crooked people even if they (Sears- Citi Bank) don't have control any, more they did before they handed it over to these collection agency. PLEASE HELP OUR FELLOW MAN LET OTHER KNOW, please. Thank you.
OHIO -- These people to include Sallie Mae, need to figure out some way in how to develop a "real" heart. When students like myself set out to attend college it is to "suppose" to better ourselves. Yes, we sign the documents that states that when we complete the education phase that we are to pay these funds back. But what nobody seems to care about is if when we do complete this phase of our lives, there are "no" guarantees that we will be able to find a job, and if you are a minority such as I am (African American~woman) we don't have a chance in hell!
These people have been harassing me for months about my student loans and they refuse to take into consideration when I am telling them that I am now on disability and they are threatening to garnish my disability check? It really amazes me how this country has no problems helping everybody else, and expect for the citizens to help them help everybody else, but when it comes to assisting "home" that is not going to happen because the politicians and bill collectors refuse to accept when somebody is telling them that they are down on their luck.
I hope that they will eventually have to get the chance to go through the same luck that some of us "little people" have to deal with on a daily basis and that they too will have to eventually go on disability and have to figure out point "a" and point "b".
BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA -- On 5/31/07 I contacted GC Services regarding a ticket account with the court house I set up to pay off monthly. I've paid 400.00 and thought it was settled. GC sent me an aggressive letter stating that I failed to pay therefore owe the 400.00 plus 300.00 for failure to pay about 5 days ago. I contacted them on 5/31 and an ** picked up the phone. I gave him my account number and was looking for guidance. I needed clarification because they had come after me for another ticket which was paid as well and I ended up spending all day at the court house to see the judge, gain proof so that I can fax it to GC.
I wanted to make sure before I wasted my time and money, I'm commission based, that they weren't contacting me for the same ticket. ** was very rude, wouldn't let me speak. He constantly spoke over me, and told me to go to the court house to resolve it. Even though I was seeking clarification that this wasn't the same ticket from before as I have the paperwork to prove payment, he wouldn't be quiet long enough to understand the nature of my call. When I asked for a Manager he told me NO. I then explained to him that I'm being as nice as possible and seeking guidance. He told me to go to the court house again and hung up.
I called back, he picked up, said "yeah, hold", so I hung up. I called back hoping to get someone else and did! They referred me to the Manager who was great and clarified for me what the bill was for. Then I was able to go home, look for my check copies, and prove payment once again. GC services has horrid collection practices and if you look them up on the BBB this will be confirmed.
They actually withdrew their membership in Texas in 12/06 stating they no longer care to be accountable to the BBB for solid customer service practices. They simply don't care...... Lord help you if your account goes to GC services. They will make your life hell. There goes another day of missed work.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO IF YOUR CASES ARE IN “COLLECTIONS”? Yes! Just because your case was sent to a collection agency does not mean it is over. The court does not lose control over your case when it is sent to collections (if the collections agency tells you cannot go to court, they are not telling you the truth).
You can still demand a court date, and appear in court to defend the case(s), or ask the court for an extension based upon a special circumstance. As long as you have not plead guilty, you can even have a trial if you want one. You are still entitled to have a court appearance and to request that your fines be reduced or spread out over time. If you qualify for traffic school, you can still request a referral to protect your driving record.
I am a soldier who is being harassed by GC Services for a student loan that I had deferred while I was overseas in a combat zone. After my early return due to injuries sustained while overseas I discovered on my credit report that my student loan was delinquent and in collections. I called up Sally Mae and spoke to them about the situation, and they said that they had sold the collection to GC Services. I contacted GC Services to dispute the collection. They said I needed to pay them money for a probationary period to get it out of collections.
I explained to them that my last re-enlistment that I received "Tuition Assistance Repayment Program" for $10,000 dollars to cover the loan. They have refused to send the collection back to the original debtor so the loan can be paid off. I have been fighting with them since. They call and harass me on a daily basis calling me at at 730 in the morning. This time they went too far. They somehow got a hold of my commanding officer and spoke with him about the situation divulging the amount owed and all my personal information.
I believe this to be a violation of my privacy because it is a civilian matter. Tomorrow I will kindly call them and speak to them as well write them a letter not to contact me on my phone or at my place of work or I will sue them for harassment at my work place and violation of my privacy and make them pay for the debt. I'm currently in a situation where I am trying to recover from injuries sustained fighting for this country just to return, have some collection agency cause me that much more pain and suffering.
I am dealing with GC collection company after I received a ticket for expired vehicle registration. I had until the 28 of January to fix my registration. I did so on on the 6th of January 2010 (22 days before the tickets expiration date!). I had the ticket signed off from a CHP officer who, thankfully, made me a copy of the ticket front and back... I sent the ticket and the required 25 dollars to the Los Angeles Courthouse, which doesn't surprise me.. "didn't receive it" (this was a $25 dollar fix it ticket"...).
I come to find out this Saturday that I have a failure to appear and the ticket is now referred to GC collection company which is asking now $990.00 to give my license back!!! From $25 to $990.00 is 39,6 times the original cost of my ticket that I paid!!!! If this is not a rip off I don't know what is.
The GC employees are rude and even the manager would not help at all to fix the situation. In Los Angeles if you have a ticket sent to GC collection YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE THE JUDGE to resolve it. And if you ask GC collection company for a court date they tell you that is going to be 6 months before you can appear... or pay the 39,6 times the price of the original ticket. I have contacted my state representatives which will contact GC shortly and I am contacting the Better Business Bureau as well to file a formal complaint against them. I also would not mind to find other people in my situation with GC and file a class action lawsuit against these extortionists!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- First of all the first girl that called my home was speaking to my mother and told my mother she was a deadbeat and needed to pay her bills (it was my bill). I never even received a bill for what they were claiming I owed but I had an idea that I owed it because I cancelled my cell phone and that's what they were saying I owed the money for. OK so a few weeks later I received another call from a nice man (who I thought was nice) who I set up payments with. The first one went in a day early (which he promised me it wouldn't) and caused me to have a $35 overdraft fee. I let that slide.
Then I called a week and a half before the second payment was to go through and asked that my payment be cut in half and the remainder would be paid the following month because I was having surgery and wouldn't have the whole payment. He said fine told me my confirmation number and I was good to go.
Well today I get a letter stating that double what I said I was able to pay. I called to tell them of their mistake and they told me I had to speak to Mr. **. They told me he wasn't at his desk and the woman on the phone said there was nothing she could do, that the check already went through (which I know is a lie because I worked in the payment processing unit of a collection agency). Then all of a sudden she told me Mr. ** was at his desk and I was transferred and hung up on 3 times. The final time I called back I was told that Mr. ** had left for the day.
If there is any point to this story it is to inform you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't give this company your banking information. Please MAKE them bill you monthly and send your payments to them. IF they don't want to cooperate then go back to the original company that you owe the money to. I'm sure they would be happy to help you and they will be glad to take your payment so they don't have to pay this rip off company. They will only use it to rip you off and get their 1% commission on your payment. I'm sorry that these people have to work for $9.00 and rip people off. It's not anyone's fault that they can't get a better job so stop ripping people off.