If you are someone who is in the midst of debt collections proceedings, you may find yourself dealing with debt collectors from various corporations. Many of these collectors use tactics that are not only harassing but unprofessional as well.
If one of those companies is General Revenue Corporation, it is important you, as the debtor, understand your rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The first thing that is important if the debtor is facing these types of calls is that he or she must understand what his or her rights are under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA protects debtors against unfair debt collection practices from third-party collection companies, like General Revenue Corporation. The FDCPA is part of a larger act, which is the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The law gives specific rules that third-party debt collectors must abide by when collecting on a consumer debt. If the debt collector does something that is in violation of one of these rules, the debtor can seek compensation for damages sustained against the collector.
About General Revenue Corporation
General Revenue Corporation (GRC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navient Corporation. Several years ago, Navient began to take over customer accounts for another corporation, Sallie Mae. Its headquarters is at 4660 Duke Drive, Mason, Ohio.
The company was founded in November 1981 and specializes in education-related receivables. They have over 1,100 clients and have become one of the largest third-party collection agencies in the U.S.
Determining If a Claim Exists
The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from behaving in a certain manner when collecting on a consumer debt. This behavior includes:
- If General Revenue Corporation has contacted the debtor at “odd hours,” which normally means before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If an employee of General Revenue Corporation has used threatening or violent language when communicating with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If General Revenue Corporation has threatened to file a law suit when they have no intention of pursuing a legal claim;
- If General Revenue Corporation has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If General Revenue Corporation has called the debtor’s place of employment after the debtor has specifically told them to not contact him or her there;
- If General Revenue Corporation has communicated with third parties connected to the debtor in an effort to seek information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If the debtor believe General Revenue Corporation has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If this behavior has occurred to the debtor by General Revenue Corporation, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim to be filed in state court.
Prior to filing an FDCPA claim, however, the debtor needs to send a written notification to the General Revenue Corporation, informing them that they have violated the FDCPA and that a claim will be filed. If the debt collector continues to contact the debtor at this point, an FDCPA violation can be filed.
What Damages Are Available?
If the debtor believes he or she has a valid FDCPA claim against General Revenue Corporation, he or she must determine what types of damages to pursue. In all FDCPA claims, the debtor can receive statutory damages in the amount of at least $1,000.
In addition, the debtor can also seek actual damages. These damages can include compensation for physical distress, including medical bills or treatment needed because of the physical distress caused as a direct result of the harassment.
Actual damages can also include emotional distress damages caused from the FDCPA violations. If the harassment caused the debtor to lose time at work, the actual damages can include lost wages, as well.
The debtor must be successful in showing the connection between the behavior exhibited by General Revenue Corporation and the injury sustained. In addition, attorney’s fees needed to pursue an FDCPA claim can be reimbursed with the final award given, on top of filing fees and court costs.
Speaking with an Attorney
If the debtor has been subject to an FDCPA violation by General Revenue Corporation, an attorney should be consulted before filing an FDCPA claim. The attorney can, at minimum, advise the client on what needs to happen to prove a successful case.
If a case is brought and is not successful, the debtor risks the chance of having to pay for the collection agency’s attorneys’ fees. Also, it should almost always be assumed that General Revenue Corporation, who is a large company, will come to court with legal representation.
It benefits the debtor to have a legal professional on his or her side, as well, to even the playing field.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article is for information purposes only. It should not be used construed as legal advice. If you choose to file a claim against General Revenue Corporation or any other third-party collection agency, your claim may not be successful, and you may not be entitled to any compensation for your alleged injuries.