It may be intimidating to face a fierce debt collection agency in court, such as GLA Collections. It may seem that debt collection companies such as GLA Collections have the upper hand in a legal proceeding because they are familiar with the ins and outs of debt collection laws.
You can, however, use strategies to defeat GLA Collections in court. The purpose of this article is to explain how to achieve that and everything else you need to know about debt collection lawsuits and GLA Collections.
GLA Collections: What Are They?
GLA Collections, formerly known as GLA Collection Company Inc., is a debt collection agency located in Kentucky. Since 1974, the company has been in the debt collection business. Furthermore, GLA Collections has offices in Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee. The company specializes in the collection of medical debt.
GLA Collections has a reputation for using questionable collection tactics, such as robocalling, and using an autodialer to verify the information. In addition, consumers are being pressured to complete their “collection process.”
Additionally, GLA is well known for quickly reporting uncollected debts to the major credit rating agencies to adversely affect a consumer’s credit score and overall credit health. It has been reported that GLA Collections will notify the major credit rating agencies if they are unable to collect on debt within 60 days.
Please find below the contact information for GLA Collections if you need to reach them:
INCORPORATED GLA COLLECTION COMPANY
2630 Gleeson Lane
Louisville, KY 40299
GLA Collections Complaints
It is fair to say that the reputation of GLA Collections is dubious at best. Numerous consumer complaints have been received alleging blatant violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). GLA debt collectors, for example, have shared personal information about delinquent debts with unauthorized third parties and failed to provide written debt verification to consumers.
As a result, if you feel that you have been treated unfairly by GLA Collections, you are not alone.
In the last three years, the Better Business Bureau has received more than 30 complaints about GLA Collections. GLA Collections has received more than 600 complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the past ten years.
The following is an example of a real consumer complaint from GLA Collections’ BBB profile (edited for clarity):
“They are harassing me, calling at least once per day using robot callers. Under the law, if you call someone more than 3 times in a row and they don’t answer, that’s harassment. They have called me at least 20 times even though I haven’t responded because I already worked out a payment date next month that GLA Collections is not honoring.”
When you are being harassed by a debt collector affiliated with GLA Collections, it is important to understand that you do not have to endure unethical, and likely illegal, collection tactics. Under the aforementioned FDCPA, you are protected and have rights.
You Can Beat GLA Collections With The FDCPA
In the United States, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the actions of debt collection agencies. Specifically, the FDCPA prohibits certain types of collection tactics to accomplish this objective. Accordingly, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or threatening language when communicating with consumers, as well as using false or misleading information in an attempt to collect debts.
There Are Other Ways To Protect Yourself From Debt Collectors
As well as the FDCPA, consumers are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). As an example, the FCRA regulates how debt collection agencies like GLA Collections can report delinquent debts to credit bureaus.
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You may wish to send a Debt Validation Letter when GLA Collections contacts you about a debt for the first time. By sending this letter, GLA Collections will have to prove the debt is valid before they can continue collection efforts.
You have a right to privacy under federal law. Therefore, when you receive a phone call from a debt collector affiliated with GLA Collections, please advise them that you prefer all future correspondence to be in writing. Furthermore, send a formal request to have all communications issued in writing via certified mail.
This same request should state that you are the only person they are permitted to contact and that they are prohibited from contacting unauthorized third parties (e.g., family members, employers, neighbors, and friends). To ensure that GLA Collections receives your formal request, please send it via certified mail with a return receipt.
Regardless of whether GLA continues to harass you via phone or other means, you have solid evidence that could be used in a counterclaim against the debt collection agency for violations of the FDCPA.
Responding To A Debt Collection Summons From GLA Collections
The key to beating GLA Collections is to be proactive. It is important not to ignore debt collection correspondence, phone calls, or court summonses.
The importance of responding to GLA Collections can be summed up as follows: By ignoring a debt collection court summons, you are raising the flag of defeat and allowing GLA Collections to prevail.
In most instances, if a consumer fails to respond to a debt collection summons, a court will enter a “default judgment” against you in favor of GLA Collections. To recover the debt, GLA Collections will likely ask the court for an order allowing it to initiate wage garnishment.
Please do not allow this to happen to you. Filing an answer to the summons issued by GLA Collections will allow you to respond to the debt collection proceedings.
To respond to a debt lawsuit against GLA Collections, please follow these three steps:
- Respond to every claim against you.
- Affirm your affirmative defenses.
- File the Answer with the court and forward a copy to GLA Collections.
1. Respond To Every Claim Against You
When you receive the Summons and Complaint documents, usually in the mail, a debt lawsuit begins.
Summonses provide information about the case and its details. In some states, the complaint is known as a petition. Responding to each claim in the Complaint should be the first part of your Answer.
To respond to each claim, choose one of the following options:
- Deny due to lack of knowledge
Denying as many allegations as possible is recommended by most attorneys. As a result, GLA Collections has to prove the claim, and if they can’t, they may simply drop the case.
2. Affirm Your Affirmative Defenses
It is critically important to conduct research and assess different affirmative defenses to understand how to defeat GLA Collections. What’s the reason? In other words, affirmative defenses are legal reasons as to why you believe GLA’s case lacks merit or legal sufficiency.
The following are examples of affirmative defenses:
- There is no longer a statute of limitations on the debt.
- The debt agreement was canceled by the creditor.
- The amount allegedly owed has already been paid by you.
- You do not own the alleged delinquent account.
- A debt validation notice was not sent to you by the plaintiff.
Using legal wording and format to assert your affirmative defenses is like telling your side of the story.
3. File The Answer With The Court And Forward A Copy To GLA Collections
You must file the original copy of your Answer with the court and forward a copy to the attorney representing GLA Collections once you have drafted your responses and affirmative defenses.
There are different filing requirements for each court throughout the United States. Some courts accept documents only through electronic filing. The answer may be required to be accompanied by additional documents. After filing, be sure to serve the opposing attorney with a copy of your Answer. Send your Answer to GLA Collections’ lawyer using USPS-certified mail with a return receipt requested.
Here’s how one consumer beat GLA Collections in court.
For example, Jennifer was sued by GLA Collections for an old medical debt that she had already paid off. Jennifer denied all claims made by GLA Collections in her Answer and listed several affirmative defenses, including that the debt had already been fully satisfied. Jennifer was relieved to hear that the court had dismissed the case after a few weeks.
Taking Legal Action Against GLA Collections
Besides responding to a summons filed by GLA Collections, you may also file a counterclaim and seek compensatory damages. Consumers who have been violated by the FDCPA may recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Here is what to do if GLA Collection sues you to learn how to beat them:
- Make a note of any telephone calls you receive from the debt collector before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- If the debt collector with GLA used offensive or harassing language during the call, please note it.
- Make sure that GLA Collections provides you with proof of the amount owed and that you are the legal owner of the delinquent account.
- Prepare an answer to the summons for debt collection. During the drafting of your Answer, consider raising one or more affirmative defenses, such as the statute of limitations.
- If you have evidence that GLA violated the FDCPA, FCRA, and/or CFPA, you may want to consider filing a counterclaim against them.
- A certified copy should be sent to Avante USA along with a request for a return receipt.