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How to deal with Gurstel Law Firm

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Betsalel Cohen
UpdatedMay 24, 2024
Key Takeaways:
  • Gurstel Law Firm is a real company that collects consumer debts.
  • Validate a debt as soon as you receive notice from Gurstel Law Firm. Don't let them harass you.
  • Negotiate debts with Gurstel Law Firm by yourself or use a professional debt settlement company.

Gurstel Law Firm is a veteran debt collection agency in the United States. They have been in business since 1997. They have about 127 employees and operate in the states of Minnesota, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, California, Nevada, and Wyoming.

Just like dealing with any debt collector, be prepared. Verify that you owe the debt, that the company does not harass you, and that you have the right tools to settle your debt.

What is Gurstel Law Firm? Are they real or a scam?

Gurstel Law Firm is not a scam. It is a real debt collection agency. They act as agents for creditors and aggressively pursue collection and lawsuits.  They represent banks, credit card companies, as well as small businesses. 

Gurstel Law Firm information
AddressMinnesota (HQ): 6681 COUNTRY CLUB DRIVE Minneapolis, MN 55427
Phone(877) 344 -4002
Hours of OperationHours vary by region Generally 8 AM - 5 PM

They also have offices under the name Gurstel Chargo PA and uses the following phone number: (480) 966-9300. According to their website, "Gurstel Law Firm P.C. is a Certified Professional Receivables Company and shares certification designation with T & I Enterprises, LLC, doing business in Arizona as The Todd Company, and TEM Capital, LLC."

Do you owe Gurstal Law Firm money?

Gurstel Law Firm represents many original creditors. In general, they do not buy debt. You may see on your credit report the name of the original creditor and Gurstel or Gurstal Chargo.

However, there are various reasons that you may not owe Gurstel Law Firm or the original creditor money. For example, the debt may not belong to you, the statute of limitations expired, or you already paid off the debt.

Step 1 - Validate your debt.

Validate a debt when Gurstel Law Firm contacts you to collect a debt. Once contacted, you have 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly. It is recommended to send a registered letter. It is a good idea always to validate the debt.

According to the law, Gurstel must validate the debt. If you don’t receive proper validation, then send a notice of insufficient validations. If the collection agency cannot validate the debt, it has no legal basis to collect it.

>>Learn more: Follow the steps described in the debt validation article to preserve your rights under the FDCPA.

Step 2 - Check to see if the Statute of Limitations (SOL) is valid.

State laws set the time that a creditor can sue you and collect on the debt. However, they are complicated and not easy for the layman to understand. Since Gurstel Law Firm represents an original creditor, in most states, once the SOL expires, it can still pursue a lawsuit. 

Even if you think that the SOL expired, the creditor may have a different opinion on the expiration date and pursue a lawsuit against you. It is always wise to respond to a lawsuit. In the case of an expired SOL, you must answer any summons and claim an affirmative defense.

In any case, Gurstel Law Firm still has the right to contact and get you to pay or negotiate a settlement. 

>> Learn more: Learn more about states' laws regarding statute of limitations.

Stop Gurstel Law Firm PC from debt collection harassment.

Debt collectors often are extremely aggressive in their collection tactics. Like other debt collection agencies, Gurstel Law Firm is strictly regulated by The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Here are some of the actions that they are forbidden to do:

  • Call at an unreasonable time such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM
  • Use the Telephone to Annoy or Harass
  • Seek Unjustifiable Amounts
  • Contact a Consumer at Work
  • Threaten Arrest
  • Use Abusive or Threatening Language
  • Contact a relative, friend, or colleague who doesn’t own the debt

If you believe Gurstel Law Firm violated your rights under the FDCPA, consult with a consumer rights attorney in your area. Discuss possibly filing a lawsuit against the collection agency; not only could a lawsuit result in the cancellation of your debt, but you could be awarded damages.

Learn how to negotiate your debt with Gurstel Law Firm

Gurstel will contact you, hoping to receive full payment.  However, depending on your situation, they might be willing to negotiate. They will run a background check on you to determine their options. A public judgment can lead to wage garnishes, bank levies, and liens on personal property. When asked if it is possible to negotiate a settlement, they answered:

"Yes, in some cases the collector may be willing and able to work with you to resolve the outstanding debt. This settlement could be in the form of a payment plan, a lesser amount than the total owed, or both.

In some cases, it is wise to take a do-it-yourself approach. However, dealing with a collection agency, especially with aggressive lawyers, is stressful. It takes a significant amount of time and effort. It is helpful if you convince Gurstel Law Firm that you are in a hardship. Here are three tips: Be calm, clear, and convincing. Be persistent. Send a debt negotiation letter.

Another approach is to use a professional debt negotiation company. Debt settlement companies rely on databases of past settlements, so their negotiators know what range original creditors and collection agencies have accepted for payments in the past. They can reach a negotiated settlement with your debt collection agency quickly.

Complaints and lawsuits about Gurstel Law Firm

Like most collection agencies, Gurstel Law Firm has complaints registered in the BBB and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB has complaints about collecting a debt that the consumer didn’t owe, harassment and impersonating an attorney, law enforcement, or government official. The complaints themselves are not proof of illegal or improper activities, although a good source to learn about how consumers perceive the interactions and problems they have with the debt collection agencies.

Here is a couple of example of complaints:

Used obscene, profane, or other abusive languages "Harassing Phone Call received from Gurstel Law Firm ( Phone # XXXX ) on XX/XX/2020. At XXXX MST Phone rang twice. Caller hung up as soon as I answered. Gurstel Law Firm is representing XXXX XXXX XXXX in an attempt to collect a debt.

Sued you without properly notifying you of lawsuit "I used to bank with XXXX XXXX XXXX. In the spring of 2019 I started noticing a lot of charges that were from places I frequented but not in the amounts or the actual dates I used these establishments. It seemed there were several additional XXXX XXXX, XXXX and XXXX charges in addition to the ones I knew I made myself. Soon after, in XXXX of 2019 I noticed a bunch of repeated payments for {$300.00} a piece going to a " XXXX XXXX '' through a XXXX XXXX called " XXXX XXXX ''. I never used this app nor did I know who XXXX XXXX was. After some sleuthing, I found out she was many times my XXXX driver, or rather, the passenger riding along with the man who was delivering my XXXX and XXXX XXXX orders. I recalled a time they asked my ex husband to walk down and get the food out of the trunk of the car, and XXXX was aiming a black box with a handle at him. Later I discovered this was likely a forgery device and she had been twice charged for crimes of this nature very recent to this situation. I shut off the card obviously, and then they actually returned that day banging on my door shouting " XXXX XXXX! '' pretending to be workers for XXXX. The man, whose name I don't know, and XXXX would not give to me, had the black box and aimed it at my purse on the end table by the door pretending to be looking inside checking our electricity. So they got me twice.Of course I filed a police report with XXXX Police and got a new debit card. Soon after, a gas card started debiting my account over and over again and now, on XXXX XXXX, I was served a summons by a woman who barged her way into my home past my XXXX year old daughter as she was getting XXXX packages at the door. She served me while I stood there in my underwear. I told her about the police report. She told me to call the Gurstel Law Firm and tell them. I have called and left numerous messages for them, I have emailed them, I have attempted to file an answer on the link they provide in the summons but that link is a bad link that doesn't pull up any page whatsoever. I just get an error. They have this suit filed in my name here in XXXX County and I have no way to answer or communicate with them. I contacted XXXX who apologized. XXXX in the fraud department told me that if I dispute this item then Gurstel hopefully will kick it back to them so they can access the file and handle it properly. He told me that while they marked my checking account as fraud, they did not do the same for the credit card. So they needed Gurstel to give them the file back so they could then adjust what they have in the file to reflect the card also was fraud, not just the checking account. Gurstel is totally uncooperative however, even after sending my police report through the credit bureaus, they'll deem this account as mine however refuse to communicate with me at all. I feel like this law firm needs to be investigated. They don't really care what the truth is, they just want the creditor to pay them so they go through all these theatrical motions to show they're really trying to do their job with minimal cost to themselves. Slapping me with a summons that includes a broken link where I am supposed to file my answer, then refusing all communication with me, is not only slimy it is against my legal rights".

Deal with a Gurstel Law Firm lawsuit

Gurstel Law Firm cannot make empty threats to sue you when making a collection call. However, they do have the right to start a lawsuit and pursue legal remedies such as a wage garnishment or bank levy.

If Gurstel files a lawsuit against you, consult with a lawyer in your state with consumer law experience. You must file an answer to their summons and complaint or risk losing the lawsuit by default. Ignoring a summons will not make it go away, so take action to respond to the lawsuit. 

Can you remove Gurstel Law Firm from your credit report?

If the information is inaccurate, then you can have it removed. Most negative tradelines stay on your credit report for seven years from the delinquency date. Bankruptcies remain for ten years, and judgments can remain for even longer if the creditor renews them.

However, there are circumstances that you may see an inaccurate item from Gurstel or a company associated with it. In that case, it is possible to file a dispute with the Credit Reporting Agencies and have the negative items removed from your credit report.

>> Learn more: Learn how to dispute a credit report.

Dealing with debt

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.607 trillion and credit card was $1.129 trillion.

According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 8% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in South Carolina, 17% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 10% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 7%.

While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.