Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries, the largest debt collection operation in the world, recently agreed to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty and to stop harassing consumers with allegedly illegal debt collection calls.
The civil penalty is the largest ever obtained by the FTC against a third-party debt collector.
The FTC alleged in its complaint that the companies violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and FTC Act by using tactics such as repeatedly calling after being asked to stop, calling consumers numerous times per day, calling early in the morning or late at night and leaving phone messages that disclosed the debtor’s name and existence of the debt.
Under the proposed order, the operation must not harass or abuse a consumer while attempting to collect a debt, not communicate with third parties about a consumer’s debt, not communicate with a consumer at his or her place of employment if inconvenient or prohibited.
Additionally, the defendants are required to record at least 75 percent of debt collection calls starting one year after the date of the order, and keep the recordings on file for 90 days after they are made.