The FTC announced yesterday that the "world’s largest debt collection operation, Expert Global Solutions
and its subsidiaries, has agreed to stop harassing consumers with
allegedly illegal debt collection calls and to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty – the largest ever obtained by the Federal Trade Commission against a third-party debt collector."
The FTC's press announcement explains that the company was violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by "calling consumers multiple times per day, calling even
after being asked to stop, calling early in the morning or late at
night, calling consumers’ workplaces despite knowing that the employers
prohibited such calls, and leaving phone messages that disclosed the
debtor’s name, and the existence of the debt, to third parties."
According to the FTC, "the companies also continued collection efforts without verifying the debt, even after consumers said
they did not owe it."
In a piece this morning in the Washington Post, columnist Michelle Singletary writes that hearing the FTC announcement "you want to pump your fist and cheer because justice is being served." She notes that the case "may significantly curb some unsavory practices by debt collectors."
0 thoughts on “FTC curbs abuses by major debt collector”
$3.2 Million? That’s all? Why not make this $3.2 billion–only then will these companies stop. Unless, of course, they are Bank of America or Chase.
Debt collection has not changed since the 18th century when Debtors Prison was outlawed in the US. Collection agencies are not regulated and operate in a consumer economy driven by merchants which thrive on consumer debt and government mandates. Consumer rights are all but eradicated. Any penalty for abuses is likely considered no more than a cost of doing business; there is too much profit in debt collection to change practices that are next to impossible to prove.