Abusive debt collector hit with record fine

Intimidation, abuse, deception: everyone knows what debt collectors will do to get paid. But Expert Global Solutions, the world's largest debt collection outfit, somehow managed to earn the biggest fine ever--$3.2m--for harassing and victimizing Americans. From the FTC blog:

In its complaint, the FTC charged that the companies violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act by using tactics such as 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’s complaint, the companies also continued collection efforts without verifying the debt, even after consumers said they did not owe it.

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  1. I suspect I've deal with these asshats.

    My old phone number was previously owned by a couple who obviously hadn't been paying their bills (hi Paula and Ricky!). I got called up by debt collection agencies looking for them all the time. I'd have to go through the spiel of how I wasn't the person they were looking for (not like they ever believed me). Sometimes I'd get called repeatedly, sometimes they'd promise to take me off their lists.Then a few weeks later, I'd get called up by a different agency.

    I can only assume that the debts were bought in bulk, the agencies made a few half-hearted attempts to collect, then sold the debt on (I thought that there was an argument that once a debt was sold on, it was considered fulfilled, but perhaps not).

    The weird thing was I got wrong number calls for this pair all the time from their friends too, so I have no idea what they were up to. Glad to be rid of that number, though.

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