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Robert Longley

Big Debt Collector to Pay Big Fine

By July 19, 2013

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They just kept calling. By day and night, at home and at work, they just kept calling. Now, for doing so, the world's biggest debt collection operation will pay the biggest fine ever assessed against a debt collector by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Under the record-setting settlement, Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries agreed to stop harassing consumers with allegedly illegal debt collection calls and to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty.

According to the FTC's complaint, the companies dialed up several violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FTC Act, including: calling consumers multiple times per day, calling even after being asked by the consumer 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.

In many cases, charged the FTC, the companies failed to verify the debts and kept calling consumers ever after they had paid what they owed.

Ordered to Change Their Evil Ways

Along with paying the $3.2 million fine, the court ordered Expert Global Solutions to: stop calling consumers after promising not to; stop harassing or abusing consumers; stop talking to other people about consumers' debts; stop calling consumers' workplaces when told not to; stop calling consumers who ask not to be called; and not violate any provision of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In addition, Expert Global Solutions will be required to prove they are complying with the order by recording at least 75% of all their debt collection calls beginning one year after the date of the order, and retain the recordings for 90 days after they are made.

Perhaps most importantly, Expert Global Solutions was ordered to stop calling consumers who dispute the amount or validity of their debt. Expert Global must either close the account and end collection efforts, or suspend collection efforts until they have investigated and verified that their information about the debt is accurate and complete.

While not required by the court order, "justice" might best be served if the FTC calls Expert Global Solutions several times to "remind" them to pay their fine.

As the largest debt collectors in the world, Texas-based Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries -- ALW Sourcing, LLC; NCO Financial Systems, Inc.; and Transworld Systems, Inc., employ more than 32,000 people and reported revenues in excess of $1.2 billion in 2011.

The FTC reminds consumers that it is important to understand their rights if contacted by a debt collector, and to file a complaint with the FTC if they feel the debt collector violated their rights.

Also See: FTC Cracks Down On 'Free' Government Grant Company

Comments

July 19, 2013 at 5:29 am
(1) Ron Rittenmeyer says:

What yous people dont get is that what we are being “ordered” to do is what we and every other collection agency is supposed to be doing all the time anyway. I really dont care what you reporters have to say about me or my mother company JP Morgan. I laugh my large ass off as I ship U.S. jobs to the Phillipines to people who speak English as a second language better than you speak it as a first language and then I pay them in rice!! Meanwhile my clueless clients, who happen to be government agencies, seem to care less about any of this and just keep paying me.

July 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm
(2) Sallie Anne says:

Well people, If you don’t like what this Ron Rittenmeyer states (even though I don’t think he wrote the above comment) – It is true what the company that he is CEO of – Do you like barely speaking people calling and harrassing you for money you owe – when they are not even in the USA??? – Instead of outsourceing – insource, Like a company in Iowa is doing it. You look it up – We do not need to outsource anymore jobs just so the “fat” amricans like Ron R can make money. The company probably do pay other countries people in rice, straw whatever – Not money – As you can see – Just google Ron Rittenmeyer – They don’t pay him the big bucks for helping the USA citizens – They pay him BIG money to keep the money with the “FAT” Americans!!! Google outsource to Iowa, not India, Indonesia, ect…

July 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm
(3) Debt Collector says:

What do you think of debt recovery companies that use fear and aggressive attidutes to try to get payments.
I have heard companies train people to use this approach and would like to know other peoples opinion on this.
For people in debt it can be a very worrying issue, and i know there is other companies/charities that help. But the recovery company even though informed of such help will still use tactics that can cause more stress in an already stressfull situation.
Some might say well people should manage their finances better and not got into such a state. but this is more about the genuine people, who have found themselves in an awful situation through circumstances but wish to resolve the problem. Yet still get spoken to and treated awfully by these companies.

Debt in this country is a big issue. Its not a nice thing to have on your mind, so is it right to be treated this way.

what is your thoughts on this?

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