WASHINGTON Regulators ordered Texas-based Expert Global Solutions, described as the world's largest debt collection firm, on Tuesday to pay a $3.2 million fine for allegedly making illegal collections calls and not verifying debt in dispute.
The proposed order was the largest fine the Federal Trade Commission has issued against a third-party debt collector. The FTC said Expert and its affiliates violated debt collection laws partly by calling consumers multiple times a day, at unlawful hours and at workplaces. The company also continued to try to collect funds without verifying the debt and even after consumers denied owing it.
Under the FTC's proposed order, Expert must either stop collecting and close the account if a consumer denies the debt or suspend collection until the company can verify the amount owed is correct. Expert is also restricted from harassing a consumer by phone, sharing debt information with a third party and leaving voicemails that reveal the debtor's name and debt owed. Expert must record at least 75% of all debt collection calls for a year after the order takes effect and retain recordings for 90 days after the call is made.
The proposed order, which was filed in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Texas on July 8, is subject to court approval.