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."