Ever get a call from a debt collection agency? No one likes to deal with bill collectors, but even if you’re behind on payments you’re still legally protected from harassment, threats and other abuse. Unfortunately, many debt collection agencies violate these protections on a regular basis.

But the Federal Trade Commission recently pursued a court case against the largest debt collection agency in the world, Expert Global Solutions. This agency (and its subsidiaries) had to pay significant fines for violating these consumer protection laws against harassment. It’s a resounding victory for consumers and debt-holders everywhere.

 

Debt Collectors Can’t Violate the Law

Just because you owe someone money doesn’t mean that a debt collection agency is allowed to harass you, bully you, or call you at all hours of the day.

In fact, it’s actually illegal for debt collectors to use any of those tactics to make you pay up. They can’t be abusive or deceptive in the way that they go about collecting their debts, and they have to respect your boundaries. (Click here to watch our video explaining more of your consumer debt rights.)

So when the FTC discovered that the largest debt collection agency in the entire world, Expert Global Solutions, was flagrantly violating just about every single one of these very simple rules and regulations, they took action.

A sepia-toned photo of a man on a phone at a desk.

When speaking with a collection agency, you are guaranteed a certain amount of rights, and can call the FTC if you feel they were violated.

FTC Busts Expert Global Solutions for Harassing Consumers

Debt collection agencies often feel like they have the upper hand simply because the consumer is the one who owes money. This is wrong for a couple of reasons. But the information that debt collectors receive can be, and often is, erroneous. And it’s illegal call consumers at odd hours of the day or use abusive language.

Expert Global Solutions is the biggest debt collection agency in the world. This agency and its subsidiaries were breaking all these rules and more. They were calling people early in the morning and late at night. They were also calling people after being told that the consumer’s information was incorrect and no debt was owed.

The FTC’s website describes some of the shocking details about the abuse:

“Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries even left voicemails for other people that gave the debtor’s name and said that the person owed money.”

Due to these violations, the FTC has forced Expert Global Solutions to pay $3.2 million in fines for the infractions. This is the biggest amount the FTC has ever received in penalty payments from a third-party collection agency.

Nice moves, FTC!

Know Your Rights as a Debtor

Remember, just because you owe money doesn’t mean you’ve given up your basic rights as a consumer. You’ve got a right to privacy, a right to not have your information shared with anyone without your consent, and a right to be free from harassment and threats.

If you feel like any of the rights discussed in this article have been violated by a collection agency, file a complaint on Scambook and call the FTC. They’re on your side in this matter, and they can help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you again.

 

See Also

Debt Collectors Break Rules by Impersonating Lawyers, Texting Victims
Debt Collection Scams: Warning Signs & Safety Tips
Enhanced Recovery Company, T-Mobile Debt Collection Agency, May Send False Bills

3 Responses

  1. Lisa

    Can you help me, i previously applied for a credit card, but was rejected, as i am apparently on a blacklist. How do i find out why i am on this list? And how can i fix it?

    Reply
    • Miranda Perry

      Hi Lisa, there are a number of reasons why you might be on a “blacklist,” but you may also be the victim of identity theft. You should review your credit report ASAP to make sure no one has opened any new accounts in your name. You can get a free credit report (no hidden fees or monthly charges) from http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

      If you do find any fraudulent activity on your credit report, follow the steps outlined in our video to help control the damage and place a Fraud Alert on your credit report. You might also consider meeting with a credit counselor or a financial advisor to figure things out from there.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for your comment and good luck!

      Reply
  2. Melody

    I just started working as a debt collector at Credit Collection Services. We are trained in what we can and cannot say, and the collectors are constantly monitored and coached. We have many scripts that we must read that are carefully worded to remain within the constantly-changing laws. I’m naïve, but I assumed that all collection agencies were as strict as CCS. The people we call say, “Why are you saying all this gobbledygook? Get to the point!” They don’t realize that we have to stay within the boundaries of the law.

    Reply

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