#1 By: Rob Beschizza, July 9th, 2013 13:02
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… READ THE REST
#2 By: Jardine, July 9th, 2013 13:08
revenues in 2011 of more than $1.2 billion
So $3.2 million would be a bit over 0.25% of their 2011 revenue. Maybe they can force their employees to work some unpaid overtime to make that up.
#3 By: Tobin Lathrop, July 9th, 2013 14:10
Or we could fine them for real money and throw the CEOs in prision.
#4 By: Jeff Fisher, July 9th, 2013 14:22
Be careful, those are the job creators you are talking about.
#5 By: daneel, July 9th, 2013 14:43
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.
#6 By: Jonathan Peterson, July 9th, 2013 14:53
ALL collection agencies are guilty of violating the same laws. When they get investigated for violations, they "fire" the "abusive agents" who violated the companies policies and procedures. Credit agencies ignore prior violations and "termination for cause" when hiring, and encourage violations with bonuses and quotas.
EVERYONE who works as a collector knows the drill, and laugh about it, there are ALWAYS other agencies to go to with strong recommendations for your earning power.
#7 By: Rob Beschizza, July 9th, 2013 15:26
For years after we moved to a new town, we had to put up with debt collection calls to the previous assignee of the phone number. Things started out fairly polite and they'd go away, but once the debt had been sold on a few times to presumably lower-end agencies, things did start to get sleazy. "Hand me over to Lindy" or "I'm calling Lindy back". But I never got any of the threatening stuff you hear about. I think they target older people and women -- cowardly bottom-feeders, those callers.
#8 By: Tribune1984, July 9th, 2013 15:46
My wife got a new cell with a new number and the previous owner's debt collection calls. She asked one of the callers to be removed from their list - there was a pause as things were looked up and they told my wife that honestly she was better off getting a new phone number given the number of associated debts. Fortunately there was no issue changing number.
I am half expecting my debt collector calls to resume they take me off the list and I end up back on it but this last time has been a few months so maybe they really did remove it.
I think this sort of thing and telemarketer spam will end up killing the current Phone system.
#9 By: IronEdithKidd, July 9th, 2013 16:56
Score a tiny one for the little guy? It's a signal to the industry that the Feds are paying attention. It's better than the FTC taking no action at all.
#10 By: Sam Glover, July 9th, 2013 16:59
Not really, IMHO. $3.2 million may be "the biggest ever," but it's a drop in the bucket for this operation.
#11 By: Antinous, July 9th, 2013 17:02
I get collection calls for a man that I've never met because he moved out of a house in San Francisco just before I moved into it. In 1989.
#12 By: Mike Andrews, July 9th, 2013 19:17
Try buying a foreclosure that was owned by (surprise!) a deda beat.
The scumbags calling could not grok how I could be living at the same address and not know a thing about them. I got HUNDREDS of robo-calls. I could have made a tidy sum if I knew, and was inclined to go after them.
#13 By: Antinous, July 9th, 2013 19:23
Try sharing a first and last name with 23,000 other men in the US. And one of them has a SSN that's very close to mine. And he doesn't pay his bills.
#14 By: just_ok, July 9th, 2013 19:26
Ok, give me the information and I'll get started
#15 By: Elix, July 10th, 2013 02:12
I used to work for NCO in a call center, although it wasn't a center that did debt collection. We were outsourced customer service for US clients. On the whole, the local staff were generally decent, but more or less the only thing I ever saw coming from above was bullshit and getting screwed over.
And screwed over is exactly what happened to me. I regret not getting out of there after a year.
#16 By: Rob Beschizza, July 14th, 2013 13:02
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