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World’s Largest Debt Collector Pays the Price for Harassing Consumers

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If you’re behind in paying your bills, or a creditor’s records mistakenly show that you are, a debt collector may contact you. You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors. They can't use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices to collect from you. That includes making harassing phone calls. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, that’s just what the world’s largest debt collection operation did.

The FTC recently settled a case against Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries (including NCO Financial Systems) for calling consumers again, and again, and again. The companies called many times a day, or for weeks on end. They called:

  • after being asked to stop
  • after they promised to stop
  • early in the morning
  • late at night
  • at people’s workplaces —  when they knew the employers prohibited the calls.

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. What’s more, the companies never verified the accuracy of the disputed information, even after the consumers said they didn’t owe the debt.  

So now, Expert Global Solutions has to pay the price for breaking the law, to the tune of a $3.2 million civil penalty, and play by the rules going forward. That civil penalty is the largest the FTC has ever obtained against a third-party debt collector.




It's important to understand your rights if you're ever contacted by a debt collector, and to complain to the FTC if you believe a collector has violated those rights. Your complaint gives us a lead to follow up on, and may stop it from happening to someone else.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thanks to the FTC, one more caught but many more to go. Perhaps the government should increase the fines according to the wrong doing.

Boy I guess the FTC told them. To a company that bad, the fine was just a slap on the wrist. They will keep doing their bad business as usual. What a waste of taxpayer money. Call it Obama Fund!!

Maybe you should just pay your bills then you wouldn't even get the calls in the first place

Many of us who owed a debt like myself DID PAY them and still we are getting these calls.
Didn't judge lest you be!

Hi..I hope you are beside honest you pray for luck. Maybe you can remain healthy and hopefully your children are born so too. I maybe be good and honest even sweet but I got sick and that takes everything away so fast. I hope you don't come to know the hopelessness that comes after. Good life to you.we disabled folk just pray for peace and chance for tomorrow.

what i expierenced is a scam heavy thick indian accent saying they are calling from the state police dispatch center and that i needed to call this david cooper or there will be a warrent out for my arrest. for what i don't know who was the company?? they never said .. its becoming very distrubing now they have called me at work.. but i don't owe anyone anything thats the thing... i did go on line to search for scholarships and educational loans over 2 twos ago ..but never gave any information ... the latest call was yesterday at 10 am at my work this michelle jones said that she was a dispatcher for the state police department and i needed to call this david cooper who is an officer and she gave me this name 512-538-1920 if not the sheriffs will be out to get me she never said what company what it was pertaining to nothing. then at 7 pm she called my cell phone stated that i need to call this david cooper the sheriffs department will b out and if i didn't "god rest my soul "

I'm sorry you've had this experience, Rosie. You can file a formal complaint at

Rosie, I SO hope that you file a complaint with the FTC as well as with the local law enforcement! It is ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE TO PRETEND TO CALL FROM ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY AND ESPECIALLY TO THREATEN YOU WITH ARREST AND/OR JAIL! And it is VERY clear that the WHOLE AGENCY is involved because you have said that two different people called with the same threat, and the SECOND ON SAYING, "GOD REST YOUR SOUL!" I would have been so angry that I would have flipped my lid! Bless your heart! I see that you posted this in July and it is now Dec. so I'm REALLY hoping that you have this resolved by now!

I am attacked by identity thefters unknowingly they email to me from benin republic the person whose name is Mr.Edward C Gary said to me you have fund from trans union FVAD for you through RIA money transfer comp. now you have to send your verification then we are start transfer your fund daily $35000.00 to your bank untill to finshed your total fund $1,350,000.00 and now you should have to send to registration of your fund $2750.00 usd, and ther from Nigeria repeatedly email to me like the above as well as from UK many individuals send email they said that you have won from email address lottery winner for the year 2012&2013 not only this the scamers email to me from spain, Nether lands, chaina, cot d, ivore,somalia,Libiya, soria,south africa --;so on contact me by email i don't know me what they are and i am new for internat usage so unknowngly they all of took my identity.sothat i am victimed siriously more than the others. give great attention for me .

How about some money for the debt that wasn't even mine. same bunch of conniving thieves in cahoots
with chase bank unlv and GE. Paid 3 x on the same phony debt so I could get a VA loan which I never got they wouldn't take it off reports or court9

I have been having a problem with the FTC on complaints I have made to them. They do not do anything about getting harassing telephone calls to stop.. I just filed another complaint. I hope theis time they will act on it as I have beend ealing with this for 10 years or more.

I have been harrassed by smith and cohen out of delaware...this ms lin person calls all day long..and some how has contacted, my family members and neighbors..i have sent them a cease and desist letter but she continue to call...the debt is over 4 years ago and sol in my state is 4 do i get these folks to stop calling around for me???

I have "heard" a really "loud whistle" tends significantly to reduce harassing phone calls.


If a debt from a credit card has been charged off by the cc company, can a third party collection agency come after me? I'm on ssd and up to ears in debt on other credit cards that have worked with me. The charged off one refused to wok with me.

NO THEY CAN NOT!!! NO ONE CAN! If it was truly charged off by the credit card company. If you have proof from the company that they charged it off, like a statement of some kind in writing they can not touch you. In fact, it's illegal for them to try. especially if you sent them a letter to cease and desist contact with you. Make sure that the letter is registered and that it has to be signed on receipt by them with a copy of the receipt sent to you. You keep a copy of the letter, the receipt, and the statement stating you have a zero balance FOREVER! Until you die! You keep a copy of it all, that's just in case someone else decides to come after you for the money again, you have all your proof lined up! If you don't have anything from the credit card company showing they charged it off, contact them and ask them for something in writing for your records!

Yep - you are free to steal money and the FTC will help you.

Is it possible to sue debt collectors? and believe me, i am not that type of person that is quick to take that route of ation. I have a relative that has debt issues, however, now I have HER debt collectors calling MY home, my husband's cell phone and his work line all day long. They kept asking questions "are you related to her? Does she live with you, can you give us the best phone number to reach her at? Will you be seeing her soon?" My husband had asked them to stop week's ago, but then today we started getting calls from lawyers saying that their research connected us to her, etc. fearing perhaps she started using our info, I inquired if we were on any delinquent accounts and they confirmed we were not." Aside from the embarrassment, this is outright harassment and has been going on for weeks. We both have excellent credit scores and carry no debt, is there a course of action I can take that will teach them a lesson and revoke this practice of harassing relatives of delinquent payers? Any advice?

This guy called my work and left a message saying he is with the federal trade commission and that there were multiple complaints against me and against my social security number. When I returned the call, the same guy (btw -the call didnt go thru any switchboard identifying themselves as the FTC) told me he was an "officer". I immediately asked what kind of officer he was and he actually said he was an officer with the FTC. I am a law enforcement instructor and was curious to find his badge which he would not reply. What a joke. I hung up and have not picked up his repeated calls.

I need advice on how to deal with this individual who won't change their number after almost 2 years. Two retailers and so many harassing phone calls I can't count them. I had to file a police report. They won't stop calling.

I just really want to know is Smith Cohen a sacam?

If this is correct why do they still call my home she I have repeatedly asked them not to

NCO/ SST - They still use abusive collection practices even after all this. They pose as "Investigators" contact family and friends making it sound like a law enforcement Investigator discuss your debt and more...they are still and will always be in violation, only now they refuse to release information and ignore your requests so that you cannot take them to court.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Under federal law, debt collectors aren't allowed to say they are law enforcement officers if that's false.

Global solotuins has not learned their lesson, they call every week and i tell them over and over to stop calling me i dont know where the person they are looking for is.. last weel told a lady to stop "ok we will remove your number" it wasnt!! Help stop the harrassment. 866 516 1743 is the number.

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If you think someone stole your personal information and used it to get a loan with your name, go to and read about what to do.

Thank GOD that these clowns got their ears pinned back. I was getting calls all day long from some computer dialer. I would pick it up and no one there. I waited for someone to pick up and I would hear a boiler room and then "Click" and they would hang up. I finely called back and got in touch with someone. They had the wrong person and said they would remove my name. The calls increased. I called again and again and again, until I found this article and asked if I could be added to the civil suit. The calls stopped.

Can a debt collector call a number over & over & over multiple times a day & NEVER leave message?
They had the wrong number when i finally answered the call. They have called at least 80X in 2 months.

Debt collectors are not allowed to harass you. They are not allowed to repeatedly use the phone to annoy you. You can report a problem with a debt collector to the FTC at

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