The Federal Trade Commission announced it had reached a settlement with the world's largest debt collector that has been accused of harassing consumers.

Texas-based Expert Global Solutions agreed to pay a $3.2 million penalty, the largest sum the FTC has leveled at a debt collector.


The FTC said the Expert Global and its subsidiaries harassed consumers by calling them multiple times per day — even after being asked by the consumer to stop. The debt collector also called consumers at work, late at night and early in the morning, and left phone messages about the alleged debt for others to see, according to the FTC. That's not all. The FTC also says the company continued trying to collect on debts — without any verification — even after consumers said they didn't owe the money.

All of these violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Besides having to comply with the law in the future, Expert Global is also required to record at least three-quarters of their debt collection calls and keep the recording for three months.

Expert Global, according to the FTC, has more than 32,000 employees around the world. Revenue in 2011 exceeded $1.2 billion. In a court document, the company did not admit or deny the allegations.

Contacted the company for comment and will post it when it comes in.

Update This just in from NCO, a subsidiary of Expert Global:

"We are pleased to have resolved this matter with the Federal Trade Commission  and to have this legacy issue, dating back to 2008, behind us.  We cooperated fully with the FTC's 2010 investigation and have already implemented systems and procedures to help address their areas of concern. We believe that the quality of our consumer interaction is best-in-class in our industry today, and have worked hard over the past several years to help ensure compliance and fair treatment of consumers on all of our points of contact.  As a leader in the industry, we look forward to continuing to work with the regulatory agencies on important matters of compliance and quality, and value the role these agencies play in the collections industry."