Largest debt collection firm pays record penalty

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According to the FTC's charges, the Texas-based company called consumers who owed money multiple times per day, at all hours and after being asked to stop. Expert Global Solutions collectors also called consumers' workplaces, left voicemail messages when they were not supposed to and ignored claims that people did not owe the debt they were being charged. 

Those actions violated laws that require debt collectors to verify debts and restrict voicemails that name the alleged debtor's name.

In addition to the monetary penalty, the company, which has more than 32,000 employees, has agreed to cease its practices of abusing and harassing consumers while trying to collect a debt. The company also needs to record at least 75 percent of its debt-collection phone calls over the next year.

The FTC vote to approve the order was unanimous. The agreement is still subject to approval from a Texas district court.