Several key statistics tracked carefully by collection agencies and creditors dropped in August, including lawsuits alleging consumer statute violations and complaints against collectors filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
CFPB complaints fell 16.4% from 3,472 in July to 2,984 in August.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits dropped 14.3% from 833 in July to 729 in August.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits decreased 34.4% from 207 in July to 154 in August.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits fell 4.8% from 197 in July to 188 in August.
Year-to-date, however, all of the numbers except FDCPA lawsuits are still up. FDCPA lawsuits lag 13.1% from this time last year. WebRecon LLC, a data-tracking firm, provided the data pulled from U.S. district courts and the CFPB. CEO Jack Gordon could not remember the last time all key statistical categories dropped in the same month.
Of the 729 FDCPA cases filed, 76 (10.4%) are class actions. Of the 154 FCRA lawsuits filed, 10 (6.5%) are class actions. Of the 188 TCPA lawsuits filed, 11 (5.9%) are class actions.
Twenty-nine percent, or approximately 295, of the consumers who filed litigation in August are considered repeat filers, meaning they filed similar litigation in the past. During the month, an estimated 741 different collection agencies and creditors were sued.
Attorney Sergei Lemberg represented 53 people in lawsuits filed against collection agencies and creditors in August, leading the way. Year-to-date, Lemberg has represented 376 consumers in lawsuit filings.
Additional CFPB complaint numbers in August include:
Number of debt collectors complained about: 686
The top types of debt behind the complaints:
859 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (29%)
638 Unknown (21%)
634 Credit card (21%)
424 Medical (14%)
174 Payday loan (6%)
95 Mortgage (3%)
58 Non-federal student loan (2%)
52 Federal student loan (2%)
50 Auto (2%)
Breakdown of complaints:
1,289 Continued attempts to collect debt not owed (43%)
525 Communication tactics (18%)
512 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
245 False statements or representation (8%)
218 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
195 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)
The top five secondary issues:
829 Debt is not mine (28%)
351 Debt was paid (12%)
341 Not given enough info to verify debt (11%)
325 Frequent or repeated calls (11%)
188 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)
The status of the months complaints:
1,991 Closed with explanation (67%)
504 Closed with non-monetary relief (17%)
231 In progress (8%)
125 Closed (4%)
101 Untimely response (3%)
32 Closed with monetary relief (1%)
The top states complaints were filed from:
441 Complaints: California
283 Complaints: Florida
265 Complaints: Texas