Consumer litigation against debt collectors jumped in September after an August slowdown.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits rose 5.5%, to 783 in September from 740 a month earlier. Year-to-date through Sept. 30, FDCPA lawsuits are down 12% (7,229 from 8,093).
Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits ticked up in September from August, 193 from 189, but are 29.9% higher year-to-date (1,908 from 1,338). Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits jumped 11.9% in September from August, 177 from 156, and year-to-date have seen a 1.8% increase (1,714 from 1,684).
Of the 783 FDCPA cases filed, 73 (9.3%) are class actions. Of the 193 TCPA lawsuits filed, 24 (13.6%) are class actions. And of the 177 FCRA lawsuits, 12 (6.2%) are class actions. WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based data firm, provided the lawsuit numbers.
An estimated 824 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in September. Of the cases, there were an estimated 1,072 unique plaintiffs, including 336 (or 31%) repeat filers. Combined, the plaintiffs who sued last month have filed an estimated 1,238 lawsuits since 2001.
Actions were filed in 151 different U.S. district court branches including: 79 in the Illinois Northern District Court Chicago; 50 in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court Philadelphia; and 45 in Colorado District Court - Denver.
The most active consumer attorneys of the year include: Sergei Lember, representing 415 consumers; David Michael Larson, representing 204 consumers; and John Thomas Steinkamp, representing 141 consumers.