Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits dropped to a more typical 713 cases (including 66 class action cases) filed in November after a spike to more than 900 in October. Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits decreased to 173 (including 14 class action cases) in November from more than 225 a month earlier.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints against the collection industry, which had soared to more than 3,000 in October, fell to 2,707 in November. Consumers filed complaints about 725 debt collectors in November.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits was the only statute in November that remained out of sync. After dropping to 159 cases in October, from a recent average hovering around 200, it fell again in November to just 95 filings (including nine class action cases). WebRecon, a data tracking firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., pulled the data on the consumer statute lawsuits.
The class action cases are considered to be in the normal-to-low range. FDCPA class actions were 9.3% of filings; FCRA class actions totaled 9.5% of filings and TCPA class actions totaled 8.1% of filings.
The total of repeat filers in November was approximately 34%.
Of the total November filings, there were an estimated 969 unique plaintiffs. Approximately 333 (or 34%) of them had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, the plaintiffs had filed some 1,146 lawsuits since 2001. Actions were filed in 149 different U.S. district court branches
In November, an estimated 729 different collection agencies and creditors were sued.
The top courts where lawsuits were filed included: Illinois Northern District Court - Chicago (74 lawsuits); New York Eastern District Court - Brooklyn (72); and Texas Northern District Court - Dallas (46).
Year-to-date, consumers have filed 11,479 consumer statute lawsuits. The total includes 8,859 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits; 2,115 Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits and 2,164 Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits. The most active consumer attorneys this year include: Sergei Lemberg, who has represented 469 consumers; David M. Larson, representing 209 consumers; and John T. Steinkamp (175).
On the CFPB complaint front, the breakdown of the 2,707 complaints includes: 1,152 (43%) continued attempts to collect debt that's not owed; 507 (19%) complaints about communication tactics; 451 (17%) complaints about disclosure verification of debts: 216 (8%) complaints about false statements or representation; and 214 (8%) complaints about improper contact or information sharing.
The top types of debt behind the complaints includes: 777 (29%) listed as "other" such as phone, health club, etc.; 614 (23%) listed as unknown; 567 (21%) credit cards; 374 (14%) medical; 157 (6%) payday loans; and 72 (3%) mortgage.