Debt collection litigation is not following any particular pattern this year. The only certainty is that Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation is proving to be unpredictable, according to data pulled from U.S. district courts.
TCPA litigation so far this year has alternated between lagging behind 2014's numbers and plummeting from them. The numbers have not been able to catch up to the explosive growth from 2014. Through May, TCPA numbers year-to-date totaled 1,067 cases, down nearly 10% from 1,175 at the same point last year, according to WebRecon, a data tracking firm that pulled the numbers from the courts.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation is actually up nearly 12% over last year with 4,683 cases through May compared with 4,192 cases through May 2014. FDCPA litigation, until the recent spike, had been falling since 2011.
Fair Credit Reporting Act litigation is growing slowly but steadily over last years record numbers. With 1,212 suits filed through the end of May, it is up nearly 15% over 2014s 1,056 total.
Litigation Summary for May:
- 917 FDCPA cases, 146 Class Action (15.9%)
- 160 TCPA cases, 16 Class Action (10.0%)
- 238 FCRA cases, 39 Class Action (16.4%)
- Of the cases, there were an estimated 1,091 unique plaintiffs.
- Of the plaintiffs, an estimated 404, or (37%), previously sued under consumer statutes.
- Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 2,196 lawsuits since 2001.
- An estimated 735 different collection firms and creditors were sued.