For the second consecutive month, lawsuits citing violations of three key collection laws fell, according to data from U.S. district courts.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits showed steep declines in June after also tumbling in May. FDCPA cases are now down 4% through June 30 compared to the same period a year ago. TCPA is the only category that is still well ahead of last year's pace, up 61% through June.
The overall trend is likely going to cause full-year consumer statute lawsuits to be lower than in 2012, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that pulls the data from the courts.
In June, there were an estimated 823 lawsuits filed under consumer statutes against collection agencies and creditors - including 678 citing FDCPA violations, 143 citing FCRA violations and 105 citing TCPA violations. Many lawsuits cited more than one statute.
Of the total, there were an estimated 944 unique plaintiffs, including 334 (or 35.4%) who previously had sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,592 lawsuits since 2001. An estimated 715 different collection firms and creditors were sued during the month.
The most active consumer attorneys in June included: David M. Larson (representing 25 consumers), Sergei Lemberg (23) and Daniel A. Edelman (20). Lemberg tops the list representing 203 consumers through the first six months of the year.
Year-to-date statistics (through June 30) include:
- 6,322 total lawsuits
- 5,522 FDCPA
- 1,038 FCRA
- 859 TCPA