An estimated 389 different collection agencies and creditors were sued citing consumer statute violations in the first half of July, according to data from U.S. District Courts.

The numbers provided by research firm WebRecon LLC dipped drastically from an estimated 541 agencies and creditors sued in the first half of June and 471 in the second half of June.

The drop may be a result of seasonal trends related to the July 4th holiday. Jack Gordon, chief executive at WebRecon, believes it is simply a "natural downward swing."

The July 1-15 lawsuits include 393 cases citing alleged Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations, 47 citing Fair Credit Reporting Act offenses and 18 Truth-In-Lending Act cases.

Gordon predicts FDCPA lawsuits will spike this year to nearly 12,000, up from a record 8,287 in 2009. However, he also pointed out that the record total would represent a cooling off in the actual growth rate, see story.

Sergei Lemberg is the most active consumer attorney this year, representing 202 consumers in lawsuits. Last month, Lemberg criticized the collection industry in a statement to the press, see story, for blaming consumer attorneys for a spike in lawsuits, which he argued are rising because of increasingly aggressive tactics by collectors.

Editor's Note: To comment, contact Darren Waggoner at darren.waggoner@sourcemedia.com or 815.463.9008.

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