An estimated 409 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in the Sept. 1-15 period, down from an estimated 534 sued in the second half of August and 426 sued in the first half of August, according to data from U.S. District Courts.

Of those cases, there were approximately 432 unique plaintiffs, including 109 who previously had sued under consumer statutes. In total, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 725 lawsuits since 2001.

Between Sept 1-15, consumers filed an estimated 421 total lawsuits under consumer statutes, including an estimated 390 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiles the totals from the courts.

The data also includes 59 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits, 12 Truth-in-Lending lawsuits and 12 Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases.

Year-to-date, plaintiffs have filed 8,114 lawsuits, including 7,600 FDCPA cases and 889 FCRA cases. Jack Gordon, WebRecon’s chief executive, predicts FDCPA lawsuits will spike this year to nearly 12,000, up from the record 8,287 in 2009. However, he also has said 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 254 consumers in lawsuits. In June, 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 on this story, contact Darren Waggoner at 815.463.9008 or darren.waggoner@sourcemedia.com.

 

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