An estimated 417 different collection agencies and creditors were sued between March 1-15, down from 444 in the Feb. 1-15 period, according to data from U.S. District Courts.

Consumers filed an estimated 477 lawsuits under consumer statutes - including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) - in the first half of March.

The totals include 444 citing alleged FDCPA violations, 55 FCRA cases, 15 Truth-in-Lending actions and another five citing Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations. Some lawsuits listed more than one consumer statute offense, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiles the data from the courts.

In the March 1-15 period, an estimated 488 unique plaintiffs filed lawsuits. Of those, approximately 140 had sued under consumer statutes before. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 982 lawsuits since 2001.

Year-to-date, there have been 2,214 lawsuits filed against collection agencies and creditors - including 2,120 citing an FDCPA violation.

David Michael Larson was the most active consumer attorney in the recent reporting period, with 14 lawsuits; followed by Robert T. Healey Jr., Adam Fishbein and Tara Leigh Patterson, all with 10 cases.

Larson also is now the most active attorney for the year, representing 61 consumers through March 15 in legal actions against collection agencies and creditors. He is followed by Craig T. Kimmel, who has represented 58 consumers this year.

To comment on this story, contact Darren Waggoner at 815.463.9008 or darren.waggoner@sourcemedia.com.

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