Consumers filed lawsuits naming an estimated 545 different collection agencies and creditors during the first half of March, up from 471 in the last two weeks of February, according to data from U.S. District Court complaint dockets.

Consumers filed a total of 538 lawsuits in the first half of the month, citing violations of various consumer statutes. Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) topped the list with 462 filings; followed far behind by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with 50 filings, according to research firm WebRecon LLc, which compiles the monthly data.

Year-to-date, consumers have filed an estimated 2,275 consumer statute lawsuits nationwide - including 1,928 FDCPA cases and 213 FCRA cases. A total of 2,317 unique plaintiffs are named in those suits.

Other common consumer statute lawsuits regularly cited in the monthly data include violations of the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

By comparison, the 462 FDCPA lawsuits filed between March 1-15 is up from 384 filed in the last half of February and 372 filed in the first half of February.

In 2009, lawsuits citing FDCPA violations reached 8,287, a record high and easily topping the previous mark of 5,188 in 2008, according to U.S. District Courts. The number of FDCPA lawsuits in 2007 and 2006 totaled 3,813 and 3,220 respectively.

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