Lawsuit filings dropped dramatically in May in all three key consumer statute categories - Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company that tracks the data from U.S. district courts.
"FDCPA, which had been running strong compared to 2012, dropped from 7% above last year to just 1% up," said Jack Gordon, CEO of WebRecon. "FCRA increased its decline over 2012 from 8% down to 13% down, and TCPA - arguably the only holdout - decreased from 76% growth to 74% over 2012. We dont see an obvious explanation for Mays weaker numbers, and therefore note that it is not likely to be a continuing trend."
The May breakdown raw data includes 800 FDCPA filings, 154 FCRA cases and 130 TCPA lawsuits. There were 946 total lawsuits during the month, including several that involved more than one statute. There were approximately 1,015 unique plaintiffs, including an estimated 365 (or 36%) that previously had sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed approximately 1,964 lawsuits since 2001.
Approximately 1,087 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in May.
Colorado District Court in Denver led the way with 52 lawsuits, followed by Illinois Northern District Court in Chicago (48) and Pennsylvania Eastern District Court in Philadelphia (45). Sergei Lemberg was the most active consumer attorney, representing 42 consumers in the month - followed by Craig Thor Kimmel and David Michael Larson, each representing 27 consumers. Lemberg also tops the year-to-date list, representing 179 consumers.
Year-to-date, there have been 5,505 total lawsuits - including 4,850 citing FDCPA violations, 891 citing FCRA violations and 753 citing TCPA violations.