In the second half of June, consumers sued an estimated 471 different collection agencies and creditors under various statutes - including 416 lawsuits citing at least one violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), according to U.S. District Court complaint dockets.
Consumers filed an estimated total of 490 lawsuits in the last half of June. Of an estimated total of 515 unique plaintiffs listed in those cases, 147 previously had sued under consumer statutes. Combined, these plaintiffs have filed an estimated 930 lawsuits since 2001.
Trailing FDCPA complaints in volume are alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act violations (44), and Truth-in-Lending Act violations (16). Consumers also filed eight lawsuits citing violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
Year-to-date, consumers have filed 5,789 lawsuits, including 4,933 FDCPA cases. Research firm WebRecon LLC, Grand Rapids, Mich., compiles the data from the courts and commonly provides trend analysis. Jack Gordon, chief executive, 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 187 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. Next week, Collections & Credit Risk plans to publish letters from the industry responding to Lemberg's statement.
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