An estimated 764 different collection agencies and creditors are named in 899 consumer statute lawsuits filed nationwide in February, according to data from U.S. District Court complaint dockets. The numbers are up from a month earlier when 712 agencies and creditors were named in 851 lawsuits, according to research firm WebRecon LLC, which compiles the monthly data.
Of the 899 lawsuits filed in February, approximately 756 cited violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a jump from 716 FDCPA cases a month earlier. Other common consumer statute lawsuits in the monthly data include violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
A comparison of the last half of the month (February 16-28) with the first half reveals FDCPA cases ticked upward slightly to 384 from 372. That number is up dramatically compared with the last half of February 2009, which saw 238 FDCPA cases, and the last half of February 2008, which saw 221 FDCPA cases.
There were 463 consumer statute lawsuits filed in the last half of February. Of those cases, there were 502 unique plaintiffs, including 258 who previously sued citing consumer statute violations. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 947 lawsuits since 2001.
In 2009, lawsuits citing FDCPA violations reached 8,287, a record high and easily topping the previous mark of 5,188 set a year earlier, according to U.S. District Courts. The number of FDCPA lawsuits in 2006 and 2007 totaled 3,220 and 3,813, respectively.
Other consumer statute lawsuits saw negligible changes in 2009, compared with a year earlier. FCRA lawsuits, for example, totaled 1,174, up slightly in 2009 from 1,164 in 2008. The total remains down from a high of 1,347 reached in 2007.