Consumers sued an estimated 534 collection agencies and creditors under consumer statutes between August 16-31, an increase of more than 100 compared with 426 that were sued in the first half of the month, according to data from U.S. District Courts.
Consumers filed an estimated 535 total lawsuits under consumer statutes in the second half of August, including an estimated 499 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiles the totals from the courts.
Between Aug. 1-15, consumers filed an estimated 454 lawsuits. In the previous reporting period, July 16-31, consumers filed an estimated 533 total lawsuits. While the recent data indicates an uptick in cases in the second half of each month, that did not hold true in May or June.
The August 16-31 data, along with the 499 FDCPA cases, includes 100 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits, 31 Truth-in-Lending lawsuits and 18 Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases.
An estimated 609 unique plaintiffs are included in the total, including 160 who previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,126 lawsuits since 2001.
Year-to-date, plaintiffs have filed 7,700 lawsuits, including 7,210 FDCPA cases and 830 FCRA cases. Jack Gordon, WebRecon’s chief executive, predicts FDCPA lawsuits will spike this year to nearly 12,000, up from the record 8,287 in 2009. However, he also has said 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 246 consumers in lawsuits. In June, 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.
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