Consumer statute lawsuits in November were consistent with the trend seen throughout 2013. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act litigation both declined while Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits expanded.
The year is expected to end with FDCPA cases down an estimated 10 percent from 2012, while FCRA cases are projected to be down just 2 percent. TCPA cases meanwhile continued growing aggressively and are projected to end the year up 70 percent ahead of 2012, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company that tracks lawsuit numbers from U.S. district courts.
Through November, FDCPA cases totaled 9,560 compared to 10,623 through November 2012. FCRA cases totaled 2,048 compared to 2,090 a year ago. TCPA cases reached 1,679, up from 999 a year ago.
Jack Gordon, CEO at WebRecon, said, a "Caveat [is that] early 2014 will likely bring some adjustments that may tighten these stats up a bit. Even so, FDCPA is now in its second year in a row of significant decline, FCRA is still plateaued and TCPA is skyrocketing. There is currently no reason to believe 2014 will significantly change any of those trends."
In November, a total of 759 different collection agencies and creditors were sued. An estimated 960 unique plaintiffs filed consumer statute lawsuits in the month, including an estimated 324 who previously had sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs filed an estimated 1,734 lawsuits since 2001.
Lawsuits were filed in 146 different district court branches. Illinois Northern District (Chicago) saw the largest number during the month with 62 lawsuits, followed by New York Eastern District (Brooklyn) with 36 and Pennsylvania Eastern District (Philadelphia) with 34.