The new normal in consumer statute lawsuit numbers appears to be an increase in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) filings and a decrease in both Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) filings, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based data firm WebRecon LLC.
The numbers in the past several months have gone in those directions compared with 2012, according to WebRecon CEO Jack Gordon.
TCPA filings reached 1,332 through September 30, up a whopping 70% over the same period in 2012. What's more, the TCPA became more strict this month and the numbers in future months will reflect an even more fertile environment for consumer litigation, according to Gordon. WebRecon is a data tracking company that pulls the lawsuit totals from U.S. district courts.
WebRecon's projection for FDCPA litigation this year is an estimated 10,850 lawsuits, while FCRA should finish roughly at 2,300 lawsuits and TCPA at an estimated 1,775 lawsuits.?
For September, an estimated 841 different collection agencies and creditors were sued. Consumers filed an estimated 983 lawsuits in the month - including 800 lawsuits citing FDCPA violations, 207 citing FCRA violations and 162 citing TCPA violations.
Several cases cited more than one statute. Of the cases, there were an estimated 1,088 unique plaintiffs, including 418 who previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 2,088 lawsuits since 2001.