2016 Year in Review: FDCPA Down, FCRA & TCPA Up

Quick analysis: 2016 Year in Review: FDCPA 12% Down, FCRA Up 3.9% & TCPA Up 31.8%

2016 ended about as we expected, with:

  • A significant loss of traction for FDCPA, down 12% from 2015 (though, notably, still higher than 2014)
  • FCRA more or less treading water with a less-than-anticipated 3.9% growth rate from 2015, but maintaining last year’s huge growth spurt over 2014 and prior years
  • Continued explosive growth for TCPA, finishing 31.8% ahead of 2015 and decisively overtaking the #2 spot from FCRA – even if it didn’t quite crack 5k this year (if I can make the safest-sounding prediction for 2017 this early, look for TCPA to surpass 5k filings this fall).

Putative class actions were all fairly robust in 2016, with 17.1% of all FDCPA suits being filed on behalf of a class, as well as 21.3% for TCPA and 9.7% for FCRA.

Todd Friedman in California was the most active consumer attorney of the year, representing 410 consumers.

A total of 14,401 consumers were plaintiffs in 15,860 separate filings for the year. Of those plaintiffs, about 4995 (or 35%), had sued under consumer statutes before.

CFPB complaints, as expected, overtook 2015’s numbers – but just barely at 1.4%. That is consistent with 2015’s small 2.1% increase over 2014. 2013 was an incomplete year (and the first year) so its numbers don’t say much.

Read on for all of the numbers!

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Dec 01, 2016
Dec 31, 2016
Nov 01, 2016
Nov 30, 2016
Dec 01, 2015
Dec 31, 2015
CFPB Complaints  3433 3286 4.5% 2903 18.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  784 739 6.1% 833 -5.9%
FCRA lawsuits  279 390 -28.5% 416 -32.9%
TCPA lawsuits  362 330 9.7% 300 20.7%
YTD CFPB Complaints  40735 40183 1.4%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  10402 11816 -12.0%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  3960 3811 3.9%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  4860 3687 31.8%

 

Complaint Statistics:

3433 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1191 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Dec 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3433 CFPB Complaints
  • 784 FDCPA, 120 Class Action (15.3%)
  • 362 TCPA, 64 Class Action (17.7%)
  • 279 FCRA, 38 Class Action (13.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1191 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 452, or (38%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1795 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 150 different US District Court branches.
  • About 789 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 82 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 62 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 51 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 49 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 48 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 44 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 40 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 35 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 33 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 33 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 49 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 45 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 36 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 33 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 31 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MICHAEL KIND
  • Representing 21 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 21 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 20 Consumers: HERBERT LO

Statistics Year to Date:
15860 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 10402 FDCPA
  • 3960 FCRA
  • 4860 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 14401 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 410 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 403 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 323 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 315 Consumers: ELLIOT WAYNE GALE
  • Representing 307 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 289 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 285 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 269 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 262 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 258 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM

——————————————————————————————————-
CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3433 complaints filed against debt collectors from Dec 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 746

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1231 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (36%)
  • 698 Medical (20%)
  • 580 I do not know (17%)
  • 514 Credit card (15%)
  • 125 Payday loan (4%)
  • 93 Auto (3%)
  • 93 Mortgage (3%)
  • 50 Non-federal student loan (1%)
  • 49 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1520 Contd attempts collect debt not owed (44%)
  • 1007 Disclosure verification of debt (29%)
  • 370 Communication tactics (11%)
  • 195 False statements or representation (6%)
  • 190 Improper contact or sharing of info (6%)
  • 151 Taking/threatening an illegal action (4%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 898 Debt is not mine (26%)
  • 747 Not given enough info to verify debt (22%)
  • 362 Debt was paid (11%)
  • 222 Frequent or repeated calls (6%)
  • 215 Right to dispute notice not received (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 424 Complaints: CA
  • 412 Complaints: FL
  • 367 Complaints: TX
  • 225 Complaints: GA
  • 172 Complaints: NY
  • 141 Complaints: NC
  • 118 Complaints: OH
  • 109 Complaints: VA
  • 106 Complaints: IL
  • 102 Complaints: NJ

The status of the month’s complaints are as follows:

  • 3433 (100%)

This includes 3173 (92%) timely responses to complaints, and 260 (8%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 528 (15%) of them, and 2905 (85%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 257 Complaints: Fri, 12/16/2016
  • 189 Complaints: Mon, 12/19/2016
  • 181 Complaints: Mon, 12/12/2016
  • 175 Complaints: Wed, 12/07/2016
  • 168 Complaints: Wed, 12/21/2016