A Summer Reprieve… Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Stats, May 2016

Quick analysis: A Summer Reprieve…

Welcome to summer! Everything is significantly down in May 2016 consumer complaints. TCPA is leading the charge with a 19.6% drop from April, while FDCPA and FCRA trail a bit behind at 14.8% and 15.4% down, respectively.

Even CFPB complaints are down more than usual, with a 14.6% drop from an April which was already down very significantly from March. Of course, we are still watching May data trickle in for a few more weeks, so expect that to go up a few points.

Good news all around for the collection industry. The only blanket we can throw on this month’s numbers is the fact that while TCPA and FCRA had significant dips in May activity, year-to-date they are still way up over 2015. And those YTD numbers are still pretty big: TCPA is up 56.6% and FCRA is up 26% over 2015 so far.

Fun Facts:

  • For May 2016, 35% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
  • About 927 different companies were sued, down 2.5% over the 950 last month. And 715 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB, about 4% higher than last month’s 687 (but remember the caveat about more data trickling in).
  • The percentage of suits filed as putative class actions were fairly strong for two out of the three main statutes, with 18% for FDCPA, 17.2% for TCPA and only 7.3% for FCRA.
  • California attorney Todd M. Friedman represented the most consumers for the month with 30, and also the most consumers YTD with 171.
Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
May 01, 2016
May 31, 2016
Apr 01, 2016
Apr 30, 2016
May 01, 2015
May 31, 2015
CFPB Complaints  2725 3192 -14.6% 3374 -19.2%
FDCPA lawsuits  839 985 -14.8% 955 -12.1%
FCRA lawsuits  302 357 -15.4% 247 22.3%
TCPA lawsuits  349 434 -19.6% 238 46.6%
YTD CFPB Complaints  15700 17408 -9.8%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  4425 4833 -8.4%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1550 1230 26.0%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  2003 1279 56.6%

 

Complaint Statistics:

2725 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1267 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from May 01, 2016 to May 31, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2725 CFPB Complaints
  • 839 FDCPA, 151 Class Action (18.0%)
  • 349 TCPA, 60 Class Action (17.2%)
  • 302 FCRA, 22 Class Action (7.3%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1267 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 444, or (35%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2704 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 161 different US District Court branches.
  • About 927 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 108 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 52 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 49 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 48 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 40 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 37 Lawsuits: Arizona District Court – Phoenix
  • 35 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 35 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 29 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 28 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 30 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 28 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 27 Consumers: JASON BRYANT MCGARY
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 24 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 23 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 23 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN

Statistics Year to Date:
6560 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 4425 FDCPA
  • 1550 FCRA
  • 2003 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 6260 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 171 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 134 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 130 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 124 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 124 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 113 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 107 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 105 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 97 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN
  • Representing 97 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2725 complaints filed against debt collectors from May 01, 2016 to May 31, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 715

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 878 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (32%)
  • 498 Credit card (18%)
  • 488 I do not know (18%)
  • 469 Medical (17%)
  • 127 Mortgage (5%)
  • 110 Payday loan (4%)
  • 54 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 54 Auto (2%)
  • 47 Federal student loan (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1128 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (41%)
  • 638 Disclosure verification of debt (23%)
  • 375 Communication tactics (14%)
  • 244 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 185 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
  • 155 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 612 Debt is not mine (22%)
  • 448 Not given enough info to verify debt (16%)
  • 363 Debt was paid (13%)
  • 213 Frequent or repeated calls (8%)
  • 182 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 356 Complaints: CA
  • 277 Complaints: TX
  • 275 Complaints: FL
  • 142 Complaints: NY
  • 134 Complaints: GA
  • 104 Complaints: OH
  • 100 Complaints: IL
  • 99 Complaints: MD
  • 95 Complaints: NJ
  • 77 Complaints: PA

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

  • 2725 (100%)

This includes 2530 (93%) timely responses to complaints, and 195 (7%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 76 (3%) of them, disputed 286 (10%) of them, and 2363 (87%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 154 Complaints: Wed, 05/18/2016
  • 144 Complaints: Thu, 05/19/2016
  • 141 Complaints: Thu, 05/05/2016
  • 137 Complaints: Wed, 05/11/2016
  • 134 Complaints: Tue, 05/10/2016