Quick analysis: And… take a breath.

After a frenetic end to 2015, with consumer complaints in every category nearly off the charts, 2016 has had a relatively calmer (but still somewhat bumpy) start.

Sure, FCRA and TCPA are significantly up over Jan 2015 (+31.4% and +39.8% respectively), but that follows a multi-year trajectory for those statutes that does not seem to be abating anytime soon.

CFPB and FDCPA complaints balance it out with significantly fewer complaints (-17.6% and -19.1% respectively) than this time last year, also following their less dramatic (but still impressive) recent bumpy patterns.

As always, it is expected that the January CFPB complaint numbers will continue to settle over the coming weeks, and will likely close the gap a bit between 2015 and 2016 totals. The same is not going to be true about FDCPA lawsuits.

Fun Facts:

  • For January 2016, 33% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
  • About 831 different companies were sued, and 748 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB.
  • The percentage of suits filed as putative class actions were mixed, with 17.1% for FDCPA, 22.9% for TCPA and 16.9% for FCRA.
  • The Illinois Northern District Court in Chicago once again had the most litigation filed in it, with 98 consumers represented in litigation there. California had the most CFPB complaints against debt collectors, with 359.
  • Attorney Todd Friedman represented the most consumers for the month (and YTD) with 28.
Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Jan 01, 2016
Jan 31, 2016
Dec 01, 2015
Dec 31, 2015
Jan 01, 2015
Jan 31, 2015
CFPB Complaints  2705 2882 -6.1% 3282 -17.6%
FDCPA lawsuits  755 829 -8.9% 933 -19.1%
FCRA lawsuits  272 403 -32.5% 207 31.4%
TCPA lawsuits  362 289 25.3% 259 39.8%
YTD CFPB Complaints  2705 3282 -17.6%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  755 933 -19.1%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  272 207 31.4%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  362 259 39.8%


Complaint Statistics:

2705 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1160 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jan 01, 2016 to Jan 31, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2705 CFPB Complaints
  • 755 FDCPA, 129 Class Action (17.1%)
  • 362 TCPA, 83 Class Action (22.9%)
  • 272 FCRA, 46 Class Action (16.9%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1160 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 384, or (33%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3366 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 151 different US District Court branches.
  • About 831 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 98 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 58 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 40 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 38 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 37 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 36 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 30 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Southern Division – Santa Ana
  • 28 Lawsuits: Texas Eastern District Court – Sherman
  • 27 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 26 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 28 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 27 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 24 Consumers: KRISTI CAHOON KELLY
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 21 Consumers: DAVID S KLAIN
  • Representing 21 Consumers: ANDREW JOSEPH GUZZO
  • Representing 21 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 20 Consumers: SHARINA TALBOT ROMANO
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 18 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI

Statistics Year to Date:
1141 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 755 FDCPA
  • 272 FCRA
  • 362 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 1160 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 28 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 27 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 24 Consumers: KRISTI CAHOON KELLY
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 21 Consumers: DAVID S KLAIN
  • Representing 21 Consumers: ANDREW JOSEPH GUZZO
  • Representing 21 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 20 Consumers: SHARINA TALBOT ROMANO
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 18 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2705 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jan 01, 2016 to Jan 31, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 748

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 810 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (30%)
  • 533 Credit card (20%)
  • 523 I do not know (19%)
  • 478 Medical (18%)
  • 134 Payday loan (5%)
  • 81 Mortgage (3%)
  • 52 Auto (2%)
  • 50 Federal student loan (2%)
  • 44 Non-federal student loan (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1165 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 526 Disclosure verification of debt (19%)
  • 392 Communication tactics (14%)
  • 246 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 208 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 168 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 718 Debt is not mine (27%)
  • 353 Not given enough info to verify debt (13%)
  • 307 Debt was paid (11%)
  • 248 Frequent or repeated calls (9%)
  • 194 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 359 Complaints: CA
  • 292 Complaints: TX
  • 246 Complaints: FL
  • 123 Complaints: NY
  • 109 Complaints: GA
  • 97 Complaints: PA
  • 96 Complaints: OH
  • 87 Complaints: IL
  • 81 Complaints: WA
  • 78 Complaints: MD

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

  • 2705 (100%)

This includes 2455 (91%) timely responses to complaints, and 250 (9%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 2463 (91%) of them, disputed 242 (9%) of them, and 0 (%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 148 Complaints: Tue, 01/12/2016
  • 143 Complaints: Mon, 01/11/2016
  • 139 Complaints: Wed, 01/06/2016
  • 136 Complaints: Thu, 01/28/2016
  • 132 Complaints: Thu, 01/21/2016


API Access

We offer two powerful APIs to businesses that communicate with consumers:

  • The primary Litigious Consumer Scrub uses a combination of name, geography (and optionally SSN) to identify consumers who have filed lawsuits in the past.
  • The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub pulls every phone number from our proprietary database of litigants and runs your phones against ours.

These APIs allow you to check your data against our database on the fly. Clients love using this to handle risk management without missing a beat in their daily workflow.

Workers Comp Scrub

Workers Comp-inspired FDCPA lawsuits are growing aggressively, particularly in Florida. Only WebRecon can tell you who in your database may have a Florida Worker’s Comp case filed that could trigger litigation against you.

You can’t stop 100% of all lawsuits, but if you collect medical in Florida and you don’t have a process in place to show the court that you have a way to check every file against the Workers Comp database, then you have lost the case before it even begins.

Knock these suits out of the park with the Workers Comp Scrub.

Our Monthly Client Newsletter with The Litigant Hotsheet

Anyone can get our guest newsletter, but only clients get the version with the Litigant Hotsheet –  identifying the most active consumer Plaintiffs filing suit in jurisdictions around the country each month. Grab a coffee, shut your door and open your database to make sure you are doing all you can to stay safe.

Individual Vendor Consumer Complaint Search

Just like Vendor Monitoring, but without the monitoring. Search any business’s history of consumer complaints (Litigation, CFPB, BBB, State AG) with the click of a button! Great for on-the-fly gut checks of the companies you do business with.

Vendor Monitoring

Through vicarious liability, you can be held accountable for the bad behavior of your vendors. If they abuse consumers, for all intents and purposes, so do you. This is a big freakin’ deal!

But fear not, friend. WebRecon can track consumer litigation, CFPB, BBB and State AG Office complaints against the companies you do business with.

When a new complaint of any kind is filed against any of the companies you are monitoring, we’ll automatically push a report out to you with all of the publicly available details so you can react accordingly and if necessary, protect your interests.

The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub

Would you knowingly dial a number attached to a consumer with a history of litigation? Of course not.

But thousands of companies do just that, every single day. If you’d like to know who they are, simply review the court dockets. They are the ones getting sued the most.

Sure, you can stop dialing consumers. But your marketing and operations teams might not be too excited about that plan.

Another idea? Identify the consumers most likely to sue you, based on previous litigation histories, and just don’t call them.

Identify high-risk phones quickly & easily, before you expose yourself to unnecessary risk.

Litigation Context Search

This is really cool.

Our primary search engine is really designed to search for parties to litigation. Need to know more about a consumer plaintiff? That’s easy. Defendant? Check. Lawyer? No problem.

But if you need to find all 1099C lawsuits filed in July 2020… not so much.

Which is why we developed the Context Search. We have pulled out and indexed the full text from over 140k consumer lawsuits and made them available to you in a search engine, with more than 1000 new lawsuits added each month. Use it to search the text of filed litigation so you can easily identify those hard-to-define trends and cases worth following.

Individual Search Engine

Instantly and easily search our proprietary database for any lawsuit participant – Plaintiff, Defendant or Attorney.

In the results, we’ll show you the full consumer litigation history of any participant, including the “docket data” (who, what, why, where, when) and – in many cases – we can even provide a copy of their actual filed lawsuits.

You can also search by phone, date range, federal/state, class action, court, statute, etc. We offer a ton of flexibility to get you the exact search result you are looking for.

The Litigant Alert Ongoing Monitoring Process

Just like our one-time batch process, but without the whole “one time” thing.

When one of your consumers files new litigation against anyone in the future, you should be the first to know. Our monitoring service can make that happen.

WebRecon can monitor your entire database (or any segment of it) for future instances of consumer litigation filed by the very consumers you are working with, right now!

It is simple to add new consumers to the watchlist, remove inactive accounts, download full reports, etc.

Best of all, we only charge you for the volume of your monitoring database – not the frequency of the searches. Search daily, weekly, every Tuesday and Friday, the 15th of each month, whatever – it is totally up to you! You won’t pay a penny more.

The Litigant Alert One-Time Batch Process

This is our flagship service. Find out why hundreds of companies won’t contact any consumers before running them through WebRecon’s Litigant Alert.

This process identifies consumers with a history of litigation quickly & easily. If they have ever filed lawsuits under FDCPA, TCPA, FCRA or similar statutes, you’ll find out here. 

WebRecon’s proprietary database is simply the most comprehensive collection of dangerous consumer litigation data in existence. 

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