and… Take a Breath. Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, Jan 2016

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