Quick analysis: Overall, it was a fairly strong month for consumer complaints. FDCPA litigation had a rare rally, with an 8% increase at 947 lawsuits (over 875 the previous month, which itself was a strong number). It was not enough to decrease the YTD decline over 2013, but that is primarily because April 2013 was also a very strong month with 1140 lawsuits filed. FCRA was a bit down, but TCPA dominated the month by officially overtaking FCRA as the #2 category in raw numbers, after FDCPA.

CFPB complaints were also strong, tracking just a bit lower (1%) than the previous month. However, if the pattern holds with CFPB complaint, that number will continue to rise over the coming weeks and will probably turn into an increase by this time next month.

Litigation Statistics:

3582 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1257 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in April 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3582 CFPB Complaints
  • 947 FDCPA
  • 235 TCPA
  • 213 FCRA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1257 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 453, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2289 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 167 different US District Court branches.
  • About 906 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 75 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 54 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 49 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 41 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 39 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 37 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 37 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 32 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 25 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Miami
  • 23 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 73 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 28 Consumers: John Thomas Steinkamp
  • Representing 27 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 27 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades
  • Representing 23 Consumers: Robert Knox Tinkham
  • Representing 19 Consumers: Mark D Mailman
  • Representing 18 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 18 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 17 Consumers: Todd M Friedman
  • Representing 16 Consumers: Mario Kris Kasalo

Statistics Year to Date:
4111 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 3294 FDCPA
  • 908 FCRA
  • 802 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs: 4339 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 254 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 101 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 75 Consumers: John Thomas Steinkamp
  • Representing 74 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades
  • Representing 65 Consumers: Todd M Friedman
  • Representing 60 Consumers: Erikson M Davis
  • Representing 56 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 53 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 52 Consumers: Adam Jon Fishbein
  • Representing 46 Consumers: Joshua B Swigart

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3582 complaints filed against debt collectors in April 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 741

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 994 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (27.7%)
  • 748 Credit card (20.9%)
  • 743 Unknown (20.7%)
  • 347 Medical (9.7%)
  • 304 Payday loan (8.5%)
  • 172 Mortgage (4.8%)
  • 104 Auto (2.9%)
  • 91 Non-federal student loan (2.5%)
  • 79 Federal student loan (2.2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1321 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (36.9%)
  • 714 Communication tactics (19.9%)
  • 637 Disclosure verification of debt (17.8%)
  • 332 False statements or representation (9.3%)
  • 300 Improper contact or sharing of info (8.4%)
  • 278 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7.8%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 802 Debt is not mine (22.4%)
  • 458 Not given enough info to verify debt (12.8%)
  • 440 Frequent or repeated calls (12.3%)
  • 392 Debt was paid (10.9%)
  • 256 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7.1%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 454 Complaints: CA
  • 359 Complaints: FL
  • 338 Complaints: TX
  • 241 Complaints: NY
  • 145 Complaints: OH
  • 134 Complaints: IL
  • 134 Complaints: NJ
  • 127 Complaints: PA
  • 122 Complaints: GA
  • 99 Complaints: VA

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

  • 2396 Closed with explanation (66.9%)
  • 582 Closed with non-monetary relief (16.2%)
  • 305 In progress (8.5%)
  • 130 Untimely response (3.6%)
  • 112 Closed (3.1%)
  • 57 Closed with monetary relief (1.6%)

This includes 3300 (92.1%) timely responses to complaints, and 282 (7.9%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 3043 (85%) of them, and disputed 539 (15%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 184 Complaints: Wed, 04/23/2014
  • 176 Complaints: Tue, 04/29/2014
  • 166 Complaints: Thu, 04/10/2014
  • 164 Complaints: Thu, 04/17/2014
  • 164 Complaints: Mon, 04/07/2014

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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