Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, August 2014

Quick analysis: For the first time in memory (and possibly ever), everything is down in August, including TCPA. And TCPA almost never goes down. Looks like everything took an August siesta this year.

  • CFPB complaints are down 16.4% from 3472 in July to 2984 in August.
  • FDCPA lawsuits are down 14.3% from 833 in July to 729 in August.
  • FCRA lawsuits are down 34.4% from 207 in July to 154 in August.
  • TCPA lawsuits are down 4.8% from 197 in July to 188 in August.

Year to date, however, everything except FDCPA is still up. FDCPA is still lagging 13.1% from this time last year.

Class Actions: Of the 729 FDCPA cases filed, 76 (10.4%) of them are class actions. Of the 154 FCRA lawsuits filed, 10 (6.5%) are class actions. And of the 188 TCPA lawsuits filed, 11 (5.9%) are class actions.

Repeat Filers: Finally, 29% of the consumers who filed litigation in August are considered repeat filers, having filed similar litigation in the past.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Aug 01 – 31, 2014 Jul 01 – 31, 2014 Aug 01 – 31, 2013
CFPB Complaints  2984 3472 -16.4% 1497 -99.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  729 833 -14.3% 874 -19.9%
FCRA lawsuits  154 207 -34.4% 258 -67.5%
TCPA lawsuits  188 197 -4.8% 163 13.3%
YTD CFPB Complaints  27004 2398 91.1%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  6435 7280 -13.1%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1535 1475 3.9%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  1714 1175 31.4%

Complaint Statistics:

2984 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1001 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Aug 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2984 CFPB Complaints
  • 729 FDCPA, 76 Class Action (10.4%)
  • 188 TCPA, 11 Class Action (5.9%)
  • 154 FCRA, 10 Class Action (6.5%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1001 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 295, or (29%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1176 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 148 different US District Court branches.
  • About 741 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 75 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 45 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 38 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 36 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 28 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 26 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 25 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 24 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 24 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 20 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 53 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 30 Consumers: MEREDITH B STEWART
  • Representing 24 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 18 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 17 Consumers: DANIEL JOHN MCGARRY
  • Representing 17 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 17 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 16 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 14 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 14 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS

Statistics Year to Date:

8318 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 6435 FDCPA
  • 1535 FCRA
  • 1714 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 8230 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 376 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 186 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 124 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 124 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 117 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 115 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 114 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 109 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 103 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 92 Consumers: MARY ELIZABETH PHILIPPS

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2984 complaints filed against debt collectors in Aug 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 686

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 859 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (29%)
  • 638 Unknown (21%)
  • 634 Credit card (21%)
  • 424 Medical (14%)
  • 174 Payday loan (6%)
  • 95 Mortgage (3%)
  • 58 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 52 Federal student loan (2%)
  • 50 Auto (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1289 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 525 Communication tactics (18%)
  • 512 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 245 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 218 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
  • 195 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 829 Debt is not mine (28%)
  • 351 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 341 Not given enough info to verify debt (11%)
  • 325 Frequent or repeated calls (11%)
  • 188 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 441 Complaints: CA
  • 283 Complaints: FL
  • 265 Complaints: TX
  • 149 Complaints: GA
  • 140 Complaints: NY
  • 108 Complaints: IL
  • 103 Complaints: NJ
  • 102 Complaints: OH
  • 95 Complaints: VA
  • 88 Complaints: PA

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

  • 1991 Closed with explanation (67%)
  • 504 Closed with non-monetary relief (17%)
  • 231 In progress (8%)
  • 125 Closed (4%)
  • 101 Untimely response (3%)
  • 32 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 2822 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 162 (5%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (0%) of them, disputed 241 (8%) of them, and 2743 (92%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 169 Complaints: Wed, 08/06/2014
  • 155 Complaints: Wed, 08/20/2014
  • 152 Complaints: Wed, 08/13/2014
  • 147 Complaints: Tue, 08/12/2014
  • 143 Complaints: Tue, 08/05/2014