Quick analysis: Well, 2013 is over. And, as expected, FDCPA litigation has decreased for the second year in a row, down 10% over 2012 (which itself was down 7% over 2011). Also expected, TCPA litigation exploded this year, up 69% over 2012. The one surprise in the year-end numbers is that FCRA litigation eked out a small increase (just 1%, but still) over 2012, after spending most of the year down from 2012.

Meanwhile, CFPB complaints against debt collectors seem to have settled into a 1200’ish monthly rate, after exploding out of the gate over the summer. (The best explanation we can come up with for that, by the way, is pent-up demand.)

Our bold prediction for 2014 (don’t hold us to it, though…) is that FDCPA litigation has probably come close to bottoming out and will likely stabilize in the 9k-10k/year area. That assumes a minimum of around 750 lawsuits/month on average, which seems to be where we are now.


Year-Over-Year Numbers


Statistics for December 2013:

1254 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1026 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in December 2013. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 1254 CFPB Complaints
  • 767 FDCPA
  • 221 FCRA
  • 173 TCPA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1026 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 371, or (36.2%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1896 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 144 different US District Court branches.
  • About 881 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 76 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 42 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 35 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 33 Lawsuits: New York Southern District Court – Foley Square
  • 33 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 25 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 24 Lawsuits: Hawaii District Court – Honolulu
  • 24 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 23 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 23 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 41 Consumers: Roger Y Dewa
  • Representing 40 Consumers: Craig Thor Kimmel
  • Representing 22 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 20 Consumers: Jody Berke Burton
  • Representing 20 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 18 Consumers: N James Turner
  • Representing 17 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 17 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 17 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 16 Consumers: Tammy L Hussin

Statistics Year to Date:

11962 total lawsuits for 2013, including:

  • 10320 FDCPA
  • 2276 FCRA
  • 1862 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs: 12,601 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 369 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 279 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 235 Consumers: Craig Thor Kimmel
  • Representing 225 Consumers: Daniel A Edelman
  • Representing 210 Consumers: Jody Berke Burton
  • Representing 204 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 195 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 171 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 171 Consumers: Gary D Nitzkin
  • Representing 169 Consumers: Cathleen M Combs

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 1254 complaints filed against debt collectors in December 2013.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 383

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 357 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (28.5%)
  • 275 Unknown (21.9%)
  • 255 Credit card (20.3%)
  • 156 Medical (12.4%)
  • 63 Payday loan (5%)
  • 42 Mortgage (3.3%)
  • 39 Auto (3.1%)
  • 36 Non-federal student loan (2.9%)
  • 31 Federal student loan (2.5%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 534 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (42.6%)
  • 246 Communication tactics (19.6%)
  • 214 Disclosure verification of debt (17.1%)
  • 97 Improper contact or sharing of info (7.7%)
  • 85 False statements or representation (6.8%)
  • 78 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6.2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 324 Debt is not mine (25.8%)
  • 167 Frequent or repeated calls (13.3%)
  • 143 Debt was paid (11.4%)
  • 140 Not given enough info to verify debt (11.2%)
  • 63 Right to dispute notice not received (5%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 142 Complaints: CA
  • 119 Complaints: TX
  • 105 Complaints: FL
  • 100 Complaints: NY
  • 54 Complaints: NJ
  • 48 Complaints: PA
  • 44 Complaints: GA
  • 41 Complaints: IL
  • 37 Complaints: VA
  • 36 Complaints: MI

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

  • 815 Closed with explanation (65%)
  • 219 Closed with non-monetary relief (17.5%)
  • 158 In progress (12.6%)
  • 32 Closed (2.6%)
  • 23 Closed with monetary relief (1.8%)
  • 7 Untimely response (0.6%)

This includes 1246 (99.4%) timely responses to complaints, and 8 (0.6%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 1106 (88.2%) of them, and disputed 148 (11.8%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 78 Complaints: Tue, 12/10/2013
  • 69 Complaints: Fri, 12/13/2013
  • 69 Complaints: Mon, 12/02/2013
  • 68 Complaints: Tue, 12/17/2013
  • 66 Complaints: Wed, 12/11/2013


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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