Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, February 2015

Quick analysis: February litigation against debt collectors picked up a bit from January\’s across-the-board decline, but (surprisingly) TCPA is still lagging significantly from both last month (down 13.4%) and this time last year (down 46.1%).

Both FDCPA and FCRA have increased over last month (up 10.1% and 28.2%, respectively) and this time last year (up 5.9% and 22.7%, respectively).

One word of caution… the overall numbers are still pretty small and it is early in the year (with only two months of data), so it is premature to draw significant conclusions from what appears to be a positive trend in TCPA and negative trends in FDCPA and FCRA.

Class actions were robust for FDPA last month at 17.3% of all cases, and average for TCPA (8.1%) and FCRA (9.3%). Repeat filers represented about 31% of all February litigation.

On to CFPB complaints against debt collectors. As of publication, 3380 complaints were filed against 830 different debt collectors in February. That is up 3.1% over January , and will likely continue to edge up as more complaints go public.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
  Feb 01 – 28, 2015 Jan 01 – 31, 2015 Feb 01 – 28, 2014
 
CFPB Complaints  3380 3278 3.1% 3369 0.3%
 
FDCPA lawsuits  842 765 10.1% 795 5.9%
FCRA lawsuits  227 177 28.2% 185 22.7%
TCPA lawsuits  123 142 -13.4% 228 -46.1%
 
YTD CFPB Complaints  6658 6649 0.1%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  1607 1521 5.7%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  404 385 4.9%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  265 441 -39.9%

Complaint Statistics:

3380 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1045 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Feb 2015. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3380 CFPB Complaints
  • 842 FDCPA, 146 Class Action (17.3%)
  • 123 TCPA, 10 Class Action (8.1%)
  • 227 FCRA, 21 Class Action (9.3%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1045 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 329, or (31%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1285 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 151 different US District Court branches.
  • About 719 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 82 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 57 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 54 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 36 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 34 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 33 Lawsuits: Missouri Eastern District Court – St. Louis – Eastern Division
  • 28 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 27 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 26 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 23 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 27 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 22 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 21 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 20 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 16 Consumers: HASSAN ALI ZAVAREEI
  • Representing 16 Consumers: AMY LYNN BENNECOFF GINSBURG
  • Representing 15 Consumers: MARK D MAILMAN
  • Representing 15 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL MENDITTO
  • Representing 15 Consumers: JEFFREY SCOTT HYSLIP
  • Representing 15 Consumers: DANNY HOREN

Statistics Year to Date:
1926 total lawsuits for 2015, including:

  • 1607 FDCPA
  • 404 FCRA
  • 265 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2015: 1938 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 55 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 39 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 35 Consumers: JAMES O LATTURNER
  • Representing 35 Consumers: CATHLEEN M COMBS
  • Representing 31 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 31 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 31 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI
  • Representing 30 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 29 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3380 complaints filed against debt collectors in Feb 2015.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 830

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1026 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (30%)
  • 780 Unknown (23%)
  • 670 Credit card (20%)
  • 479 Medical (14%)
  • 179 Payday loan (5%)
  • 73 Auto (2%)
  • 69 Mortgage (2%)
  • 54 Federal student loan (2%)
  • 50 Non-federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1522 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (45%)
  • 590 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 562 Communication tactics (17%)
  • 278 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 252 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
  • 176 Taking/threatening an illegal action (5%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1007 Debt is not mine (30%)
  • 391 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 370 Not given enough info to verify debt (11%)
  • 330 Frequent or repeated calls (10%)
  • 215 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 435 Complaints: CA
  • 304 Complaints: FL
  • 285 Complaints: TX
  • 196 Complaints: NY
  • 130 Complaints: OH
  • 128 Complaints: IL
  • 125 Complaints: NJ
  • 125 Complaints: GA
  • 111 Complaints: PA
  • 95 Complaints: TN

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

  • 2226 Closed with explanation (66%)
  • 602 Closed with non-monetary relief (18%)
  • 219 In progress (6%)
  • 158 Closed (5%)
  • 135 Untimely response (4%)
  • 40 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3123 (92%) timely responses to complaints, and 257 (8%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 325 (10%) of them, and 3055 (90%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 182 Complaints: Wed, 02/18/2015
  • 178 Complaints: Wed, 02/25/2015
  • 177 Complaints: Tue, 02/24/2015
  • 174 Complaints: Thu, 02/19/2015
  • 168 Complaints: Thu, 02/05/2015