Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, January 2014

Quick analysis: 2014 started without any big surprises in consumer litigation. FDCPA filings in January are down from a year ago, and TCPA & FCRA are up. But with only one month of data it is too early to draw any meaningful conclusions yet.

CFPB complaints have been adjusted for some significant new data influxes. 2013 saw a total of 11,043 CFPB complaints filed against debt collectors. With a January 2014 total of 2975 complaints, it is a pretty safe bet that this year will eclipse last year in total complaint volume – likely within just a few months. Scroll down to see CFPB details from January.

stats_201401

Litigation Statistics:

2975 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 940 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in January 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2975 CFPB Complaints
  • 709 FDCPA
  • 191 FCRA
  • 208 TCPA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 940 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 299, or (31.8%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1595 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 141 different US District Court branches.
  • About 782 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 50 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 41 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 36 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 31 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 30 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 29 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 27 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 26 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 23 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Miami
  • 22 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 55 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 27 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 20 Consumers: Matthew Jon Militzok
  • Representing 18 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 17 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 16 Consumers: Jody Berke Burton
  • Representing 16 Consumers: Tammy L Hussin
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 14 Consumers: Yechezkel Rodal
  • Representing 14 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades

——————————————————————————————————-
CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2975 complaints filed against debt collectors in January 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 627

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 779 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (26.2%)
  • 673 Credit card (22.6%)
  • 634 Unknown (21.3%)
  • 285 Medical (9.6%)
  • 235 Payday loan (7.9%)
  • 124 Mortgage (4.2%)
  • 103 Auto (3.5%)
  • 72 Federal student loan (2.4%)
  • 70 Non-federal student loan (2.4%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1215 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (40.8%)
  • 561 Communication tactics (18.9%)
  • 508 Disclosure verification of debt (17.1%)
  • 265 Improper contact or sharing of info (8.9%)
  • 233 False statements or representation (7.8%)
  • 193 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6.5%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 777 Debt is not mine (26.1%)
  • 363 Frequent or repeated calls (12.2%)
  • 358 Not given enough info to verify debt (12%)
  • 297 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 181 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6.1%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 375 Complaints: CA
  • 290 Complaints: TX
  • 263 Complaints: FL
  • 205 Complaints: NY
  • 116 Complaints: OH
  • 109 Complaints: VA
  • 105 Complaints: NJ
  • 105 Complaints: GA
  • 98 Complaints: PA
  • 93 Complaints: IL

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

  • 2027 Closed with explanation (68.1%)
  • 477 Closed with non-monetary relief (16%)
  • 261 In progress (8.8%)
  • 93 Closed (3.1%)
  • 70 Closed with monetary relief (2.4%)
  • 47 Untimely response (1.6%)

This includes 2894 (97.3%) timely responses to complaints, and 81 (2.7%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 2505 (84.2%) of them, and disputed 470 (15.8%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 190 Complaints: Wed, 01/22/2014
  • 174 Complaints: Thu, 01/16/2014
  • 142 Complaints: Thu, 01/09/2014
  • 137 Complaints: Fri, 01/17/2014
  • 136 Complaints: Mon, 01/13/2014