Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, January 2015

Quick analysis: 2015 has started with a whimper, with CFPB complaints just edging up from December 2014, but FDCPA/FCRA/TCPA litigation all decisively lower than they were in December (9%, 14.1% and 17.9%, respectively).

The lift in CFPB complaints is 7.1%, though history shows that will tighten up in the weeks ahead as more cases from January are made public.

Class actions are still all over the board, continuing a new trend from last month, with 15.7% of FDCPA, 4.2% of TCPA and 7.9% of FCRA lawsuits being filed that way.

Repeat filers represented about 36% of all January litigation.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Jan 01 – 31, 2015 Dec 01 – 31, 2014 Jan 01 – 31, 2014
CFPB Complaints  3204 2992 7.1% 3280 -2.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  765 841 -9.0% 726 5.4%
FCRA lawsuits  177 206 -14.1% 200 -11.5%
TCPA lawsuits  142 173 -17.9% 213 -33.3%
YTD CFPB Complaints  3204 3280 -2.3%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  765 726 5.4%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  177 200 -11.5%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  142 213 -33.3%

Complaint Statistics:

3204 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 929 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Jan 2015. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3204 CFPB Complaints
  • 765 FDCPA, 120 Class Action (15.7%)
  • 142 TCPA, 6 Class Action (4.2%)
  • 177 FCRA, 14 Class Action (7.9%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 929 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 335, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1270 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 146 different US District Court branches.
  • About 706 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 75 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 51 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 41 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 31 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 30 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 23 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 23 Lawsuits: New York Western District Court – Buffalo
  • 22 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 21 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 19 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 28 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: CATHLEEN M COMBS
  • Representing 21 Consumers: JAMES O LATTURNER
  • Representing 20 Consumers: VICKI PIONTEK
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SETH ANDREWS
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI
  • Representing 19 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN

Statistics Year to Date:

918 total lawsuits for 2015, including:

  • 765 FDCPA
  • 177 FCRA
  • 142 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2015: 929 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 28 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: CATHLEEN M COMBS
  • Representing 21 Consumers: JAMES O LATTURNER
  • Representing 20 Consumers: VICKI PIONTEK
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SETH ANDREWS
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI
  • Representing 19 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3204 complaints filed against debt collectors in Jan 2015.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 806

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 935 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (29%)
  • 707 Unknown (22%)
  • 643 Credit card (20%)
  • 507 Medical (16%)
  • 174 Payday loan (5%)
  • 71 Mortgage (2%)
  • 66 Auto (2%)
  • 59 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 42 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1397 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (44%)
  • 566 Communication tactics (18%)
  • 552 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 259 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 252 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 178 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 845 Debt is not mine (26%)
  • 386 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 359 Frequent or repeated calls (11%)
  • 337 Not given enough info to verify debt (11%)
  • 202 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 399 Complaints: CA
  • 317 Complaints: TX
  • 275 Complaints: FL
  • 183 Complaints: NY
  • 156 Complaints: GA
  • 141 Complaints: IL
  • 128 Complaints: PA
  • 107 Complaints: OH
  • 98 Complaints: VA
  • 85 Complaints: NJ

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

  • 2139 Closed with explanation (67%)
  • 523 Closed with non-monetary relief (16%)
  • 230 In progress (7%)
  • 146 Closed (5%)
  • 133 Untimely response (4%)
  • 33 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 2972 (93%) timely responses to complaints, and 232 (7%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 339 (11%) of them, and 2865 (89%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 186 Complaints: Wed, 01/28/2015
  • 171 Complaints: Tue, 01/27/2015
  • 163 Complaints: Wed, 01/21/2015
  • 152 Complaints: Thu, 01/22/2015
  • 152 Complaints: Fri, 01/23/2015