Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, June 2014

Quick analysis: In an interesting (yet relatively meaningless) twist, June 2014 FDCPA litigation is up but TCPA and FCRA litigation are down over May 2014.

FDCPA litigation had a relatively strong month with 806 suits filed, up 4% over 774 suits filed in May. TCPA and FCRA were both down a bit (particularly FCRA), with 4.3% and 21.9% drops, respectively. In YTD comparisons, FDCPA is closing the gap at 13.5% down against 2013 (down from 19.3% last month), TCPA is up 34.4% over 2013 and FCRA is up 11.2% over 2013.

Meanwhile, at the CFPB complaint database, complaints against debt collectors had a stronger month with, at reporting time, 3336 complaints filed. That number will rise over the coming weeks, making it a strong increase over May’s 3213 complaints, but still lower than April’s 3693 complaints and March’s 3598 complaints. Rounding out the year were February’s 3364 complaints and January’s 3271 complaints. To summarize, we have now had six months of complaint activity in the lower-mid 3000’s, and that trend appears to be sticking.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Jun 01 – 30, 2014 May 01 – 31, 2014 Jun 01 – 30, 2013
CFPB Complaints  3336 3213 3.7%
FDCPA lawsuits  806 774 4.0% 679 15.8%
FCRA lawsuits  169 206 -21.9% 148 12.4%
TCPA lawsuits  207 216 -4.3% 110 46.9%
YTD CFPB Complaints  20482
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  4864 5520 -13.5%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1172 1041 11.2%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  1325 869 34.4%

Litigation Statistics:

3336 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1081 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Jun 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3336 CFPB Complaints
  • 806 FDCPA
  • 207 TCPA
  • 169 FCRA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1081 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 364, or (34%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1420 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 152 different US District Court branches.
  • About 875 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 83 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 59 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 55 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 41 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 36 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 35 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 31 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 26 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 25 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 23 Lawsuits: Wisconsin Eastern District Court – Milwaukee

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 22 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 20 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 20 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 19 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 19 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 17 Consumers: MARIO KRIS KASALO
  • Representing 17 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 16 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI
  • Representing 15 Consumers: ARTURO ESTEBAN MATTHEWS
  • Representing 15 Consumers: MARY ELIZABETH PHILIPPS

Statistics Year to Date:

6309 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 4864 FDCPA
  • 1172 FCRA
  • 1325 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 6320 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 293 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 137 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 107 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 100 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 99 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 89 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 86 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 83 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 71 Consumers: JOSHUA B SWIGART
  • Representing 66 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3336 complaints filed against debt collectors in Jun 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 759

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 904 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (27%)
  • 717 (21%)
  • 702 Credit card (21%)
  • 374 Medical (11%)
  • 265 Payday loan (8%)
  • 112 Mortgage (3%)
  • 91 Non-federal student loan (3%)
  • 86 Auto (3%)
  • 85 Federal student loan (3%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1334 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (40%)
  • 668 Communication tactics (20%)
  • 552 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 292 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 273 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 217 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 847 Debt is not mine (25%)
  • 430 Not given enough info to verify debt (13%)
  • 409 Frequent or repeated calls (12%)
  • 364 Debt was paid (11%)
  • 215 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 428 Complaints: CA
  • 368 Complaints: TX
  • 296 Complaints: FL
  • 177 Complaints: NY
  • 128 Complaints: VA
  • 124 Complaints: NJ
  • 122 Complaints: GA
  • 115 Complaints: PA
  • 110 Complaints: IL
  • 97 Complaints: NC

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

  • 2264 Closed with explanation (68%)
  • 629 Closed with non-monetary relief (19%)
  • 199 In progress (6%)
  • 122 Closed (4%)
  • 61 Untimely response (2%)
  • 61 Closed with monetary relief (2%)

This includes 3164 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 172 (5%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 2819 (85%) of them, and disputed 517 (15%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 259 Complaints: Thu, 06/12/2014
  • 158 Complaints: Thu, 06/19/2014
  • 157 Complaints: Tue, 06/03/2014
  • 152 Complaints: Thu, 06/05/2014
  • 151 Complaints: Wed, 06/18/2014