Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, June 2015

Quick analysis: The summer heat must be rekindling those warm old memories of litigiousness, because June saw uncharacteristically strong consumer litigation activity across all three primary statutes: FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA. All three had a big month, with double-digit increases over their performance in May.

Year to date FDCPA suits are roaring back from a four-year lull, with growth not seen since 2011. It is up 16% over this time last year, and shows no imminent signs of slowing down.

FCRA is up 22.7% over this time last year, which itself was a record year.

TCPA is still down over last year (continuing a trend for TCPA in 2015), but by a much smaller margin than last month. It cut the YTD decline almost in half from 9.2% to 5.1% due to a very strong June (up 64.9% over May). If it keeps this momentum, it will surely come out ahead for the year again in July or August.

CFPB complaints against debt collectors are also up YTD over 2014, but by the slimmest of margins – .5%.

Interestingly, CFPB complaints are up significantly over last month, which is not inherently unusual, but it is unusual to see it this early. It often takes CFPB complaints another few weeks of trickling out before they overtake the previous month.

Fun Facts:
∙ For June 2015, about 36% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
∙ About 817 different companies were sued.
∙ Class actions were relatively high, with 12.9% for FDCPA, 14.1% for TCPA and 11.1% for FCRA.
∙ The Illinois Northern District Court of Chicago had the most litigation filed in it, with 91 lawsuits invoking consumer statutes.
∙ Attorney Craig B. Sanders represented the most consumers for the month – 59.

201506_stats

Complaint Statistics:

3359 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1326 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jun 01, 2015 to Jun 30, 2015. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3359 CFPB Complaints
  • 1129 FDCPA, 146 Class Action (12.9%)
  • 249 TCPA, 35 Class Action (14.1%)
  • 298 FCRA, 33 Class Action (11.1%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1326 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 471, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1720 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 159 different US District Court branches.
  • About 817 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 91 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 64 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 54 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 52 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 45 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 38 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 37 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 37 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 29 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 27 Lawsuits: Arizona District Court – Phoenix

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 59 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 30 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 28 Consumers: MEGAN A KERRIGAN
  • Representing 27 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 26 Consumers: AMY LYNN BENNECOFF GINSBURG
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 19 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 18 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 17 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI
  • Representing 17 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS

Statistics Year to Date:
7261 total lawsuits for 2015, including:

  • 5823 FDCPA
  • 1514 FCRA
  • 1318 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2015: 6917 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 152 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 119 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 118 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 106 Consumers: AMY LYNN BENNECOFF GINSBURG
  • Representing 93 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 92 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 91 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 91 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 90 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 87 Consumers: SHPETIM ADEMI

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

There were 3359 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jun 01, 2015 to Jun 30, 2015.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 820

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1002 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (30%)
  • 746 Unknown (22%)
  • 672 Credit card (20%)
  • 524 Medical (16%)
  • 153 Payday loan (5%)
  • 83 Mortgage (2%)
  • 81 Auto (2%)
  • 51 Federal student loan (2%)
  • 47 Non-federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1379 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (41%)
  • 666 Disclosure verification of debt (20%)
  • 548 Communication tactics (16%)
  • 280 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 253 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 233 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 887 Debt is not mine (26%)
  • 462 Not given enough info to verify debt (14%)
  • 350 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 340 Frequent or repeated calls (10%)
  • 225 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 461 Complaints: CA
  • 376 Complaints: TX
  • 357 Complaints: FL
  • 214 Complaints: NY
  • 141 Complaints: IL
  • 130 Complaints: GA
  • 110 Complaints: PA
  • 108 Complaints: VA
  • 102 Complaints: OH
  • 100 Complaints: NJ

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

  • 1989 (59%)
  • 902 Closed with explanation (27%)
  • 213 Closed with non-monetary relief (6%)
  • 136 In progress (4%)
  • 70 Closed (2%)
  • 39 Untimely response (1%)
  • 10 Closed with monetary relief (%)

This includes 3103 (92%) timely responses to complaints, and 256 (8%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 522 (16%) of them, and 2837 (84%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 175 Complaints: Tue, 06/16/2015
  • 172 Complaints: Tue, 06/09/2015
  • 169 Complaints: Wed, 06/10/2015
  • 164 Complaints: Wed, 06/24/2015
  • 159 Complaints: Thu, 06/11/2015