Quick analysis: In the March data we see an answer to one burning question… why were CFPB complaints down so drastically (like 20%) last month? The answer is simple… they weren’t. But, the CFPB did not release the data to show us the full picture until April. Data availability issues aside, we now starting to see a fairly consistent pattern with consumer complaints filed against debt collectors through the CFPB. Take a look at the actual numbers:

201404-cfpb-month-over-month

Other than October 2013, we see complaint volumes holding steady or rising every month. It is reasonable to expect all of these numbers to continue to grow, by the way, as the CFPB continues to populate the complaint database with older data. But the pattern should stay reasonably intact: we have probably not topped out yet in monthly complaint volume.

In consumer litigation, we are seeing a fairly strong uptick in FDCPA lawsuits filed in March 2014, with 875. Compare this to data from the last six months:

201404-fdcpa-month-over-month

Maybe it is nothing. Then again, maybe the market for FDCPA litigation has begun to balance itself. The months ahead will tell. Either way, FDCPA is still down 18% over last year, continuing the three-year trend of declining glory.

FCRA and TCPA litigation hold no big surprises, other than perhaps how close TCPA seems to be to overtaking FCRA as the 2nd most-litigated consumer statute in the debt collection arena. Note that in the first three months of 2011, there were 108 TCPA lawsuits to 296 FCRA lawsuits. In 2012 it was 258 TCPA to 595 FCRA. And last year, it was 478 TCPA to 624 FCRA. This year, in the first three months of tracking, there are 597 TCPA lawsuits to 657 FCRA lawsuits. It is not a matter of if TCPA overtakes FCRA this year, but how many (or few) months will it take to become official.

201404-litigation-stats

Litigation Statistics:

About 3428 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1194 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in March 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3428 CFPB Complaints
  • 875 FDCPA
  • 217 FCRA
  • 224 TCPA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1194 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 413, or (34.6%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2100 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 157 different US District Court branches.
  • About 846 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 68 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 65 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 50 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 36 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 35 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 34 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 31 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 30 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 29 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 28 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 66 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 26 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 23 Consumers: Mark H Rephen
  • Representing 20 Consumers: Todd M Friedman
  • Representing 18 Consumers: David Palace
  • Representing 17 Consumers: Matthew Jon Militzok
  • Representing 16 Consumers: Maxim Maximov
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades
  • Representing 15 Consumers: John Thomas Steinkamp
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Shireen Hormozdi

Statistics Year to Date: 2975 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 2378 FDCPA
  • 597 FCRA
  • 657 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs: 3157 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 175 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 74 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 60 Consumers: Erikson M Davis
  • Representing 48 Consumers: Todd M Friedman
  • Representing 47 Consumers: John Thomas Steinkamp
  • Representing 47 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades
  • Representing 41 Consumers: Matthew Jon Militzok
  • Representing 38 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 37 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 36 Consumers: Adam Jon Fishbein

 

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

There were about 3428 complaints filed against debt collectors in March 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 707

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 953 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (27.8%)
  • 834 Credit card (24.3%)
  • 685 Unknown (20%)
  • 307 Medical (9%)
  • 273 Payday loan (8%)
  • 145 Mortgage (4.2%)
  • 91 Auto (2.7%)
  • 75 Non-federal student loan (2.2%)
  • 65 Federal student loan (1.9%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1366 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (39.8%)
  • 679 Disclosure verification of debt (19.8%)
  • 609 Communication tactics (17.8%)
  • 273 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 273 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 228 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6.7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 810 Debt is not mine (23.6%)
  • 512 Not given enough info to verify debt (14.9%)
  • 363 Debt was paid (10.6%)
  • 358 Frequent or repeated calls (10.4%)
  • 206 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 455 Complaints: CA
  • 289 Complaints: FL
  • 288 Complaints: TX
  • 203 Complaints: NY
  • 158 Complaints: GA
  • 133 Complaints: VA
  • 129 Complaints: PA
  • 119 Complaints: NJ
  • 118 Complaints: OH
  • 97 Complaints: IL

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

  • 2354 Closed with explanation (68.7%)
  • 561 Closed with non-monetary relief (16.4%)
  • 253 In progress (7.4%)
  • 107 Closed (3.1%)
  • 78 Closed with monetary relief (2.3%)
  • 75 Untimely response (2.2%)

This includes 3323 (96.9%) timely responses to complaints, and 105 (3.1%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 2921 (85.2%) of them, and disputed 507 (14.8%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 182 Complaints: Thu, 03/06/2014
  • 177 Complaints: Thu, 03/27/2014
  • 171 Complaints: Thu, 03/13/2014
  • 162 Complaints: Tue, 03/11/2014
  • 158 Complaints: Tue, 03/18/2014

API Access


We offer two powerful APIs to businesses that communicate with consumers:

  • The primary Litigious Consumer Scrub uses a combination of name, geography (and optionally SSN) to identify consumers who have filed lawsuits in the past.
  • The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub pulls every phone number from our proprietary database of litigants and runs your phones against ours.

These APIs allow you to check your data against our database on the fly. Clients love using this to handle risk management without missing a beat in their daily workflow.

Workers Comp Scrub


Workers Comp-inspired FDCPA lawsuits are growing aggressively, particularly in Florida. Only WebRecon can tell you who in your database may have a Florida Worker’s Comp case filed that could trigger litigation against you.

You can’t stop 100% of all lawsuits, but if you collect medical in Florida and you don’t have a process in place to show the court that you have a way to check every file against the Workers Comp database, then you have lost the case before it even begins.

Knock these suits out of the park with the Workers Comp Scrub.

Our Monthly Client Newsletter with The Litigant Hotsheet


Anyone can get our guest newsletter, but only clients get the version with the Litigant Hotsheet –  identifying the most active consumer Plaintiffs filing suit in jurisdictions around the country each month. Grab a coffee, shut your door and open your database to make sure you are doing all you can to stay safe.

Individual Vendor Consumer Complaint Search


Just like Vendor Monitoring, but without the monitoring. Search any business’s history of consumer complaints (Litigation, CFPB, BBB, State AG) with the click of a button! Great for on-the-fly gut checks of the companies you do business with.

Vendor Monitoring


Through vicarious liability, you can be held accountable for the bad behavior of your vendors. If they abuse consumers, for all intents and purposes, so do you. This is a big freakin’ deal!

But fear not, friend. WebRecon can track consumer litigation, CFPB, BBB and State AG Office complaints against the companies you do business with.

When a new complaint of any kind is filed against any of the companies you are monitoring, we’ll automatically push a report out to you with all of the publicly available details so you can react accordingly and if necessary, protect your interests.

The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub


Would you knowingly dial a number attached to a consumer with a history of litigation? Of course not.

But thousands of companies do just that, every single day. If you’d like to know who they are, simply review the court dockets. They are the ones getting sued the most.

Sure, you can stop dialing consumers. But your marketing and operations teams might not be too excited about that plan.

Another idea? Identify the consumers most likely to sue you, based on previous litigation histories, and just don’t call them.

Identify high-risk phones quickly & easily, before you expose yourself to unnecessary risk.

Litigation Context Search


This is really cool.

Our primary search engine is really designed to search for parties to litigation. Need to know more about a consumer plaintiff? That’s easy. Defendant? Check. Lawyer? No problem.

But if you need to find all 1099C lawsuits filed in July 2020… not so much.

Which is why we developed the Context Search. We have pulled out and indexed the full text from over 140k consumer lawsuits and made them available to you in a search engine, with more than 1000 new lawsuits added each month. Use it to search the text of filed litigation so you can easily identify those hard-to-define trends and cases worth following.

Individual Search Engine


Instantly and easily search our proprietary database for any lawsuit participant – Plaintiff, Defendant or Attorney.

In the results, we’ll show you the full consumer litigation history of any participant, including the “docket data” (who, what, why, where, when) and – in many cases – we can even provide a copy of their actual filed lawsuits.

You can also search by phone, date range, federal/state, class action, court, statute, etc. We offer a ton of flexibility to get you the exact search result you are looking for.

The Litigant Alert Ongoing Monitoring Process


Just like our one-time batch process, but without the whole “one time” thing.

When one of your consumers files new litigation against anyone in the future, you should be the first to know. Our monitoring service can make that happen.

WebRecon can monitor your entire database (or any segment of it) for future instances of consumer litigation filed by the very consumers you are working with, right now!

It is simple to add new consumers to the watchlist, remove inactive accounts, download full reports, etc.

Best of all, we only charge you for the volume of your monitoring database – not the frequency of the searches. Search daily, weekly, every Tuesday and Friday, the 15th of each month, whatever – it is totally up to you! You won’t pay a penny more.

The Litigant Alert One-Time Batch Process


This is our flagship service. Find out why hundreds of companies won’t contact any consumers before running them through WebRecon’s Litigant Alert.

This process identifies consumers with a history of litigation quickly & easily. If they have ever filed lawsuits under FDCPA, TCPA, FCRA or similar statutes, you’ll find out here. 

WebRecon’s proprietary database is simply the most comprehensive collection of dangerous consumer litigation data in existence. 

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