Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, November 2014

Quick analysis: Happy holidays from WebRecon!

After a rally in October, everything is back to normal except TCPA litigation.

FDCPA, which spiked in October to a rare 900+ lawsuits, is back down to a more normal 713 in November. FCRA which was over 225 is down to 173, and CFPB complaints which had rocketed to well over 3000 are back down to a more moderate 2707 (likely to settle at around 2900).

The only statute that is still out of sync is TCPA, which had a rare plummet in October to 159 (from a recent average closer to 200), and it has plummeted again in November to an almost inconceivable 95 lawsuits.

Class actions are in a normal range – if a bit at the low end this month, with FDCPA at 9.3%, FCRA at 9.5% and TCPA at 8.1% of all litigation representing a class.

Repeat filers represented about 34% of all November litigation.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Nov 01 – 30, 2014 Oct 01 – 31, 2014 Nov 01 – 30, 2013
CFPB Complaints  2707 3223 -19.1% 2442 -10.9%
FDCPA lawsuits  713 911 -27.8% 685 3.9%
FCRA lawsuits  173 228 -31.8% 188 -8.7%
TCPA lawsuits  95 159 -67.4% 205 -115.8%
YTD CFPB Complaints  36193 8644 76.1%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  8859 9542 -7.7%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  2115 2068 2.2%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  2164 1696 21.6%

Complaint Statistics:

2707 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 969 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Nov 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2707 CFPB Complaints
  • 713 FDCPA, 66 Class Action (9.3%)
  • 95 TCPA, 9 Class Action (9.5%)
  • 173 FCRA, 14 Class Action (8.1%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 969 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 333, or (34%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1146 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 149 different US District Court branches.
  • About 729 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 74 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 72 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 46 Lawsuits: Texas Northern District Court – Dallas
  • 41 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 27 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Trenton
  • 25 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 25 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 24 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 22 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 22 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 35 Consumers: WILLIAM ROSS TETER
  • Representing 27 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 26 Consumers: EDWARD B GELLER
  • Representing 26 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 24 Consumers: ROBERT H DEWBERRY
  • Representing 20 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 19 Consumers: ANDREW JOSEPH GUZZO
  • Representing 19 Consumers: LEONARD ANTHONY BENNETT
  • Representing 19 Consumers: KRISTI CAHOON KELLY
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SUSAN MARY ROTKIS

Statistics Year to Date:

11479 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 8859 FDCPA
  • 2115 FCRA
  • 2164 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 11172 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 469 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 209 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 175 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 164 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 164 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 153 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 150 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 150 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 148 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 147 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2707 complaints filed against debt collectors in Nov 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 725

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 777 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (29%)
  • 614 Unknown (23%)
  • 567 Credit card (21%)
  • 374 Medical (14%)
  • 157 Payday loan (6%)
  • 72 Mortgage (3%)
  • 57 Auto (2%)
  • 51 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 38 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1152 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 507 Communication tactics (19%)
  • 451 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 216 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 214 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 167 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 720 Debt is not mine (27%)
  • 319 Frequent or repeated calls (12%)
  • 287 Not given enough info to verify debt (11%)
  • 283 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 159 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 346 Complaints: CA
  • 265 Complaints: TX
  • 258 Complaints: FL
  • 134 Complaints: NY
  • 98 Complaints: GA
  • 96 Complaints: IL
  • 88 Complaints: OH
  • 87 Complaints: SC
  • 84 Complaints: NJ
  • 71 Complaints: WA

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

  • 1862 Closed with explanation (69%)
  • 409 Closed with non-monetary relief (15%)
  • 212 In progress (8%)
  • 113 Closed (4%)
  • 84 Untimely response (3%)
  • 27 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 2535 (94%) timely responses to complaints, and 172 (6%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (0%) of them, disputed 270 (10%) of them, and 2437 (90%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 178 Complaints: Wed, 11/19/2014
  • 172 Complaints: Tue, 11/18/2014
  • 156 Complaints: Fri, 11/14/2014
  • 150 Complaints: Wed, 11/05/2014
  • 134 Complaints: Fri, 11/21/2014