Note: Starting this month, we are offering CFPB complaint statistics against debt collectors.

Quick analysis: This month, we begin including statistics from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s database on complaints filed about debt collectors. And the lead story is…. consumer complaints plummeted in October, after steadily increasing over the first three months. Scroll down to see the data. As for an explanation, well, we don’t have one yet. Since this is the first data we have seen, we’ll have to keep watching to spot the trends. It may be as simple as the lag time between complaints being filed and responded to before they are reported. We should be a little smarter in time for next month’s statistics.

As for litigation, the trend continues with FDCPA and FCRA filings on the decline, (8% YTD and 2% YTD, respectively). In a rare departure from the trends, TCPA also declined this period, though it is still up 66% over this time last year.

 

stats-201310

Litigation Statistics:

About 983 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in October 2013. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 800 FDCPA
  • 207 FCRA
  • 162 TCPA

Summary:

  • Of those cases, there were about 1088 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 356, or (32.7%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1854 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 141 different US District Court branches.
  • About 841 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 60 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 44 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 37 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 37 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 35 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 30 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 30 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 27 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 26 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 24 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 43 Consumers: Jody Berke Burton
  • Representing 28 Consumers: John Thomas Steinkamp
  • Representing 28 Consumers: Michael Anthony Eades
  • Representing 26 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 21 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 18 Consumers: Daniel A Edelman
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Angie K Robertson
  • Representing 15 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 14 Consumers: David J Syrios

Statistics Year to Date:

10285 total lawsuits for 2013, including:

  • 8914 FDCPA
  • 1873 FCRA
  • 1483 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs: 10856 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 296 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 245 Consumers: David Michael Larson
  • Representing 201 Consumers: Daniel A Edelman
  • Representing 195 Consumers: Craig Thor Kimmel
  • Representing 178 Consumers: David J Philipps
  • Representing 171 Consumers: Mary Elizabeth Philipps
  • Representing 169 Consumers: Jody Berke Burton
  • Representing 152 Consumers: Cathleen M Combs
  • Representing 152 Consumers: Gary D Nitzkin
  • Representing 147 Consumers: James O Latturner

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

cfpbstats-201305

There were 1186 complaints filed against debt collectors in October 2013.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 346

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 378 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (31.9%)
  • 275 Unknown (23.2%)
  • 259 Credit card (21.8%)
  • 127 Medical (10.7%)
  • 51 Mortgage (4.3%)
  • 34 Non-federal student loan (2.9%)
  • 30 Auto (2.5%)
  • 30 Federal student loan (2.5%)
  • 2 Payday loan (0.2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 485 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (40.9%)
  • 244 Communication tactics (20.6%)
  • 233 Disclosure verification of debt (19.6%)
  • 82 False statements or representation (6.9%)
  • 80 Improper contact or sharing of info (6.7%)
  • 62 Taking/threatening an illegal action (5.2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 322 Debt is not mine (27.2%)
  • 181 Not given enough info to verify debt (15.3%)
  • 156 Frequent or repeated calls (13.2%)
  • 125 Debt was paid (10.5%)
  • 61 Attempted to collect wrong amount (5.1%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 163 Complaints: CA
  • 104 Complaints: TX
  • 98 Complaints: FL
  • 92 Complaints: NY
  • 47 Complaints: NJ
  • 46 Complaints: AZ
  • 45 Complaints: GA
  • 41 Complaints: PA
  • 34 Complaints: VA
  • 31 Complaints: SC

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

  • 751 Closed with explanation (63.3%)
  • 241 Closed with non-monetary relief (20.3%)
  • 127 In progress (10.7%)
  • 29 Closed with monetary relief (2.4%)
  • 25 Closed (2.1%)
  • 13 Untimely response (1.1%)

This includes 1156 (97.5%) timely responses to complaints, and 30 (2.5%) untimely responses

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 1022 (86.2%) of them, and disputed 164 (13.8%) of them

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 78 Complaints: 10/22/2013
  • 74 Complaints: 10/31/2013
  • 72 Complaints: 10/17/2013
  • 71 Complaints: 10/18/2013
  • 58 Complaints: 10/29/2013

 

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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