Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, October 2014

Quick analysis: CFPB, FDCPA & FCRA complaints rally, TCPA tumbles.

In October we saw a strong showing for CFPB, FDCPA and FCRA complaints. CFPB complaints against debt collectors are up 4% over September, but in reality that will go up a few points as complaints from the month continue to come in over the next few weeks.

FDCPA rallied hard, in stark contrast to most months during the last few years. It is up 13.4% over September, singlehandedly pushing the YTD decline over 2013 from 12% in September to 8.7% now.

FCRA is up 22.4% and TCPA is uncharacteristically down 22.6% over September numbers, providing an interesting juxtaposition for the month even as it does little to change the overall trends.

Class actions were all up a bit this month, with increases in FDCPA (13.5%, up from 9.3% in Sept), FCRA (14%, up from 13.6%) and TCPA (7.5%, up from 6.2%).

Repeat filers accounted for 30% of all new litigation in September.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Oct 01 – 31, 2014 Sep 01 – 30, 2014 Oct 01 – 31, 2013
CFPB Complaints  3033 2913 4.0% 1792 -69.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  911 789 13.4% 764 16.1%
FCRA lawsuits  228 177 22.4% 196 14.0%
TCPA lawsuits  159 195 -22.6% 153 3.8%
YTD CFPB Complaints  33272 6202 81.4%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  8146 8857 -8.7%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1942 1880 3.2%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  2069 1491 27.9%

Complaint Statistics:

3033 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1255 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Oct 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3033 CFPB Complaints
  • 911 FDCPA, 123 Class Action (13.5%)
  • 159 TCPA, 12 Class Action (7.5%)
  • 228 FCRA, 32 Class Action (14.0%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1255 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 376, or (30%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1332 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 155 different US District Court branches.
  • About 870 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 133 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 51 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 43 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Trenton
  • 40 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 35 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 34 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 30 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 28 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 22 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 22 Lawsuits: Wisconsin Eastern District Court – Milwaukee

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 68 Consumers: EDWARD T KANG
  • Representing 49 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 47 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 33 Consumers: DANIEL JOHN MCGARRY
  • Representing 28 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 26 Consumers: MATTHEW H HECTOR
  • Representing 21 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 20 Consumers: ARI HILLEL MARCUS
  • Representing 19 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN

Statistics Year to Date:

10552 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 8146 FDCPA
  • 1942 FCRA
  • 2069 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 10321 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 443 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 207 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 162 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 153 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 146 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 139 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 138 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 136 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 135 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 126 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3033 complaints filed against debt collectors in Oct 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 743

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 928 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (31%)
  • 666 Unknown (22%)
  • 593 Credit card (20%)
  • 398 Medical (13%)
  • 181 Payday loan (6%)
  • 88 Mortgage (3%)
  • 69 Auto (2%)
  • 56 Federal student loan (2%)
  • 54 Non-federal student loan (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1316 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 538 Communication tactics (18%)
  • 479 Disclosure verification of debt (16%)
  • 273 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 232 Improper contact or sharing of info (8%)
  • 195 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 812 Debt is not mine (27%)
  • 375 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 337 Frequent or repeated calls (11%)
  • 307 Not given enough info to verify debt (10%)
  • 192 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 414 Complaints: CA
  • 326 Complaints: TX
  • 297 Complaints: FL
  • 137 Complaints: NY
  • 113 Complaints: NJ
  • 110 Complaints: GA
  • 107 Complaints: PA
  • 103 Complaints: IL
  • 99 Complaints: OH
  • 78 Complaints: MD

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

  • 2047 Closed with explanation (67%)
  • 473 Closed with non-monetary relief (16%)
  • 236 In progress (8%)
  • 138 Closed (5%)
  • 109 Untimely response (4%)
  • 30 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 2829 (93%) timely responses to complaints, and 204 (7%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (0%) of them, disputed 290 (10%) of them, and 2743 (90%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 151 Complaints: Wed, 10/15/2014
  • 145 Complaints: Tue, 10/07/2014
  • 139 Complaints: Thu, 10/02/2014
  • 136 Complaints: Thu, 10/23/2014
  • 135 Complaints: Mon, 10/20/2014