Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, September 2014

Quick analysis: After a slow, slow August, things seem to be snapping back into place with consumer litigation up across the board in September, though CFPB complaints do seem to be on a bit of a decline.

  • CFPB complaints are down 22.4% from 3232 in August to 2640 in September (but this number is likely to go up by 200’ish over the next few weeks).
  • FDCPA lawsuits are up 5.5% from 740 in August to 783 in September.
  • FCRA lawsuits are up 11.9% from 156 in August to 177 in September.
  • TCPA lawsuits are up 2.1% from 189 in August to 193 in September.

Year to date, everything except FDCPA is still up, with FDCPA litigation lagging 12% from this time last year.

Class Actions: Of the 783 FDCPA cases filed, 73 (9.3%) of them are class actions. Of the 177 FCRA lawsuits filed, 12 (6.2%) are class actions. And of the 193 TCPA lawsuits filed, 24 (13.6%) are class actions. The TCPA percentage is particularly high this month.

Repeat Filers: Finally, 31% of the consumers who filed litigation in August are considered repeat filers, having filed similar litigation in the past.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Sep 01 – 30, 2014 Aug 01 – 31, 2014 Sep 01 – 30, 2013
CFPB Complaints  2640 3232 -22.4% 2009 -31.4%
FDCPA lawsuits  783 740 5.5% 813 -3.8%
FCRA lawsuits  177 156 11.9% 209 -18.1%
TCPA lawsuits  193 189 2.1% 163 15.5%
YTD CFPB Complaints  29929 4407 85.3%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  7229 8093 -12.0%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1714 1684 1.8%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  1908 1338 29.9%

Complaint Statistics:

2640 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1072 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Sep 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2640 CFPB Complaints
  • 783 FDCPA, 73 Class Action (9.3%)
  • 193 TCPA, 12 Class Action (6.2%)
  • 177 FCRA, 24 Class Action (13.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1072 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 336, or (31%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1238 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 151 different US District Court branches.
  • About 824 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 79 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 50 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 45 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 39 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 36 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 36 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 29 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 28 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 28 Lawsuits: Wisconsin Eastern District Court – Milwaukee
  • 26 Lawsuits: Arizona District Court – Phoenix

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 39 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 21 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 20 Consumers: DANIEL JOHN MCGARRY
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SHIREEN HORMOZDI
  • Representing 18 Consumers: TRINETTE GRAGIRENA KENT
  • Representing 17 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 17 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 17 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 17 Consumers: JOSHUA B SWIGART

Statistics Year to Date:

9394 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 7229 FDCPA
  • 1714 FCRA
  • 1908 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 9211 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 415 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 204 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 141 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 132 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 130 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 125 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 122 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 122 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 117 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 106 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2640 complaints filed against debt collectors in Sep 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 670

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 782 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (30%)
  • 577 Credit card (22%)
  • 547 Unknown (21%)
  • 345 Medical (13%)
  • 150 Payday loan (6%)
  • 91 Mortgage (3%)
  • 65 Auto (2%)
  • 44 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 39 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1135 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 486 Communication tactics (18%)
  • 414 Disclosure verification of debt (16%)
  • 250 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 179 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
  • 176 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 695 Debt is not mine (26%)
  • 304 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 283 Frequent or repeated calls (11%)
  • 261 Not given enough info to verify debt (10%)
  • 195 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 323 Complaints: CA
  • 253 Complaints: TX
  • 217 Complaints: FL
  • 165 Complaints: NY
  • 113 Complaints: GA
  • 102 Complaints: NJ
  • 101 Complaints: IL
  • 97 Complaints: PA
  • 82 Complaints: OH
  • 75 Complaints: WA

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

  • 1846 Closed with explanation (70%)
  • 367 Closed with non-monetary relief (14%)
  • 193 In progress (7%)
  • 112 Closed (4%)
  • 81 Untimely response (3%)
  • 41 Closed with monetary relief (2%)

This includes 2495 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 145 (5%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (0%) of them, disputed 241 (9%) of them, and 2399 (91%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 140 Complaints: Thu, 09/04/2014
  • 140 Complaints: Thu, 09/25/2014
  • 133 Complaints: Tue, 09/02/2014
  • 131 Complaints: Mon, 09/22/2014
  • 125 Complaints: Thu, 09/18/2014