Quick analysis: Happy Holidays: FDCPA to crack 10k, TCPA to miss important milestone…

Well, with the year almost over, it seems safe to make a couple of predictions about how consumer litigation will shake out for 2016.

First, FDCPA cases will break 10k for the year 2016 in December, but it will fall far short from matching 2015’s final tally of 11,813 cases with a decline of 12.4% so far for 2016. Both years fall short of 2011’s record number of 12,226 suits. We can expect FDCPA filings for 2016 to settle somewhere around 10.5k for the year, up from November’s YTD total of 9617.

Second, TCPA had a shot, briefly, of hitting a record 5k cases for the year – well above 2015’s 3687 cases. But that shot seems remote now thanks to a weaker-than-normal November. The 2016 eleven-month tally sits at 4499. To hit 5k, there would have to be at least 501 cases in December – a number that has never yet quite been reached. The highest we have seen to date is from last march when there were 472 cases filed. Expect TCPA to settle in the high 4k’s, maybe (but not necessarily) breaking 4900, with a growth rate of 32.8% so far for 2016.

Then there is FCRA. This is the year that FCRA gave way to TCPA as the 2nd largest cause of action in consumer filings after FDCPA. Still growing at an aggressive rate of 8.4% over 2015, the third most popular cause of action should settle somewhere just north of 4k suits for the year.

Finally, on the subject of CFPB complaints, there is good reason to believe 2016 complaints will overtake 2015’s numbers after being behind all year long. For most of 2016, CFPB complaints were trailing 6%-10% behind 2015 numbers. However, in just the last three months complaints have quickly closed the gap (Sept 3.9%, Oct 2.2%, Nov 1.1%). If that momentum is simply maintained, the year will have yet another dramatic photo-finish with an unexpected winner.

Read on for the numbers!

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Nov 01, 2016
Nov 30, 2016
Oct 01, 2016
Oct 31, 2016
Nov 01, 2015
Nov 30, 2015
CFPB Complaints  3027 3512 -13.8% 2659 13.8%
FDCPA lawsuits  738 847 -12.9% 881 -16.2%
FCRA lawsuits  389 359 8.4% 387 0.5%
TCPA lawsuits  328 457 -28.2% 272 20.6%
YTD CFPB Complaints  36871 37280 -1.1%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  9617 10980 -12.4%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  3680 3395 8.4%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  4499 3387 32.8%


Complaint Statistics:

3027 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1216 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Nov 01, 2016 to Nov 30, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3027 CFPB Complaints
  • 738 FDCPA, 144 Class Action (19.5%)
  • 328 TCPA, 66 Class Action (20.1%)
  • 389 FCRA, 31 Class Action (8.0%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1216 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 441, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3055 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 152 different US District Court branches.
  • About 924 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 80 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 71 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 68 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 57 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 55 Lawsuits: California Northern District Court – San Francisco
  • 47 Lawsuits: California Northern District Court – Oakland
  • 37 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 36 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 35 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 35 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 90 Consumers: ELLIOT WAYNE GALE
  • Representing 44 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 34 Consumers: SCOTT JOSEPH SAGARIA
  • Representing 34 Consumers: SCOTT MATTHEW JOHNSON
  • Representing 28 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 25 Consumers: LOUIS D DAGOSTINO
  • Representing 25 Consumers: EDMOND E KOESTER
  • Representing 25 Consumers: CLAY C BROOKER
  • Representing 25 Consumers: SARA ELIZABETH HANLEY
  • Representing 22 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS

Statistics Year to Date:
14671 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 9617 FDCPA
  • 3680 FCRA
  • 4499 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 13384 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 403 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 370 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 315 Consumers: ELLIOT WAYNE GALE
  • Representing 274 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 271 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 268 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 255 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 240 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 238 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 237 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3027 complaints filed against debt collectors from Nov 01, 2016 to Nov 30, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 737

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1000 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (33%)
  • 610 I do not know (20%)
  • 522 Credit card (17%)
  • 481 Medical (16%)
  • 160 Payday loan (5%)
  • 102 Mortgage (3%)
  • 89 Auto (3%)
  • 33 Federal student loan (1%)
  • 30 Non-federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1307 Contd attempts collect debt not owed (43%)
  • 874 Disclosure verification of debt (29%)
  • 338 Communication tactics (11%)
  • 190 False statements or representation (6%)
  • 158 Improper contact or sharing of info (5%)
  • 155 Taking/threatening an illegal action (5%)
  • 5 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 765 Debt is not mine (25%)
  • 662 Not given enough info to verify debt (22%)
  • 347 Debt was paid (11%)
  • 193 Frequent or repeated calls (6%)
  • 161 Debt resulted from identity theft (5%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 414 Complaints: CA
  • 334 Complaints: TX
  • 296 Complaints: FL
  • 199 Complaints: NY
  • 182 Complaints: GA
  • 110 Complaints: IL
  • 107 Complaints: NJ
  • 91 Complaints: NC
  • 90 Complaints: MD
  • 88 Complaints: PA

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

  • 3027 (100%)

This includes 2733 (90%) timely responses to complaints, and 294 (10%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 362 (12%) of them, and 2665 (88%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 163 Complaints: Tue, 11/01/2016
  • 157 Complaints: Thu, 11/03/2016
  • 156 Complaints: Tue, 11/15/2016
  • 145 Complaints: Tue, 11/08/2016
  • 142 Complaints: Mon, 11/07/2016


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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