Same As It Ever Was… FDCPA Snaps 5 Month Decline: Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Stats, August 2016

Quick analysis: August… same as it ever was.

With one slight exception, August continued many of the patterns that have become common this year. That exception? FDCPA lawsuits snapped a five-month losing streak in terms of month-over-month filings. Even so, it was only with a 1.4% increase, and it wasn’t enough to break the YTD trend which still dropped a bit from 12.8% last month to 13.2% this month.

Beyond FDCPA, TCPA filings were down a bit (10.2%) from the previous month, but are still up 39.7% YTD. And FCRA filings were up a lot from the previous month (39.6%) and are up 19.4% YTD.

CFPB complaint filings had a robust month as well, up just over 30% from the previous month. That helps to knock the long-time YTD trend of complaints lagging around 10% behind last year to its lowest point of 7% down from this time last year.

Fun Facts:

  • For July 2016, 36% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
  • About 958 different companies were sued, up 7.2% over the 894 last month. And 819 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB, about 14.5% higher than last month’s 715.
  • The percentage of suits filed as putative class actions were all over the board, with 16% for FDCPA, 20% for TCPA and only 6.9% for FCRA.
  • California attorney Elliot Wayne Gale represented the most consumers for the month with 56 and California attorney Todd M. Friedman had the most consumers YTD with 289.
Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Aug 01, 2016
Aug 31, 2016
Jul 01, 2016
Jul 31, 2016
Aug 01, 2015
Aug 31, 2015
CFPB Complaints  3954 3026 30.7% 3619 9.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  844 832 1.4% 998 -15.4%
FCRA lawsuits  377 270 39.6% 321 17.4%
TCPA lawsuits  395 440 -10.2% 342 15.5%
YTD CFPB Complaints  26382 28372 -7.0%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  7093 8170 -13.2%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  2639 2210 19.4%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  3254 2330 39.7%

 

Complaint Statistics:

3954 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1382 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Aug 01, 2016 to Aug 31, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3954 CFPB Complaints
  • 844 FDCPA, 135 Class Action (16.0%)
  • 395 TCPA, 79 Class Action (20.0%)
  • 377 FCRA, 26 Class Action (6.9%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1382 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 491, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2700 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 160 different US District Court branches.
  • About 958 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 94 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 84 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 61 Lawsuits: California Northern District Court – San Jose
  • 60 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 46 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 46 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 44 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 37 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 36 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 35 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 56 Consumers: ELLIOT WAYNE GALE
  • Representing 48 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 39 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 31 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 31 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 31 Consumers: ADAM KLEIN
  • Representing 28 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 26 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 25 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 25 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN

Statistics Year to Date:
10714 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 7093 FDCPA
  • 2639 FCRA
  • 3254 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 9980 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 289 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 255 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 209 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 200 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 193 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 192 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 177 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 162 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 159 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 159 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3954 complaints filed against debt collectors from Aug 01, 2016 to Aug 31, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 819

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1284 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (32%)
  • 875 Credit card (22%)
  • 738 I do not know (19%)
  • 574 Medical (15%)
  • 134 Mortgage (3%)
  • 121 Payday loan (3%)
  • 105 Auto (3%)
  • 67 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 56 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1459 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (37%)
  • 1306 Disclosure verification of debt (33%)
  • 489 Communication tactics (12%)
  • 268 False statements or representation (7%)
  • 230 Improper contact or sharing of info (6%)
  • 202 Taking/threatening an illegal action (5%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1044 Not given enough info to verify debt (26%)
  • 813 Debt is not mine (21%)
  • 422 Debt was paid (11%)
  • 292 Frequent or repeated calls (7%)
  • 210 Attempted to collect wrong amount (5%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 498 Complaints: CA
  • 437 Complaints: TX
  • 415 Complaints: FL
  • 224 Complaints: NY
  • 204 Complaints: GA
  • 137 Complaints: IL
  • 119 Complaints: OH
  • 107 Complaints: AZ
  • 106 Complaints: NJ
  • 105 Complaints: PA

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

  • 3954 (100%)

This includes 3637 (92%) timely responses to complaints, and 317 (8%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 527 (13%) of them, and 3427 (87%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 248 Complaints: Thu, 08/11/2016
  • 208 Complaints: Mon, 08/29/2016
  • 202 Complaints: Tue, 08/16/2016
  • 201 Complaints: Tue, 08/23/2016
  • 186 Complaints: Tue, 08/09/2016