Slip Slidin’ Away… FDCPA Trending Down 5 Months in a Row: Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Stats, July 2016

Quick analysis: Slip Slidin’ Away… FDCPA Trending Down 5 Months in a Row.

It is mostly business as usual for the month of July, 2016. FDCPA and FCRA are down over last month (fairly significantly with 12.6% and 35.1% drops respectively), and TCPA is up 13.1%.

Year to date, FDCPA is down from 2015 by 12.8%, and FCRA and TCPA are up by 20.7% and 43.3%(!) respectively.

The one really interesting thing that jumped out to us this month is that filed FDCPA litigation has been going down consistently for an awful long time. Looking back at previous months, we see July represents its 5th month in a row of declines, as compared to the same periods in 2015.

201608-fdcpa-decline

 

In real numbers that means that through July 2016, there are 6211 filed FDCPA cases, compared to 7120 at the same time last year. That decline of 909 lawsuits is good news for the industry, though a hollow victory as filed FCRA and TCPA litigation have increased in that same time period by 1233 suits, more than making up the difference.

CFPB complaint volume is lagging 2015 numbers by 10.9%, though when the final data trickles in that should drop to slightly below 10%. Still, good news for the industry on the CFPB complaint database front.

Fun Facts:

For July 2016, 35% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.

About 894 different companies were sued, up 1.6% over the 880 last month. And 715 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB, about 3.6% higher than last month’s 741 (but remember the caveat about more data trickling in).

The percentage of suits filed as putative class actions were all over the board, with 15.9% for FDCPA, 20% for TCPA and only 8.6% for FCRA.

California attorney Todd M. Friedman represented the most consumers for the month with 49 and the most consumers YTD with 249.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Jul 01, 2016
Jul 31, 2016
Jun 01, 2016
Jun 30, 2016
Jul 01, 2015
Jul 31, 2015
CFPB Complaints  2747 3192 -13.9% 3832 -28.3%
FDCPA lawsuits  825 944 -12.6% 1095 -24.7%
FCRA lawsuits  266 410 -35.1% 317 -16.1%
TCPA lawsuits  424 375 13.1% 339 25.1%
YTD CFPB Complaints  22062 24753 -10.9%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  6211 7120 -12.8%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  2237 1853 20.7%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  2809 1960 43.3%

 

Complaint Statistics:

2747 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1263 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jul 01, 2016 to Jul 31, 2016. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 2747 CFPB Complaints
  • 825 FDCPA, 131 Class Action (15.9%)
  • 424 TCPA, 85 Class Action (20.0%)
  • 266 FCRA, 23 Class Action (8.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1263 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 453, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2260 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 162 different US District Court branches.
  • About 889 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 80 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 72 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 59 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 43 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 42 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 40 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 39 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 36 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 34 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 32 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Trenton

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 49 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 41 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 34 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 34 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 32 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 23 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MATTHEW G GRIMMER
  • Representing 20 Consumers: WILLIAM CRAFT HUGHES

Statistics Year to Date:
9242 total lawsuits for 2016, including:

  • 6211 FDCPA
  • 2237 FCRA
  • 2809 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2016: 8696 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 249 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 205 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 181 Consumers: PAUL JONATHAN SIEG
  • Representing 178 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 164 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 163 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 156 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 155 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 138 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 135 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 2747 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jul 01, 2016 to Jul 31, 2016.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 715

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 898 Other (i.e. phone, health club, etc.) (33%)
  • 519 I do not know (19%)
  • 486 Credit card (18%)
  • 468 Medical (17%)
  • 113 Mortgage (4%)
  • 101 Payday loan (4%)
  • 69 Auto (3%)
  • 53 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 40 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1106 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (40%)
  • 712 Disclosure verification of debt (26%)
  • 401 Communication tactics (15%)
  • 209 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 174 Improper contact or sharing of info (6%)
  • 145 Taking/threatening an illegal action (5%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 636 Debt is not mine (23%)
  • 506 Not given enough info to verify debt (18%)
  • 332 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 221 Frequent or repeated calls (8%)
  • 163 Right to dispute notice not received (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 341 Complaints: CA
  • 299 Complaints: TX
  • 270 Complaints: FL
  • 182 Complaints: GA
  • 158 Complaints: NY
  • 100 Complaints: AZ
  • 93 Complaints: OH
  • 91 Complaints: PA
  • 91 Complaints: IL
  • 74 Complaints: NJ

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

  • 2747 (100%)

This includes 2562 (93%) timely responses to complaints, and 185 (7%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 405 (15%) of them, and 2342 (85%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 149 Complaints: Tue, 07/26/2016
  • 146 Complaints: Thu, 07/28/2016
  • 142 Complaints: Thu, 07/14/2016
  • 136 Complaints: Wed, 07/06/2016
  • 136 Complaints: Tue, 07/19/2016