Twisty & Turny: Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, Sept 2015

Quick analysis: September was a mixed bag in consumer litigation and complaints.

On the one hand, FDCPA and TCPA lawsuits were down a bit from their numbers in August, 6.5% and 5.5% respectively. On the other hand, FCRA litigation was up quite a bit, 8.9% over its number in September. Overall, litigation rose in September (1272 consumers filed suit last month over August’s 1222 consumers).

Even with FDCPA and TCPA down in the monthly horse race, everything is still tracking up for the year, with FDCPA and FCRA still very strong ahead of 2014 (17% and 36.3% respectively), and TCPA finally (finally!) starting to widen its YTD lead over last year with a still-anemic 3.5% increase.

Keep in mind, the TCPA bar chart has been the most dramatic over the last several years (see below graphic). It has all but flatlined so far this year, all the more remarkable because of case law and regulatory declarations that one would have expected to delight the consumer bar. There have been predictions of TCPA’s resurgence later this year… at this point it is looking like it we will run out of year before any significant movement happens in TCPA litigation growth again.

TCPA-litigation-2010-2014

CFPB complaints against debt collectors also are looking down, a whopping 16.3% in September. That brings it to one of its lowest numbers in recent memory, just barely cracking 3000 complaints (3025, for the record). Expect this number to go up by 5-10% in the coming weeks as new complaints trickle into the public record, but even so that makes for the lowest month this year unless a large batch pops up unexpectedly.

Fun Facts: ∙

  • For September 2015, about 32% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
  • About 822 different companies were sued, and 765 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB.
  • Class actions were mixed, with a big 16.2% for FDCPA, a huge 28.1% for TCPA and a low 8.7% for FCRA.
  • The Illinois Northern District Court in Chicago had the most litigation filed in it, with 71 consumers represented in litigation there. California had the most CFPB complaints against debt collectors, with 415.
  • Attorney Craig B. Sanders represented the most consumers for the month with 57, and he also has represented the most year to date, with 250(!)
Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Sep 01, 2015
Sep 30, 2015
Aug 01, 2015
Aug 31, 2015
Sep 01, 2014
Sep 30, 2014
CFPB Complaints  3025 3616 -16.3% 2930 3.2%
FDCPA lawsuits  870 930 -6.5% 818 6.4%
FCRA lawsuits  332 305 8.9% 188 76.6%
TCPA lawsuits  242 256 -5.5% 212 14.2%
YTD CFPB Complaints  31403 30279 3.7%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  8710 7446 17.0%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  2446 1794 36.3%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  2086 2016 3.5%

 

Complaint Statistics:

3025 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1272 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Sep 01, 2015 to Sep 30, 2015. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3025 CFPB Complaints
  • 870 FDCPA, 141 Class Action (16.2%)
  • 242 TCPA, 68 Class Action (28.1%)
  • 332 FCRA, 29 Class Action (8.7%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1272 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 409, or (32%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1533 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 159 different US District Court branches.
  • About 822 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 71 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 54 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 51 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 50 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 49 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 48 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 42 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 35 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 30 Lawsuits: California Northern District Court – San Jose
  • 29 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 57 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 47 Consumers: DAVID M MENDITTO
  • Representing 46 Consumers: JEFFREY HYSLIP
  • Representing 36 Consumers: PABLO OROZCO
  • Representing 36 Consumers: ROLAND K TELLIS
  • Representing 27 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 24 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: JAMES O LATTURNER
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN

Statistics Year to Date:

10995 total lawsuits for 2015, including:

  • 8710 FDCPA
  • 2446 FCRA
  • 2086 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2015: 10363 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 250 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 180 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 160 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 159 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 159 Consumers: AMY LYNN BENNECOFF GINSBURG
  • Representing 138 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 138 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 137 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 135 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 122 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3025 complaints filed against debt collectors from Sep 01, 2015 to Sep 30, 2015.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 765

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 883 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (29%)
  • 690 Credit card (23%)
  • 603 Unknown (20%)
  • 449 Medical (15%)
  • 154 Payday loan (5%)
  • 87 Mortgage (3%)
  • 70 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 66 Auto (2%)
  • 23 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1248 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (41%)
  • 586 Disclosure verification of debt (19%)
  • 485 Communication tactics (16%)
  • 282 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 213 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)
  • 211 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 772 Debt is not mine (26%)
  • 382 Not given enough info to verify debt (13%)
  • 311 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 299 Frequent or repeated calls (10%)
  • 209 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 415 Complaints: CA
  • 299 Complaints: TX
  • 295 Complaints: FL
  • 159 Complaints: NY
  • 124 Complaints: GA
  • 116 Complaints: IL
  • 115 Complaints: PA
  • 94 Complaints: VA
  • 88 Complaints: AZ
  • 87 Complaints: OH

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

  • 3025 (100%)

This includes 2822 (93%) timely responses to complaints, and 203 (7%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 294 (10%) of them, and 2731 (90%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 181 Complaints: Wed, 09/23/2015
  • 174 Complaints: Thu, 09/10/2015
  • 154 Complaints: Thu, 09/24/2015
  • 152 Complaints: Mon, 09/14/2015
  • 145 Complaints: Fri, 09/11/2015