Quick analysis: The Red Sea

It may have happened once or twice over the years, I’m not even sure (and who has the time to go through all of those blog posts?) but even if so, it’s exceedingly rare. February 2023 saw every category in our famous consumer complaint grid turn red, meaning all TCPA, FDCPA and FCRA lawsuits were down from the previous month, the same month in the previous year, and year-to-date. And CFPB complaints were down in all three categories as well. It’s quite a sight to see.

While it’s still too early to draw meaningful trends out of the data for this year, it is notable that TCPA claims (-.8%) – which have been on a downward trajectory for the last couple of years – are running neck and neck with the first two months of 2022. And FDCPA claims (-23.5%) – which have been on a downward trajectory for several years – continue that pattern with way fewer suits than in the first two months of 2022. Even FCRA (-13.1%) which has been the only statute with a consistently growing number of claims is down by double digits over this time in 2022. And CFPB complaints are down too – a not-insignificant -23.5% YTD.

All in all, with so many things to be concerned about in the regulated industries we track complaints for, this is a moment worth celebrating. Probably a fleeting one though – so enjoy it while it’s here!

In other news, putative class actions represented 11.7% of FDCPA, 50.5% of TCPA and 2.9% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month. About 42% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before. And finally, Chicago-area attorney David J. Phillips has represented the most consumers in February (18) and YTD so far (35) in 2023.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Feb 01, 2023
Feb 28, 2023
Jan 01, 2023
Jan 31, 2023
Feb 01, 2022
Feb 28, 2022
Jan 01, 2023
Feb 28, 2023
Jan 01, 2022
Feb 28, 2022
CFPB  5170 6057 -14.6% 7590 -31.9% 11227 14677 -23.5%
FDCPA  315 343 -8.2% 455 -30.8% 658 973 -32.4%
FCRA  383 439 -12.8% 422 -9.2% 822 946 -13.1%
TCPA  105 133 -21.1% 109 -3.7% 238 240 -0.8%

 

Complaint Statistics:

5170 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 680 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Feb 01, 2023 to Feb 28, 2023.

  • 5170 CFPB Complaints
  • 315 FDCPA, 37 Class Action (11.7%)
  • 105 TCPA, 53 Class Action (50.5%)
  • 383 FCRA, 11 Class Action (2.9%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 680 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 284, or (42%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1835 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 141 different US District Court branches.
  • About 525 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 36 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 35 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 30 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 26 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 24 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 22 Lawsuits: Texas Northern District Court – Dallas
  • 19 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 19 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 18 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Orlando
  • 18 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 18 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 13 Consumers: ALLEN EDGAR ROBERTSON
  • Representing 11 Consumers: SHAWN SHAWN JAFFER
  • Representing 10 Consumers: MARY E PHILIPPS
  • Representing 10 Consumers: YOUSSEF HUSSEIN HAMMOUD
  • Representing 9 Consumers: PHILLIP WESLEY POOL
  • Representing 9 Consumers: JOSEPH BRIAN ANGELO
  • Representing 9 Consumers: KYLE W SCHUMACHER
  • Representing 8 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 8 Consumers: ROBERT LEACH

Statistics Year to Date:
1524 total lawsuits for 2023, including:

  • 658 FDCPA
  • 822 FCRA
  • 238 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2023: 1425 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 35 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 24 Consumers: JOSEPH POWELL MCCLELLAND
  • Representing 23 Consumers: ALLEN EDGAR ROBERTSON
  • Representing 21 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 19 Consumers: PHILLIP WESLEY POOL
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOEL SPENCER HALVORSEN
  • Representing 19 Consumers: MARY E PHILIPPS
  • Representing 19 Consumers: SHAWN SHAWN JAFFER
  • Representing 18 Consumers: ANTHONY PARONICH
  • Representing 16 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM

——————————————————————————————————-
CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 5170 complaints filed against debt collectors from Feb 01, 2023 to Feb 28, 2023.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 787

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1576 Other debt (30%)
  • 1322 I do not know (26%)
  • 1084 Credit card debt (21%)
  • 703 Medical debt (14%)
  • 225 Auto debt (4%)
  • 117 Payday loan debt (2%)
  • 74 Mortgage debt (1%)
  • 36 Private student loan debt (1%)
  • 33 Federal student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 2826 Attempts to collect debt not owed (55%)
  • 977 Written notification about debt (19%)
  • 479 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (9%)
  • 433 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 361 Communication tactics (7%)
  • 94 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1495 Debt is not yours (29%)
  • 830 Debt was result of identity theft (16%)
  • 610 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (12%)
  • 402 Debt was paid (8%)
  • 344 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 581 Complaints: FL
  • 539 Complaints: TX
  • 462 Complaints: CA
  • 429 Complaints: GA
  • 233 Complaints: NY
  • 219 Complaints: IL
  • 180 Complaints: NC
  • 179 Complaints: PA
  • 164 Complaints: NJ
  • 159 Complaints: OH

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

  • 3869 Closed with explanation (75%)
  • 765 In progress (15%)
  • 450 Closed with non-monetary relief (9%)
  • 65 Untimely response (1%)
  • 21 Closed with monetary relief (0%)

This includes 5032 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 138 (3%) untimely responses.

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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