Quick analysis: 2024 Starts with a ROAR

We can’t remember the last time consumer complaints and litigation had such a strong month across the board. Everything in January was up double digit percentages over Dec 2023: TCPA +78.6%(!), FDCPA +24.1%, FCRA +23.8%. And everything was also up double digit percentages YTD against last year: TCPA +50.4%, FDCPA +30.5%, FCRA +19.6%. CFPB complaints were similarly up +14.8% for the month and +14.3% YTD.

For some context, here’s a thought experiment. If every month in 2024 ends up like January, TCPA litigation would end the year 42.6% up over 2023, FDCPA would be 30.5% up and FCRA would be 13.8% higher. That’s a pattern we haven’t seen in many years, but of course these numbers are only one month in to 2024 and don’t really mean anything yet. Other than, wow, what a month.

In other news, putative class actions represented 5.3% of FDCPA, 32% of TCPA and 2.6% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month. About 48%(!) of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before. And finally, Dallas-area attorney Chris R. Miltenberger gets his first crack at the top spot for representing the most consumers in January (as well as YTD) with 54 consumers represented.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Jan 01, 2024
Jan 31, 2024
Dec 01, 2023
Dec 31, 2023
Jan 01, 2023
Jan 31, 2023
Jan 01, 2024
Jan 31, 2024
Jan 01, 2023
Jan 31, 2023
CFPB  6947 6051 14.8% 6079 14.3% 6947 6079 14.3%
FDCPA  453 365 24.1% 347 30.5% 453 347 30.5%
FCRA  530 428 23.8% 443 19.6% 530 443 19.6%
TCPA  200 112 78.6% 133 50.4% 200 133 50.4%

 

Complaint Statistics:

6947 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 976 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jan 01, 2024 to Jan 31, 2024.

  • 6947 CFPB Complaints
  • 453 FDCPA, 24 Class Action (5.3%)
  • 200 TCPA, 64 Class Action (32.0%)
  • 530 FCRA, 14 Class Action (2.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 976 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 468, or (48%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 7202 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 155 different US District Court branches.
  • About 681 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 56 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 56 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 36 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 31 Lawsuits: Texas Northern District Court – Dallas
  • 30 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 29 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 28 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Orlando
  • 27 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 23 Lawsuits: Texas Southern District Court – Houston
  • 22 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 54 Consumers: CHRIS R MILTENBERGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: OCTAVIO GOMEZ
  • Representing 18 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 17 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 17 Consumers: SHAWN SHAWN JAFFER
  • Representing 15 Consumers: JONATHAN ALEXANDER HEEPS
  • Representing 14 Consumers: CHRISTOPHER NEIL ARMOR
  • Representing 13 Consumers: FRANK H KERNEY
  • Representing 12 Consumers: ELLIOT ELO
  • Representing 12 Consumers: JENNIFER GOMES SIMIL

Statistics Year to Date:
960 total lawsuits for 2024, including:

  • 453 FDCPA
  • 530 FCRA
  • 200 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2024: 976 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 54 Consumers: CHRIS R MILTENBERGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: OCTAVIO GOMEZ
  • Representing 18 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 17 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 17 Consumers: SHAWN SHAWN JAFFER
  • Representing 15 Consumers: JONATHAN ALEXANDER HEEPS
  • Representing 14 Consumers: CHRISTOPHER NEIL ARMOR
  • Representing 13 Consumers: FRANK H KERNEY
  • Representing 12 Consumers: ELLIOT ELO
  • Representing 12 Consumers: JENNIFER GOMES SIMIL

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

There were 6947 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jan 01, 2024 to Jan 31, 2024.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 778

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1901 I do not know (27%)
  • 1759 Credit card debt (25%)
  • 1203 Other debt (17%)
  • 522 Medical debt (8%)
  • 470 Rental debt (7%)
  • 437 Telecommunications debt (6%)
  • 356 Auto debt (5%)
  • 140 Payday loan debt (2%)
  • 64 Mortgage debt (1%)
  • 59 Federal student loan debt (1%)
  • 36 Private student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 3599 Attempts to collect debt not owed (52%)
  • 1699 Written notification about debt (24%)
  • 570 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (8%)
  • 463 False statements or representation (7%)
  • 389 Communication tactics (6%)
  • 120 Electronic communications (2%)
  • 107 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1602 Debt is not yours (23%)
  • 1413 Debt was result of identity theft (20%)
  • 1388 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (20%)
  • 474 Debt was paid (7%)
  • 371 Attempted to collect wrong amount (5%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 917 Complaints: CA
  • 903 Complaints: TX
  • 644 Complaints: FL
  • 482 Complaints: NY
  • 445 Complaints: GA
  • 358 Complaints: IL
  • 300 Complaints: PA
  • 215 Complaints: NJ
  • 191 Complaints: LA
  • 182 Complaints: OH

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

  • 4263 Closed with explanation (61%)
  • 1661 In progress (24%)
  • 916 Closed with non-monetary relief (13%)
  • 86 Untimely response (1%)
  • 21 Closed with monetary relief (0%)

This includes 6810 (98%) timely responses to complaints, and 137 (2%) 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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