Quick analysis: TCPWOW

There seem to be one big lesson so far from the way consumer complaints and litigation are affected by a pandemic.

They aren’t.

Last month’s numbers are almost totally normal and average: CFPB complaints are up a bit, FDCPA complaints are down a hair, FCRA complaints are up a lot and TCPA complaints… well those require a bit of explanation.

TCPA looks like it is up 160% over last month at 650 and that is true… but only in the record number of plaintiffs represented which is the metric we have used forever in these comparison grids. In terms of the number of unique filings, TCPA last month was a totally average 286. So what causes this discrepancy? Porch.com

A whopping 364 of those 650 TCPA consumers were co-plaintiffs distributed among five suits around the country, all against Porch.com and using three different plaintiff attorneys: Michael Zhang from Portland-based Qiu-Qiu Law, Rebecca Evans / Rebecca Anne Evans (one lawyer, two name variations in the filings) from Salt Lake City-based LawHQ and Stephanie Lynn Lucero from Albuquerque-based Lucero Law LLC. Take them out of the picture, and the month is utterly unremarkable.

Except, of course, for the fact that we are having a totally normal month as consumer complaints go in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

In other news, putative class actions represented 21.2% of FDCPA, 13.4% of TCPA (or, adjusted for this month’s anomaly, 30.4%) and 8.3% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month.

About 29% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, if we discount the extreme filings of attorneys Michael Zhang, Rebecca Anne Evans and Stephanie Lynn Lucero, New York attorney Craig B. Sanders represented more consumers than anyone else for the month (42) and of the year with 203. That YTD number also excludes California attorney Nicole Rochelle Lewis, who filed along with Rebecca Evans in another crazy-large Porch.com lawsuit back in January.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Apr 01, 2020
Apr 30, 2020
Mar 01, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Apr 01, 2019
Apr 30, 2019
Jan 01, 2020
Apr 30, 2020
Jan 01, 2019
Apr 30, 2019
CFPB  4560 4246 7.4% 4030 13.2% 16616 15334 8.4%
FDCPA  603 611 -1.3% 830 -27.3% 2495 2930 -14.8%
FCRA  460 408 12.7% 437 5.3% 1772 1523 16.3%
TCPA  650 250 160.0% 307 111.7% 1705 1167 46.1%

 

Complaint Statistics:

4560 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1527 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Apr 01, 2020 to Apr 30, 2020.

  • 4560 CFPB Complaints
  • 603 FDCPA, 128 Class Action (21.2%)
  • 650 TCPA, 87 Class Action (13.4%)
  • 460 FCRA, 38 Class Action (8.3%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1527 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 444, or (29%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2807 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 160 different US District Court branches.
  • About 708 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 90 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 56 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 53 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 45 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 35 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 31 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 29 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 24 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Miami
  • 23 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 22 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 155 Consumers: MICHAEL ZHANG
  • Representing 123 Consumers: REBECCA EVANS
  • Representing 87 Consumers: REBECCA ANNE EVANS
  • Representing 85 Consumers: STEPHANIE LYNN LUCERO
  • Representing 42 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 37 Consumers: KRISTIE LYNN FISCHER
  • Representing 34 Consumers: JACQUELINE PORTER
  • Representing 32 Consumers: CRYSTAL L COOKE
  • Representing 25 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 25 Consumers: BRIANA SMITH

Statistics Year to Date:
4601 total lawsuits for 2020, including:

  • 2495 FDCPA
  • 1772 FCRA
  • 1705 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2020: 5089 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 361 Consumers: REBECCA EVANS
  • Representing 238 Consumers: NICOLE ROCHELLE LEWIS
  • Representing 203 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 155 Consumers: MICHAEL ZHANG
  • Representing 114 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 103 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 98 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 92 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 91 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 87 Consumers: REBECCA ANNE EVANS

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

There were 4560 complaints filed against debt collectors from Apr 01, 2020 to Apr 30, 2020.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 761

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1211 I do not know (27%)
  • 1134 Other debt (25%)
  • 1124 Credit card debt (25%)
  • 669 Medical debt (15%)
  • 138 Auto debt (3%)
  • 118 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 84 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 42 Federal student loan debt (1%)
  • 40 Private student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 2494 Attempts to collect debt not owed (55%)
  • 993 Written notification about debt (22%)
  • 389 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 323 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (7%)
  • 302 Communication tactics (7%)
  • 59 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (1%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1129 Debt is not yours (25%)
  • 879 Debt was result of identity theft (19%)
  • 712 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (16%)
  • 407 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 299 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 799 Complaints: TX
  • 541 Complaints: CA
  • 479 Complaints: FL
  • 323 Complaints: GA
  • 183 Complaints: NY
  • 151 Complaints: IL
  • 144 Complaints: NJ
  • 124 Complaints: PA
  • 115 Complaints: NC
  • 114 Complaints: OH

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

  • 3697 Closed with explanation (81%)
  • 419 In progress (9%)
  • 346 Closed with non-monetary relief (8%)
  • 79 Untimely response (2%)
  • 19 Closed with monetary relief (0%)

This includes 4418 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 142 (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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