Quick analysis: Well, it’s done. The year 2017 ended on a bit of a whimper, with FDCPA litigation down -5.8% and TCPA (shockingly) down -9.3%. This is TCPA’s first year-over-year decline since TCPA lawsuits became more than a novelty in the late-2000’s. Only FCRA posted an increase, up +9.9% over 2016.

Here are year-over-year litigation numbers for FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA from (essentially) the beginning of time.

CFPB complaints ended the year up a strong +18.5% over 2016, though that may still tick up a bit as more complaints come through the portal. BBB complaints are nominally up over last year, +1.3%, though we do expect that number to rise a bit as well over the next few weeks. Because of the slower schedules for these two categories, full year-over-year reports will come next month.

Back to December…

For the month of December, everything was down except for CFPB complaints, though again BBB will likely add quite a bit of volume over the next few weeks and turn into a positive. FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA were all down from November (-9%, -14.3% and -18.01%, respectively)

Putative class actions were mixed last month with 23.6% of FDCPA, 22.1% of TCPA and 6% of FCRA lawsuits filed that way.

About 36% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, New York attorney Craig B. Sanders retained the crown as the most active consumer attorney this month by representing 81 consumers in December and for representing the most consumers year-to-date (621).

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Dec 01, 2017
Dec 31, 2017
Nov 01, 2017
Nov 30, 2017
Dec 01, 2016
Dec 31, 2016
Jan 01, 2017
Dec 31, 2017
Jan 01, 2016
Dec 31, 2016
BBB  2240 3373 -33.6% 3693 -39.3% 47832 47196 1.3%
CFPB  3900 3600 8.3% 3717 4.9% 48692 41100 18.5%
FDCPA  720 791 -9.0% 782 -7.9% 9784 10386 -5.8%
FCRA  299 349 -14.3% 280 6.8% 4346 3954 9.9%
TCPA  285 348 -18.1% 359 -20.6% 4392 4840 -9.3%

 

Complaint Statistics:

2240 consumers filed BBB complaints, 3900 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1126 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Dec 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017.

  • 2240 BBB Complaints
  • 3900 CFPB Complaints
  • 720 FDCPA, 170 Class Action (23.6%)
  • 285 TCPA, 63 Class Action (22.1%)
  • 299 FCRA, 18 Class Action (6.0%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for BBB and CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1126 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 400, or (36%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3369 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 155 different US District Court branches.
  • About 792 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 79 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 77 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 69 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 48 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 46 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 41 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 37 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 30 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 29 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 23 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 81 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 38 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 37 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 27 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 25 Consumers: AHMAD T SULAIMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 19 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 19 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 18 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 18 Consumers: WILLIAM PEERCE HOWARD

Statistics Year to Date:
15409 total lawsuits for 2017, including:

  • 9784 FDCPA
  • 4346 FCRA
  • 4392 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2017: 14421 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 621 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 441 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 397 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 344 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 342 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 336 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 327 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 299 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 261 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 260 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

——————————————————————————————————-
BBB Complaint Statistics:

There were a total of 2240 BBB complaints against debt collectors and creditors from Dec 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017. That is down -33.6% from last month.

The categories of complaints filed were:

  • 1131 Billing/Collection Issues (50%)
  • 790 Problems with Product/Service (35%)
  • 139 Billing / Collection Issues (6%)
  • 79 Advertising/Sales Issues (4%)
  • 53 Delivery Issues (2%)
  • 27 Problems with Product / Service (1%)
  • 15 Guarantee/Warranty Issues (1%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 2 Advertising / Sales Issues (0%)

The dispositions of these complaints are:

  • 774 The Business addressed the issues within the complaint, but the consumer did not accept the response, OR BBB has not heard back from the consumer as to their satisfaction. (35%)
  • 698 The Business addressed the issues within the complaint, but the consumer either (a) did not accept the response, OR (b) did not notify BBB as to their satisfaction. (31%)
  • 393 The complainant verified the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. (18%)
  • 218 (10%)
  • 126 The business failed to respond to the dispute. (6%)
  • 19 BBB is unable to locate the business. (1%)
  • 12 The business responded to the dispute but failed to make a good faith effort to resolve it. (1%)

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

There were 3900 complaints filed against debt collectors from Dec 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 844

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1268 Other debt (33%)
  • 741 I do not know (19%)
  • 709 Credit card debt (18%)
  • 680 Medical debt (17%)
  • 143 Payday loan debt (4%)
  • 122 Mortgage debt (3%)
  • 113 Auto debt (3%)
  • 67 Private student loan debt (2%)
  • 57 Federal student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1529 Attempts to collect debt not owed (39%)
  • 997 Written notification about debt (26%)
  • 503 Communication tactics (13%)
  • 431 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (11%)
  • 348 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 92 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 867 Debt is not yours (22%)
  • 704 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (18%)
  • 346 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 272 Didnt receive notice of right to dispute (7%)
  • 262 Frequent or repeated calls (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 439 Complaints: TX
  • 435 Complaints: CA
  • 420 Complaints: FL
  • 241 Complaints: GA
  • 234 Complaints: NY
  • 157 Complaints: NC
  • 153 Complaints: IL
  • 118 Complaints: OH
  • 117 Complaints: NJ
  • 109 Complaints: PA

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

  • 3036 Closed with explanation (78%)
  • 407 Closed with non-monetary relief (10%)
  • 307 In progress (8%)
  • 126 Untimely response (3%)
  • 24 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3699 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 201 (5%) 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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