Quick analysis: Well, 2020 ended pretty much as it ran throughout the year. FDCPA suits were down fairly dramatically from 2019 at -17.6%, TCPA was down more nominally at -3.3%, but it was actually more dramatic than that due to some early-year suits that distorted the numbers, and FCRA ended up +5.3% – the only consumer statute that is still consistently showing year-over-year growth.
Here are some year-over-year trends for FDCPA, TCPA and FCRA suits, as well as CFPB and BBB complaints.
*A note on BBB complaints – they are not all in for 2020 yet, so consider that number incomplete. BBB numbers keep trickling in for up to six months so it will be a while before we can be confident about where it settles, but expect that number to rise by as many as 20k.
In spite of those full-year numbers, all three of the consumer statutes (FDCPA, TCPA and FCRA) were up fairly significantly over the previous month, ranging from +16.7% for FCRA to +11.3 for FDCPA and +3.7% for TCPA.
CFPB complaints against debt collectors fell slightly in December from November (-2.6%), yet finished the year up a healthy 16.2% over 2019.
In other news, putative class actions represented 19.3% of FDCPA, 47.4% of TCPA and 2.5% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month.
About 32% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.
And finally, California attorney Todd M. Friedman stays at the top of the list representing more consumers than anyone else in the month with 51 and Mr. Friedman also edges out New York’s Craig B. Sanders to take the title for having filed the most of the year with 320. That YTD stat excludes attorneys Nicole Rochelle Lewis and Rebecca Evans who crammed hundreds of plaintiffs into a few TCPA lawsuits early in 2021.
|Current Month:||Previous Month:||Previous
|Year to Date:||Year to
|Dec 01, 2020
Dec 31, 2020
|Nov 01, 2020
Nov 30, 2020
|Dec 01, 2019
Dec 31, 2019
|Jan 01, 2020
Dec 31, 2020
|Jan 01, 2019
Dec 31, 2019
4589 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1057 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Dec 01, 2020 to Dec 31, 2020.
- 4589 CFPB Complaints
- 493 FDCPA, 95 Class Action (19.3%)
- 194 TCPA, 92 Class Action (47.4%)
- 447 FCRA, 11 Class Action (2.5%)
Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):
- Of those cases, there were about 1057 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
- Of those plaintiffs, about 334, or (32%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
- Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 4649 lawsuits since 2001
- Actions were filed in 152 different US District Court branches.
- About 702 different collection firms and creditors were sued.
The top courts where lawsuits were filed:
- 67 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
- 61 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
- 43 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
- 42 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
- 31 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
- 27 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
- 27 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
- 26 Lawsuits: New York Southern District Court – Foley Square
- 25 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Trenton
- 23 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
The most active consumer attorneys were:
- Representing 51 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
- Representing 43 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
- Representing 31 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB
- Representing 22 Consumers: MOSHE O BOROOSAN
- Representing 21 Consumers: YOSEF STEINMETZ
- Representing 20 Consumers: JOSHUA P WARD
- Representing 19 Consumers: KENNY G OH
- Representing 17 Consumers: MISTY OAKS PAXTON
- Representing 17 Consumers: KYLE W SCHUMACHER
- Representing 14 Consumers: ALEJANDRO EMMANUEL FIGUEROA
Statistics Year to Date:
12963 total lawsuits for 2020, including:
- 6876 FDCPA
- 5223 FCRA
- 3302 TCPA
Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2020: 12582 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)
The most active consumer attorneys of the year:
- Representing 361 Consumers: REBECCA EVANS
- Representing 320 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
- Representing 294 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
- Representing 254 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
- Representing 238 Consumers: NICOLE ROCHELLE LEWIS
- Representing 231 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
- Representing 225 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB
- Representing 208 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
- Representing 167 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
- Representing 166 Consumers: ALEJANDRO EMMANUEL FIGUEROA
CFPB Complaint Statistics:
There were 4589 complaints filed against debt collectors from Dec 01, 2020 to Dec 31, 2020.
Total number of debt collectors complained about: 744
The types of debt behind the complaints were:
- 1203 I do not know (26%)
- 1159 Other debt (25%)
- 1147 Credit card debt (25%)
- 671 Medical debt (15%)
- 175 Auto debt (4%)
- 107 Payday loan debt (2%)
- 67 Mortgage debt (1%)
- 34 Federal student loan debt (1%)
- 26 Private student loan debt (1%)
Here is a breakdown of complaints:
- 2397 Attempts to collect debt not owed (52%)
- 1195 Written notification about debt (26%)
- 333 False statements or representation (7%)
- 316 Communication tactics (7%)
- 299 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (7%)
- 49 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (1%)
The top five subissues were:
- 1320 Debt is not yours (29%)
- 882 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (19%)
- 642 Debt was result of identity theft (14%)
- 373 Debt was paid (8%)
- 289 Didnt receive notice of right to dispute (6%)
The top states complaints were filed from are:
- 624 Complaints: TX
- 436 Complaints: FL
- 428 Complaints: CA
- 349 Complaints: GA
- 342 Complaints: NY
- 221 Complaints: MA
- 186 Complaints: NJ
- 180 Complaints: PA
- 130 Complaints: IL
- 121 Complaints: NC
The status of the month’s complaints are as follows:
- 3747 Closed with explanation (82%)
- 378 Closed with non-monetary relief (8%)
- 376 In progress (8%)
- 65 Untimely response (1%)
- 23 Closed with monetary relief (1%)
This includes 4438 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 151 (3%) untimely responses.