Quick analysis: It starts…

After a strong start to the year in litigation totals, consumer litigation took a bit of a tumble in February – at least compared to where it stood in January. FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA were all down for the month (-2.9%, -12.9% and down an incredible -49.3%, respectively). It is worth noting that both FCRA and TCPA were up by significant margins over this time last year however, +19.8% and +38.8%, respectively.

Whether connected to fears of the impending coronavirus spread or something else, the litigation slowdown is certain to continue through the next couple of months as courts close and commerce grinds to a halt.

CFPB complaints (which, incidentally can be filed in the comfort of your living room) rose 5.7% over January.

In other news, putative class actions represented 21.1% of FDCPA, 48.3% of TCPA and 6.9% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month.

About 34% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, for the first time since October 2019, New York attorney Craig B. Sanders represented more consumers than anyone else for the month (66) which also makes him the most active consumer attorney of the year with 91. That doesn’t include the literal leaders of Rebecca Evans and Nicole Rochelle Lewis, who I consider outliers because they filed a single TCPA lawsuit with 238 plaintiffs in it.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Feb 01, 2020
Feb 29, 2020
Jan 01, 2020
Jan 31, 2020
Feb 01, 2019
Mar 01, 2019
Jan 01, 2020
Feb 29, 2020
Jan 01, 2019
Mar 01, 2019
CFPB  4011 3793 5.7% 4005 0.1% 7804 7176 8.8%
FDCPA  629 648 -2.9% 695 -9.5% 1277 1412 -9.6%
FCRA  420 482 -12.9% 403 4.2% 902 753 19.8%
TCPA  271 534 -49.3% 277 -2.2% 805 580 38.8%

 

 

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We interrupt February Stats for a preview of March Stats!
———————————————————————————————

This is preliminary! But we thought the industry might like to see a sneak preview of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting consumer litigation since shutdowns began. We took a snapshot of filed litigation for the first 15 days of March, and present it to you below. Be aware, these numbers are not yet 100% confirmed, but they should be pretty close to reality when all is said and done. We will officially update March numbers in mid-April.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Mar 01, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
Feb 15, 2020
Feb 29, 2020
Mar 01, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
Jan 01, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
Jan 01, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
CFPB  1675 2060 -18.7% 2162 -22.5% 9479 9178 3.3%
FDCPA  284 359 -20.9% 372 -23.7% 1561 1749 -10.7%
FCRA  191 245 -22.0% 176 8.5% 1093 912 19.8%
TCPA  109 127 -14.2% 134 -18.7% 914 703 30.0%

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Now back to your regularly scheduled February stats!
———————————————————————————————

 

Complaint Statistics:

4011 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1159 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Feb 01, 2020 to Feb 29, 2020.

  • 4011 CFPB Complaints
  • 629 FDCPA, 133 Class Action (21.1%)
  • 271 TCPA, 131 Class Action (48.3%)
  • 420 FCRA, 29 Class Action (6.9%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1159 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 398, or (34%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2850 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 160 different US District Court branches.
  • About 793 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 96 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 52 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 46 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 40 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 40 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 31 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 31 Lawsuits: Texas Eastern District Court – Sherman
  • 31 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 28 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 25 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 66 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 37 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 33 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 31 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 30 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 25 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 22 Consumers: DAVID W HEMMINGER
  • Representing 22 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 21 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB
  • Representing 20 Consumers: MARY ELIZABETH PHILIPPS

Statistics Year to Date:
2408 total lawsuits for 2020, including:

  • 1277 FDCPA
  • 902 FCRA
  • 805 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2020: 2598 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 238 Consumers: REBECCA EVANS
  • Representing 238 Consumers: NICOLE ROCHELLE LEWIS
  • Representing 91 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 88 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 74 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 58 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 56 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 54 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 49 Consumers: DAVID W HEMMINGER
  • Representing 47 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB

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

There were 4011 complaints filed against debt collectors from Feb 01, 2020 to Feb 29, 2020.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 783

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1176 Other debt (29%)
  • 969 I do not know (24%)
  • 815 Credit card debt (20%)
  • 593 Medical debt (15%)
  • 131 Auto debt (3%)
  • 125 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 93 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 61 Federal student loan debt (2%)
  • 48 Private student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1957 Attempts to collect debt not owed (49%)
  • 857 Written notification about debt (21%)
  • 381 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 367 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (9%)
  • 340 Communication tactics (8%)
  • 109 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (3%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 952 Debt is not yours (24%)
  • 615 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (15%)
  • 578 Debt was result of identity theft (14%)
  • 362 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 302 Attempted to collect wrong amount (8%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 584 Complaints: TX
  • 465 Complaints: CA
  • 379 Complaints: FL
  • 243 Complaints: GA
  • 189 Complaints: NY
  • 129 Complaints: IL
  • 118 Complaints: PA
  • 117 Complaints: NJ
  • 113 Complaints: VA
  • 104 Complaints:

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

  • 3269 Closed with explanation (82%)
  • 343 In progress (9%)
  • 307 Closed with non-monetary relief (8%)
  • 74 Untimely response (2%)
  • 18 Closed with monetary relief (0%)

This includes 3888 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 123 (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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