Quick analysis: 2018 started with a bit of a bang. FDCPA complaints were at their highest since Aug 2017, FCRA and TCPA were both up from last month and even with all of the drama around CFPB leadership, CFPB complaints had (by far) their highest month ever with 4925 complaints. The next highest months were August 2017 with 4650 and March 2017 with 4648.

As CFPB and BBB data takes a bit longer to settle than litigation data, we delayed reporting full year numbers last month to give the best data we could. Here are your full year reports for 2017:

Back to litigation…

Putative class actions were mixed last month with 23.8% of FDCPA, 19.4% of TCPA and 8.4% of FCRA lawsuits filed that way.

About 35% 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 51 consumers in January (and, of course, year-to-date).

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Jan 01, 2018
Jan 31, 2018
Dec 01, 2017
Dec 31, 2017
Jan 01, 2017
Jan 31, 2017
Jan 01, 2018
Jan 31, 2018
Jan 01, 2017
Jan 31, 2017
BBB  1608 2667 -39.7% 3993 -59.7% 1608 3993 -59.7%
CFPB  4925 3926 25.4% 3768 30.7% 4925 3768 30.7%
FDCPA  815 720 13.2% 821 -0.7% 815 821 -0.7%
FCRA  309 299 3.3% 418 -26.1% 309 418 -26.1%
TCPA  315 285 10.5% 401 -21.4% 315 401 -21.4%


Complaint Statistics:

1608 consumers filed BBB complaints, 4925 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1224 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jan 01, 2018 to Jan 31, 2018.

  • 1608 BBB Complaints
  • 4925 CFPB Complaints
  • 815 FDCPA, 194 Class Action (23.8%)
  • 315 TCPA, 61 Class Action (19.4%)
  • 309 FCRA, 26 Class Action (8.4%)

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

  • Of those cases, there were about 1224 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 431, or (35%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3677 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 163 different US District Court branches.
  • About 706 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 99 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 65 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 55 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 44 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 38 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 34 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 29 Lawsuits: Wisconsin Eastern District Court – Milwaukee
  • 28 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 28 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 28 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 51 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 42 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 38 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 27 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 22 Consumers: SARAH MARGARET BARNES
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 22 Consumers: AHMAD T SULAIMAN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

Statistics Year to Date:
1181 total lawsuits for 2018, including:

  • 815 FDCPA
  • 309 FCRA
  • 315 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2018: 1224 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 51 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 42 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 38 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 37 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 27 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE
  • Representing 22 Consumers: SARAH MARGARET BARNES
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 22 Consumers: AHMAD T SULAIMAN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

BBB Complaint Statistics:

There were a total of 1608 BBB complaints against debt collectors and creditors from Jan 01, 2018 to Jan 31, 2018. That is down -39.7% from last month.

The categories of complaints filed were:

  • 867 Billing/Collection Issues (54%)
  • 396 Problems with Product/Service (25%)
  • 196 Billing / Collection Issues (12%)
  • 61 Problems with Product / Service (4%)
  • 30 Advertising/Sales Issues (2%)
  • 21 Delivery Issues (1%)
  • 4 Advertising / Sales Issues (0%)
  • 2 Guarantee/Warranty Issues (0%)

The dispositions of these complaints are:

  • 969 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. (60%)
  • 401 The complainant verified the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. (25%)
  • 170 The business failed to respond to the dispute. (11%)
  • 27 BBB is unable to locate the business. (2%)
  • 17 The business responded to the dispute but failed to make a good faith effort to resolve it. (1%)
  • 10 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. (1%)

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 4925 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jan 01, 2018 to Jan 31, 2018.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 895

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1589 Other debt (32%)
  • 974 I do not know (20%)
  • 913 Credit card debt (19%)
  • 885 Medical debt (18%)
  • 161 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 132 Auto debt (3%)
  • 102 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 90 Private student loan debt (2%)
  • 79 Federal student loan debt (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 2045 Attempts to collect debt not owed (42%)
  • 1283 Written notification about debt (26%)
  • 555 Communication tactics (11%)
  • 487 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (10%)
  • 434 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 121 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1175 Debt is not yours (24%)
  • 916 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (19%)
  • 452 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 373 Attempted to collect wrong amount (8%)
  • 329 Debt was result of identity theft (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 615 Complaints: FL
  • 580 Complaints: TX
  • 526 Complaints: CA
  • 306 Complaints: GA
  • 288 Complaints: NY
  • 202 Complaints: NC
  • 189 Complaints: NJ
  • 179 Complaints: IL
  • 140 Complaints: OH
  • 137 Complaints: PA

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

  • 3786 Closed with explanation (77%)
  • 578 Closed with non-monetary relief (12%)
  • 374 In progress (8%)
  • 163 Untimely response (3%)
  • 24 Closed with monetary relief (0%)

This includes 4666 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 259 (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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