Quick analysis: 2020 Starts with complaints up across the board.

Dec 2019: Everything ended the year down.
Jan 2020: Everything began the year up.

FDCPA, TCPA and FCRA were all up over last month, +1.6%, +11.5% and +28.6% respectively. FCRA was also up over last year January by +37.4%, while FDCPA and TCPA were down so far YTD, by -9.8% and -13.9% respectively. CFPB Complaints were up +13.2% over last month, and 19.1% over last year January.

These are not insignificant numbers. It is fair to say consumer complaint activity came roaring out of the gate in 2020. Even the +1.6% for FDCPA is a bit dramatic, considering that most months in these last few years it has shown a steady (if slow) decline.

In other news, putative class actions represented 23.3% of FDCPA, 45.2% of TCPA and 5.6% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month.

About 33% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, in what is his first time at the top of this list in several years, Los Angeles attorney Todd M. Friedman represented more consumers than anyone else in January (55) which also makes him the most active consumer attorney of the year (so far…).

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Jan 01, 2020
Jan 31, 2020
Dec 01, 2019
Dec 31, 2019
Jan 01, 2019
Jan 31, 2019
Jan 01, 2020
Jan 31, 2020
Jan 01, 2019
Jan 31, 2019
CFPB  3777 3337 13.2% 3171 19.1% 3777 3171 19.1%
FDCPA  647 637 1.6% 717 -9.8% 647 717 -9.8%
FCRA  481 374 28.6% 350 37.4% 481 350 37.4%
TCPA  261 234 11.5% 303 -13.9% 261 303 -13.9%


Complaint Statistics:

3777 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1209 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Jan 01, 2020 to Jan 31, 2020.

  • 3777 CFPB Complaints
  • 647 FDCPA, 151 Class Action (23.3%)
  • 261 TCPA, 118 Class Action (45.2%)
  • 481 FCRA, 27 Class Action (5.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1209 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 398, or (33%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2613 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 161 different US District Court branches.
  • About 810 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 70 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 69 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 62 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 53 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 48 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 40 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 39 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 33 Lawsuits: Arizona District Court – Phoenix
  • 33 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 31 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 55 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 49 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 27 Consumers: DAVID W HEMMINGER
  • Representing 26 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB
  • Representing 25 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: JOSEPH LEWIS ERKENBRACK
  • Representing 24 Consumers: ADAM KLEIN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 22 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS

Statistics Year to Date:
1212 total lawsuits for 2020, including:

  • 647 FDCPA
  • 481 FCRA
  • 261 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2020: 1209 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 55 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 49 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 27 Consumers: DAVID W HEMMINGER
  • Representing 26 Consumers: EDWARD Y KROUB
  • Representing 25 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 24 Consumers: JOSEPH LEWIS ERKENBRACK
  • Representing 24 Consumers: ADAM KLEIN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 22 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3777 complaints filed against debt collectors from Jan 01, 2020 to Jan 31, 2020.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 834

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1019 Other debt (27%)
  • 885 I do not know (23%)
  • 828 Credit card debt (22%)
  • 601 Medical debt (16%)
  • 148 Auto debt (4%)
  • 123 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 66 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 59 Private student loan debt (2%)
  • 48 Federal student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1725 Attempts to collect debt not owed (46%)
  • 827 Written notification about debt (22%)
  • 419 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (11%)
  • 372 Communication tactics (10%)
  • 352 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 82 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 896 Debt is not yours (24%)
  • 620 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (16%)
  • 428 Debt was result of identity theft (11%)
  • 352 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 263 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 436 Complaints: CA
  • 379 Complaints: TX
  • 341 Complaints: FL
  • 228 Complaints: NY
  • 214 Complaints: GA
  • 124 Complaints: NC
  • 118 Complaints: OH
  • 118 Complaints: PA
  • 115 Complaints: VA
  • 114 Complaints: MI

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

  • 3066 Closed with explanation (81%)
  • 313 Closed with non-monetary relief (8%)
  • 287 In progress (8%)
  • 88 Untimely response (2%)
  • 23 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3619 (96%) timely responses to complaints, and 158 (4%) 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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