Quick analysis: Upside Down & Inside Out

So, when is the last time FDCPA and TCPA lawsuits were up while FCRA lawsuits were down? (spoiler alert… you have to go back a full year, to March 2018). Defying all trends for the last couple of years, March 2019 did just that… with robust gains in FDCPA (+9.4%) and TCPA (+7.9%) and a significant drop in FCRA (-9.3%).

Totally, completely and utterly unrelated to consumer litigation… but if you want to see a really cool take on “Upside Down & Inside Out” take 3.5 minutes and check this out.

Back to business. A couple of other interesting sidenotes appear in this month’s report. First, in spite of the upticks in FDCPA and TCPA, everything is actually down YTD including FCRA lawsuits which started trending that way last month and whose fate was sealed by this month’s drop, and CFPB complaints which in spite of aggressive growth over the last few years has been crossing back and forth over the line in recent months.

In other news, putative class actions were pretty high last month with 18.4% of FDCPA, 41.8%(!) of TCPA and 8.6% of FCRA lawsuits filed that way.

About 35% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, David Scott Klain from Consumer Law Partners in Chicago represented more consumers than anyone else last month (33), while Delaware FCRA attorney Antranig Garibian holds the crown for most lawsuits of the year, with 123 consumers represented.

Current
Month:
Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year
to Date:
Year to
Date Comp:
Mar 01, 2019
Mar 31, 2019
Feb
01, 2019
Feb 28, 2019
Mar
01, 2018
Mar 31, 2018
Jan 01, 2019
Mar 31, 2019
Jan
01, 2018
Mar 31, 2018
CFPB  4133 3834 7.8% 5308 -22.1% 11136 14838 -24.9%
FDCPA  722 660 9.4% 844 -14.5% 2099 2447 -14.2%
FCRA  350 386 -9.3% 372 -5.9% 1085 1102 -1.5%
TCPA  287 266 7.9% 343 -16.3% 855 955 -10.5%

Complaint Statistics:

4133 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1207 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Mar 01, 2019 to Mar 31, 2019.

  • 4133 CFPB Complaints
  • 722 FDCPA, 133 Class Action (18.4%)
  • 287 TCPA, 120 Class Action (41.8%)
  • 350 FCRA, 30 Class Action (8.6%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1207 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 424, or (35%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3196 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 172 different US District Court branches.
  • About 799 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 79 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 55 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 46 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 44 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 43 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 41 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 40 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 35 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 33 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court – Dmn
  • 25 Lawsuits: Kentucky Western District Court – Louisville

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 33 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 31 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 31 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 28 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 27 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 25 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 25 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 25 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 23 Consumers: ANTRANIG N GARIBIAN
  • Representing 22 Consumers: MITCHELL L PASHKIN

Statistics Year to Date:
3454 total lawsuits for 2019, including:

  • 2099 FDCPA
  • 1085 FCRA
  • 855 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2019: 3474 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 123 Consumers: ANTRANIG N GARIBIAN
  • Representing 92 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 79 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 77 Consumers: DAVID SCOTT KLAIN
  • Representing 67 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 65 Consumers: MITCHELL L PASHKIN
  • Representing 57 Consumers: DAVID W HEMMINGER
  • Representing 56 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 55 Consumers: YAAKOV SAKS
  • Representing 52 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG

——————————————————————————————————-

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 4133 complaints filed against debt collectors from Mar 01, 2019 to Mar 31, 2019.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 793

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1213 Other debt (29%)
  • 936 Credit card debt (23%)
  • 850 I do not know (21%)
  • 630 Medical debt (15%)
  • 132 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 115 Auto debt (3%)
  • 94 Federal student loan debt (2%)
  • 90 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 73 Private student loan debt (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1980 Attempts to collect debt not owed (48%)
  • 867 Written notification about debt (21%)
  • 442 Communication tactics (11%)
  • 402 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (10%)
  • 342 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 100 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1011 Debt is not yours (24%)
  • 540 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (13%)
  • 472 Debt was result of identity theft (11%)
  • 411 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 299 Didnt receive notice of right to dispute (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 555 Complaints: TX
  • 445 Complaints: FL
  • 419 Complaints: CA
  • 224 Complaints: GA
  • 220 Complaints: NY
  • 158 Complaints: MI
  • 145 Complaints: PA
  • 135 Complaints: OH
  • 123 Complaints: IL
  • 110 Complaints: NJ

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

  • 3069 Closed with explanation (74%)
  • 576 In progress (14%)
  • 364 Closed with non-monetary relief (9%)
  • 99 Untimely response (2%)
  • 25 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3995 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 138 (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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