Quick analysis: You’re not gonna believe this…

Yes, lawsuits were down in March. That is no surprise. Courts closed, people started sheltering in place, commerce plummeted. But the shock is in how much lawsuits were down from the prior month. Or, more accurately speaking, in how *little* they were down.

After a brief slowdown in the first half of the month, FDCPA ended up down only -3.3% from February, FCRA only -3.6% and TCPA -7.7%. That is shocking. Even as most of the country was shutting down, consumer litigation barely missed a beat. FCRA and TCPA are even up +20.3% and +23% respectively YTD. Does this mean suing creditors, debt collectors and marketers is now considered an essential service?

In other news, putative class actions represented 25.5% of FDCPA, 46% of TCPA and 4.4% of FCRA lawsuits filed last month.

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

And finally, New York attorney Craig B. Sanders represented more consumers (by far) than anyone else for the month (75) which also makes him the most active consumer attorney of the year with 161. That doesn’t include the literal leaders of Rebecca Evans and Nicole Rochelle Lewis, who I consider outliers because together they filed a single TCPA lawsuit with 238 plaintiffs in it.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Mar 01, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Feb 01, 2020
Feb 29, 2020
Mar 01, 2019
Mar 31, 2019
Jan 01, 2020
Mar 31, 2020
Jan 01, 2019
Mar 31, 2019
CFPB  4224 4016 5.2% 4288 -1.5% 12034 11304 6.5%
FDCPA  608 629 -3.3% 723 -15.9% 1885 2100 -10.2%
FCRA  405 420 -3.6% 350 15.7% 1307 1086 20.3%
TCPA  250 271 -7.7% 289 -13.5% 1055 858 23.0%

 

Complaint Statistics:

4224 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1114 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Mar 01, 2020 to Mar 31, 2020.

  • 4224 CFPB Complaints
  • 608 FDCPA, 155 Class Action (25.5%)
  • 250 TCPA, 115 Class Action (46.0%)
  • 405 FCRA, 18 Class Action (4.4%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1114 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 394, or (35%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 3471 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 144 different US District Court branches.
  • About 693 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 70 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 50 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 41 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 39 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 32 Lawsuits: New York Southern District Court – Foley Square
  • 31 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 30 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale
  • 29 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 29 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 27 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 70 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 46 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 24 Consumers: JOSEPH LEWIS ERKENBRACK
  • Representing 24 Consumers: ADAM KLEIN
  • Representing 20 Consumers: JEFFREY J BURSELL
  • Representing 20 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 19 Consumers: JOSEPH SCOTT DAVIDSON
  • Representing 17 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 16 Consumers: DAVID M MARCO

Statistics Year to Date:
3494 total lawsuits for 2020, including:

  • 1885 FDCPA
  • 1307 FCRA
  • 1055 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2020: 3638 (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 161 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 108 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 85 Consumers: ADRIAN ROBERT BACON
  • Representing 83 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 73 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 69 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 63 Consumers: JOSEPH LEWIS ERKENBRACK
  • Representing 63 Consumers: ADAM KLEIN

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

There were 4224 complaints filed against debt collectors from Mar 01, 2020 to Mar 31, 2020.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 750

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1261 Other debt (30%)
  • 1022 I do not know (24%)
  • 938 Credit card debt (22%)
  • 545 Medical debt (13%)
  • 137 Auto debt (3%)
  • 133 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 80 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 58 Federal student loan debt (1%)
  • 50 Private student loan debt (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 2327 Attempts to collect debt not owed (55%)
  • 777 Written notification about debt (18%)
  • 370 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (9%)
  • 339 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 335 Communication tactics (8%)
  • 76 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (2%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1153 Debt is not yours (27%)
  • 754 Debt was result of identity theft (18%)
  • 535 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (13%)
  • 351 Debt was paid (8%)
  • 279 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 705 Complaints: TX
  • 497 Complaints: CA
  • 371 Complaints: FL
  • 318 Complaints: GA
  • 232 Complaints: NY
  • 126 Complaints: OH
  • 114 Complaints: PA
  • 108 Complaints: IL
  • 108 Complaints: NC
  • 107 Complaints: VA

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

  • 3289 Closed with explanation (78%)
  • 445 In progress (11%)
  • 382 Closed with non-monetary relief (9%)
  • 84 Untimely response (2%)
  • 24 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 4091 (97%) timely responses to complaints, and 133 (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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