WebRecon Stats for March 2020: You’re not gonna believe this…

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.