Quick analysis:

After an April of across-the-board drops in consumer complaint activity, May 2018 saw a bit of a rebound in every category except for CFPB complaints. But give those a week or two for the stragglers to come in, and we suspect those will be up as well.

Notably, FDCPA is up 10.4% and TCPA is up 23.5% – both statutes have had a rough year with declines much more common than increases. FCRA is up a huge 52.5%, which we will explain in a moment.

In other news, putative class actions were mixed last month with 25.4% of FDCPA, 27.6% of TCPA and 5.5% of FCRA lawsuits filed that way.

About 31% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before.

And finally, Southern California attorney Jeffrey N. Wilens dominated the month by representing a total of 149 consumers between three separate lawsuits filed on May 31 against Equifax. This is part of the reason FCRA suits are up a whopping 52.5% over April, but even without all of this activity FCRA would have been up almost 10%. The next most active attorney was New York’s Craig B Sanders, a frequent occupier of the top spot with 69 consumers represented for the month. Mr. Sanders has represented 288 consumers in 2018, making him the most active consumer attorney YTD.

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
May 01, 2018
May 31, 2018
Apr 01, 2018
Apr 30, 2018
May 01, 2017
May 31, 2017
Jan 01, 2018
May 31, 2018
Jan 01, 2017
May 31, 2017
BBBΒ  3211 2443 31.4% 6037 -46.8% 15998 30991 -48.4%
CFPBΒ  4733 4773 -0.8% 4203 12.6% 24254 20854 16.3%
FDCPAΒ  795 720 10.4% 972 -18.2% 3962 4361 -9.1%
FCRAΒ  511 335 52.5% 378 35.2% 1947 1733 12.3%
TCPAΒ  410 332 23.5% 506 -19.0% 1696 2062 -17.7%


Complaint Statistics:

3211 consumers filed BBB complaints, 4733 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1449 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from May 01, 2018 to May 31, 2018.

  • 3211 BBB Complaints
  • 4733 CFPB Complaints
  • 795 FDCPA, 202 Class Action (25.4%)
  • 410 TCPA, 113 Class Action (27.6%)
  • 511 FCRA, 28 Class Action (5.5%)

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

  • Of those cases, there were about 1449 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 445, or (31%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 2482 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 175 different US District Court branches.
  • About 807 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 119 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 57 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 56 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 52 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 43 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 41 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 41 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 38 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 30 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 28 Lawsuits: Wisconsin Eastern District Court – Milwaukee

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 149 Consumers: JEFFREY N WILENS
  • Representing 68 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 39 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 38 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 32 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 32 Consumers: DAVID M BARSHAY
  • Representing 29 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 26 Consumers: JOHN D BLYTHIN
  • Representing 26 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 22 Consumers: ANTRANIG N GARIBIAN

Statistics Year to Date:
6102 total lawsuits for 2018, including:

  • 3962 FDCPA
  • 1947 FCRA
  • 1696 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2018: 6180 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 288 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 197 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 186 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 183 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 169 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 149 Consumers: JEFFREY N WILENS
  • Representing 138 Consumers: ELLIOT GALE
  • Representing 131 Consumers: THOMAS J CONNICK
  • Representing 107 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 101 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD

BBB Complaint Statistics:

There were a total of 3211 BBB complaints against debt collectors and creditors from May 01, 2018 to May 31, 2018. That is up 31.4% from last month.

CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 4733 complaints filed against debt collectors from May 01, 2018 to May 31, 2018.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 869

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1362 Other debt (29%)
  • 1208 Credit card debt (26%)
  • 914 I do not know (19%)
  • 704 Medical debt (15%)
  • 142 Auto debt (3%)
  • 142 Payday loan debt (3%)
  • 104 Mortgage debt (2%)
  • 81 Federal student loan debt (2%)
  • 76 Private student loan debt (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 2001 Attempts to collect debt not owed (42%)
  • 1328 Written notification about debt (28%)
  • 510 Communication tactics (11%)
  • 419 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 354 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (7%)
  • 121 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (3%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 1100 Debt is not yours (23%)
  • 985 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (21%)
  • 403 Debt was paid (9%)
  • 402 Debt was result of identity theft (8%)
  • 353 Attempted to collect wrong amount (7%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 595 Complaints: TX
  • 501 Complaints: FL
  • 466 Complaints: CA
  • 279 Complaints: NY
  • 279 Complaints: GA
  • 174 Complaints: IL
  • 149 Complaints: OH
  • 145 Complaints: NJ
  • 143 Complaints:
  • 137 Complaints: PA

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

  • 3657 Closed with explanation (77%)
  • 560 Closed with non-monetary relief (12%)
  • 342 In progress (7%)
  • 149 Untimely response (3%)
  • 25 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 4498 (95%) timely responses to complaints, and 235 (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, geographyΒ (and optionally SSN)Β 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 –Β  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.Β 

WebRecon’s proprietary database is simply the most comprehensive collection of dangerous consumer litigation data in existence.Β 

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