Quick analysis:

In another month where just about every type of consumer complaint was down, FCRA broke out with an almost 60% increase over the prior month.

Why? Who knows. But FCRA alone is on a bit of a tear this year, up 13.5% YTD while FDCPA and TCPA(!) are both down over 6% YTD.

FCRA’s increase keeps it in line with the aggressive growth in recent years. However, for those of you who have been watching this data for a while, it should be somewhat surprising to hear TCPA remains down. Without a significant change in plaintiff filing behavior, we are actually on track to see TCPA filings drop from the previous year for the first time since, well, since the start of TCPA litigation.

Here is a month-by-month look at litigation so far in 2017.

In CFPB news, while it is still historically high, CFPB complaints had their slowest month of the year with *only* 3239 complaints filed. CFPB complaints are still more than 20% YTD and are certainly going to set a new record when the year is up.

And in BBB news, we spoke too soon last month. Once the numbers shook out, August BBB complaints against debt collectors weren’t only *not* way down from the previous month, but they had actually set a record for the most complaints ever logged in a month (1859) which topped the previous record set the month before (July, with 1798). (oops…). In September, the total was almost certain to lose momentum, and it did, dropping to 1466 complaints.

Here is a month-by-month look at CFPB & BBB complaints so far in 2017.

Back to litigation…

Putative class actions took an interesting twist last month with 23.7% of FDCPA, 18% of TCPA and an insane 44.1% of FCRA lawsuits filed that way.

About 31% of all plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before, an historically low number (it is usually 33-36%).

And finally, Chicago attorney Celetha Chatman takes the crown for the first time as the most active consumer attorney this month by representing of 31 consumers in September. New York attorney Craig B. Sanders retains it for representing the most consumers year-to-date (411).

 

September 2017 Stats:

Current Month: Previous Month: Previous
Year:
Year to Date: Year to
Date Comp:
Sep 01, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
Aug 01, 2017
Aug 31, 2017
Sep 01, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
Jan 01, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
Jan 01, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
BBB  1466 1859 -21.1% 1191 23.1% 13240 11878 11.5%
CFPB  3239 4585 -29.4% 3593 -9.9% 36570 30430 20.2%
FDCPA  716 870 -17.7% 931 -23.1% 7527 8032 -6.3%
FCRA  556 351 58.4% 285 95.1% 3328 2932 13.5%
TCPA  294 374 -21.4% 447 -34.2% 3460 3708 -6.7%

 

Complaint Statistics:

1466 consumers filed BBB complaints, 3239 consumers filed CFPB complaints, and about 1407 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Sep 01, 2017 to Sep 30, 2017.

  • 1466 BBB Complaints
  • 3239 CFPB Complaints
  • 716 FDCPA, 170 Class Action (23.7%)
  • 294 TCPA, 53 Class Action (18.0%)
  • 556 FCRA, 245 Class Action (44.1%)

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

  • Of those cases, there were about 1407 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 435, or (31%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 5256 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 172 different US District Court branches.
  • About 741 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 93 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 84 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 81 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 41 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis
  • 39 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Western Division – Los Angeles
  • 35 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 34 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 34 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 31 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 28 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 31 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN
  • Representing 30 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 27 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 26 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 26 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 26 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 25 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 23 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 21 Consumers: ELLIOT WAYNE GALE
  • Representing 21 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN

Statistics Year to Date:
11820 total lawsuits for 2017, including:

  • 7527 FDCPA
  • 3328 FCRA
  • 3460 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2017: 11315 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 411 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 349 Consumers: AHMAD TAYSEER SULAIMAN
  • Representing 306 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 284 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 270 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 260 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 252 Consumers: NATHAN CHARLES VOLHEIM
  • Representing 215 Consumers: TAXIARCHIS HATZIDIMITRIADIS
  • Representing 190 Consumers: MICHAEL JACOB WOOD
  • Representing 189 Consumers: CELETHA CHATMAN

——————————————————————————————————-
BBB Complaint Statistics:

There were a total of 1466 BBB complaints against debt collectors and creditors from Sep 01, 2017 to Sep 30, 2017. That is down -21.1% from last month.

The categories of complaints filed were:

  • 866 Billing/Collection Issues (59%)
  • 559 Problems with Product/Service (38%)
  • 31 Advertising/Sales Issues (2%)
  • 9 Delivery Issues (1%)
  • 1 Guarantee/Warranty Issues (0%)

The dispositions of these complaints are:

  • 1106 The Business addressed the issues within the complaint, but the consumer did not accept the response, OR BBB has not heard back from the consumer as to their satisfaction. (75%)
  • 243 The complainant verified the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. (17%)
  • 88 The business failed to respond to the dispute. (6%)
  • 16 BBB is unable to locate the business. (1%)
  • 13 The business responded to the dispute but failed to make a good faith effort to resolve it. (1%)

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

There were 3239 complaints filed against debt collectors from Sep 01, 2017 to Sep 30, 2017.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 769

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1128 Other debt (35%)
  • 583 I do not know (18%)
  • 563 Credit card debt (17%)
  • 528 Medical debt (16%)
  • 117 Payday loan debt (4%)
  • 94 Auto debt (3%)
  • 87 Federal student loan debt (3%)
  • 84 Mortgage debt (3%)
  • 55 Private student loan debt (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1374 Attempts to collect debt not owed (42%)
  • 727 Written notification about debt (22%)
  • 396 Communication tactics (12%)
  • 348 Took or threatened to take negative or legal action (11%)
  • 303 False statements or representation (9%)
  • 91 Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly (3%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 807 Debt is not yours (25%)
  • 549 Didnt receive enough information to verify debt (17%)
  • 323 Debt was paid (10%)
  • 256 Attempted to collect wrong amount (8%)
  • 195 Frequent or repeated calls (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 426 Complaints: CA
  • 361 Complaints: TX
  • 278 Complaints: FL
  • 210 Complaints: GA
  • 149 Complaints: NY
  • 113 Complaints:
  • 105 Complaints: OH
  • 94 Complaints: IL
  • 85 Complaints: NC
  • 85 Complaints: PA

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

  • 2560 Closed with explanation (79%)
  • 293 In progress (9%)
  • 271 Closed with non-monetary relief (8%)
  • 89 Untimely response (3%)
  • 26 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3113 (96%) timely responses to complaints, and 126 (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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