Wild Swings and Limping… Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics, August 2015

Quick analysis: Sort of like the stock market, consumer litigation is going through some wild swings this year. Down a not-insignificant 12.6% from July (after dropping 7.5% from June before that), FDCPA litigation is still WAY ahead of this time last year (by a whopping 18.1%). FCRA is also down a bit this month (2.3%) while being way ahead YTD (by 32.3%).

TCPA… remember TCPA? You know, the one that hogs all the news these days? TCPA is barely limping along with exactly *no* movement in last month’s numbers from the month before (I think that is actually the first time I have ever seen that happen…). However it has managed to eke out a minor increase in the YTD race, changing sides from being 1% down YTD in July to 1.7% up YTD in August.

CFPB complaints took a tumble last month, dropping 10% from the month before. However, most of that movement appears to be the result of a large CFPB data drop after we ran the stats last time around. So, nothing much to see here. Move along. CFPB numbers are riding just above break even YTD over 2014, with a 3% increase. Once all the cases trickle in, that will likely be bumped up a few points.

Fun Facts: ∙

– For August 2015, about 34% of all consumer litigation plaintiffs had sued at least once before under consumer litigation statutes.
– About 805 different companies were sued, and 834 different debt collectors were complained about to the CFPB.
– Class actions were mixed, with a huge 18.1% for FDCPA, an average 13.7% for TCPA and a ho-hum 10.3% for FCRA.
– The Pennsylvania Eastern District Court in Philadelphia had the most litigation filed in it, with 58 lawsuits invoking consumer statutes. California had the most CFPB complaints against debt collectors, with 470.
– Attorneys David H Krieger and Craig Thor Kimmel tied for representing the most consumers for the month with 26, but Craig B. Sanders has still represented the most year to date, with 193

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Aug 01, 2015
Aug 31, 2015
Jul 01, 2015
Jul 31, 2015
Aug 01, 2014
Aug 31, 2014
CFPB Complaints  3432 3812 -10.0% 3257 5.4%
FDCPA lawsuits  925 1058 -12.6% 766 20.8%
FCRA lawsuits  300 307 -2.3% 164 82.9%
TCPA lawsuits  256 256 0.0% 209 22.5%
YTD CFPB Complaints  28176 27349 3.0%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  7826 6628 18.1%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  2125 1606 32.3%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  1835 1804 1.7%

 

Complaint Statistics:

3432 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1220 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes from Aug 01, 2015 to Aug 31, 2015. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3432 CFPB Complaints
  • 925 FDCPA, 167 Class Action (18.1%)
  • 256 TCPA, 35 Class Action (13.7%)
  • 300 FCRA, 31 Class Action (10.3%)

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1220 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 414, or (34%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 8293 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 166 different US District Court branches.
  • About 805 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 58 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 52 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 50 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Newark
  • 40 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 34 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 31 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court – Trenton
  • 31 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 30 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Central Islip
  • 29 Lawsuits: Nevada District Court – Las Vegas
  • 28 Lawsuits: Indiana Southern District Court – Indianapolis

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 26 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 26 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 22 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 20 Consumers: CHARLES LOY RICHARDSON
  • Representing 20 Consumers: MATTHEW THOMAS BERRY
  • Representing 20 Consumers: CHARLES ROBERT BURTON
  • Representing 20 Consumers: GARY L RICHARDSON
  • Representing 20 Consumers: JASON CHARLES MESSENGER
  • Representing 20 Consumers: YITZCHAK ZELMAN
  • Representing 20 Consumers: KEVIN DUANE ADAMS

Statistics Year to Date:

9815 total lawsuits for 2015, including:

  • 7826 FDCPA
  • 2125 FCRA
  • 1835 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2015: 9229 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 193 Consumers: CRAIG B SANDERS
  • Representing 163 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 150 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 148 Consumers: AMY LYNN BENNECOFF GINSBURG
  • Representing 140 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 124 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 121 Consumers: DAVID H KRIEGER
  • Representing 115 Consumers: MOHAMMED OMAR BADWAN
  • Representing 114 Consumers: DANIEL A EDELMAN
  • Representing 104 Consumers: MARK A ELDRIDGE

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CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3432 complaints filed against debt collectors from Aug 01, 2015 to Aug 31, 2015.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 834

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 1065 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (31%)
  • 746 Unknown (22%)
  • 606 Credit card (18%)
  • 577 Medical (17%)
  • 145 Payday loan (4%)
  • 105 Mortgage (3%)
  • 84 Auto (2%)
  • 62 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 42 Federal student loan (1%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1578 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (46%)
  • 628 Disclosure verification of debt (18%)
  • 531 Communication tactics (15%)
  • 262 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 225 Improper contact or sharing of info (7%)
  • 208 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 962 Debt is not mine (28%)
  • 423 Not given enough info to verify debt (12%)
  • 412 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 349 Frequent or repeated calls (10%)
  • 192 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 470 Complaints: CA
  • 381 Complaints: TX
  • 329 Complaints: FL
  • 183 Complaints: NY
  • 159 Complaints: GA
  • 119 Complaints: OH
  • 117 Complaints: NC
  • 117 Complaints: NJ
  • 104 Complaints: IL
  • 97 Complaints: AZ

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

  • 3432 (100%)

This includes 3160 (92%) timely responses to complaints, and 272 (8%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (%) of them, disputed 347 (10%) of them, and 3085 (90%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 189 Complaints: Wed, 08/05/2015
  • 182 Complaints: Thu, 08/06/2015
  • 166 Complaints: Thu, 08/20/2015
  • 165 Complaints: Mon, 08/03/2015
  • 162 Complaints: Tue, 08/18/2015