Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases are projected to finish more than 1,500 behind last year's pace, while both Fair Credit Reporting Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits will finish the year well ahead of 2011's totals, according to data from U.S. district courts.
FDCPA lawsuits through Oct. 15 reached 9,117 compared with 9,902 at the same time a year ago, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that pulled the numbers from the courts.
FCRA lawsuits totaled 1,825 through mid-October, 16 percent above the 1,571 lawsuits at the same time a year ago. TCPA cases are tracking 51 percent ahead of last year - 821 through Oct. 15 compared with 544 in 2011.
In the latest reporting period of Oct. 1-15, consumers sued 615 different collection agencies and creditors. They filed 532 FDCPA lawsuits, 105 FCRA lawsuits and 40 TCPA lawsuits during the half-month period. In the previous reporting period of Sept. 16-30, consumers filed 436 FDCPA lawsuits, 73 FCRA cases and 41 TCPA cases.
Of the cases in the Oct. 1-15 period, there were an estimated 617 unique plaintiffs, including 232 (or 38 percent) who previously had sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,186 lawsuits since 2001.
The most active consumer attorneys in the latest period include: Dale Wood Pittman (representing 45 consumers); Sergei Lemberg (26); and David Michael Larson and John Thomas Steinkamp (12 each). Lemberg leads all attorneys having represented 294 consumers so far this year in consumer statute cases, followed by Larson with 279.