Consumer litigation filed against collection agencies and creditors in 2011 set several records - including cases citing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA).
FCRA, TCPA and TILA lawsuits all jumped greatly compared to 2010. FCRA cases totaled 1,838 last year compared to 1,295 in 2010. TCPA cases increased to 660 cases compared to 272 cases in 2010. TILA cases nearly tripled last year to 1,462 cases compared to 529 in 2010, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company that tracks the data from the courts.
FDCPA litigation increased to 11,811 in 2011 compared to 10,859 a year ago, falling just short of the 12,000 cases projected by WebRecon.
"The growth rate of FDCPA litigation has plummeted over the last two years, though it is important to note that the number of FDCPA lawsuits filed does continue to grow each year, just on a shrinking trajectory," says Jack Gordon, CEO at WebRecon.
FDCPA litigation hit its peak growth in 2009, when it rose 52% over previous year numbers. That dropped to 19% in 2010, and is just 8% in 2011.
Despite some aggressive challenges from others late in the year, Colorado Springs, Colo. attorney David M Larson represented 357 consumers in 2011 – more than any other attorney in consumer litigation. Petersburg, Va. attorney Dale Wood Pittman represented 309 consumers during the year, followed by Parsippany, N.J. attorney Feng Li with 299, primarily from one giant lawsuit filed in September.
Led by Larson’s total, the Denver Colorado district court saw the most suits filed, totaling 658. Philadelphia was second with 634 suits, followed by Los Angeles with 623, Chicago with 592 and Newark, N.J. with 486.
Statewide, California led with 1,654 lawsuits in 2011. Florida was next with 1,146 lawsuits, followed by New York with 1,128, Pennsylvania with 940 and New Jersey with 711.
2011: 11,811 FDCPA Cases, 1838 FCRA Cases, 660 TCPA Cases, 1462 TILA Cases
2010: 10,859 FDCPA Cases, 1295 FCRA Cases, 272 TCPA Cases, 529 TILA Cases
2009: 9135 FDCPA Cases, 1174 FCRA Cases
2008: 6025 FDCPA Cases, 1164 FCRA Cases
2007: 4372 FDCPA Cases, 1347 FCRA Cases
2006: 3710 FDCPA Cases, 955 FCRA Cases
2005: 3215 FDCPA Cases