Consumers sued an estimated 562 different collection agencies and creditors between April 1-15. The number of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) cases in that period fell to 460, down 13.4% from March 16-31 and down 19.7% from April 1-15, 2011, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-firm that tracks the data from U.S. District courts.
The drop in FDCPA cases likely can be attributed to the fact that five weekend dates fell in the short 15-day period. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was the only statute to increase in the April 1-15 period with a 8.3% increase (72 to 78) compared with the last half of March.
Year to date, FCRA and Telephone Consumer Protection Act filings are both showing strong growth - with FCRA cases up 74% from 384 to 668 and TCPA cases up 82.9% from 164 to 300. FDCPA filings are slightly down (5%) from 3,276 to 3,111. TILA cases are down significantly (31%) from 384 to 265.
Consumers filed a total of 518 lawsuits in the first half of April. Of those cases, there were approximately 545 unique plaintiffs, including 183 (or 34%) who previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,040 lawsuits since 2001.
The most active consumer attorneys in the first half of April included Sergei Lemberg (representing 16 consumers), David M. Larson (15) and Everett H. Mechem (11). Lemberg and Larson also have been the most active attorneys in 2012, representing 97 and 92 consumers, respectively.