Lawsuits filed against debt collectors and creditors rose in the first half of March compared to a slower February and the year-ago period, with increases reported in every category, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiled the data from U.S. District Courts.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits reached 460 between March 1-15, compared with 450 in the year-ago period and 392 between Feb. 16-29.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits totaled 122 between March 1-15, compared with 58 in the year-ago period and 107 between Feb. 16-29.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits totaled 41 between March 1-15, compared with 16 a year ago and 38 between Feb. 16-29.
Finally, Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) cases totaled 53 between March 1-15, up from 44 in the year-ago period and 34 between Feb. 16-29.
Year to date, FCRA and TCPA lawsuits continue to show strong growth over the pace in 2011, while FDCPA cases are near even with last year’s number and TILA is still considerably lower.
- Year-to-Date FDCPA: 2,144 in 2012; 2,138 in 2011
- Year-to-Date FCRA: 524 in 2012; 242 in 2011
- Year-to-Date TCPA: 194 in 2012; 126 in 2011
- Year-to-Date TILA: 203 in 2012; 294 in 2011
Of the 538 lawsuits filed under consumer statutes (including several that cited multiple violations) in the first half of March, there were an estimated 602 unique plaintiffs. Of those, an estimated 193 - or 33% - had sued under consumer statutes before. Combined, those plaintiffs filed an estimated 1,146 lawsuits since 2001.
An estimated 717 different collection agencies and creditors were sued.
The most active consumer attorneys between March 1-15 included: David J. Phillips (representing 27 consumers); David M. Larson (14); Jody B. Burton (13) and Sergei Lemberg (13).