Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Truth-in-Lending Act lawsuits filed against collection agencies and creditors slowed in the first half of February after an active second half of January, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that tracks the data from U.S. District Courts.
Consumers filed an estimated 483 total consumer statute lawsuits in the first half of February. FDCPA cases fell to 391 from 491 in the second half of January. TILA filings fell to 27 from 38. There were also an estimated 103 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) filings and 44 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits. Some filings listed more than one statute violation.
Of the total filings in the first half of February, there were an estimated 500 unique plaintiffs, of which an estimated 189 (or 18%) had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, the plaintiffs in the period filed an estimated 1,108 lawsuits since 2001. An estimated 633 different collection agencies and creditors were sued.
Both FDCPA and Truth-in-Lending categories fell in year-to-year tracking. FDCPA cases in the first half of February were down an estimated 3.6% (from 1,310 to 1,263) and Truth-in-Lending cases dropped by 43.8% (from 201 to 113), compared with the first half of February 2011.
Numbers however stayed strong for FCRA and TCPA litigation, barely moving from last period. Neither show signs of slowing in the near term and both statutes also indicate robust year-to-year growth, according to Jack Gordon, CEO at WebRecon. FCRA cases are up 66.5% (from 164 to 273) and TCPA cases are up 21.1% (from 90 to 109) compared with the first half of February 2011.
Colorado's District Court in Denver was the most active court for filings in the period, with 32 lawsuits.
The most active consumer attorneys in the period were Sergei Lemberg, representing 19 consumers, followed by David M. Larson and Joseph M. Meinhardt (with 15 consumers each).
Year-to-date, an estimated 1,458 lawsuits have been filed - including 1,263 FDCPA, 273 FCRA, 113 Truth-in-Lending and 108 TCPA.