Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits filed against collection agencies and creditors posted large gains on a month-to-month basis as well as compared with a year ago, a reversal of last year's trend, according to data from U.S. district courts.
Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits also climbed over last month but dipped below last year's number. Finally, Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits remained on an explosive pace, coming close to doubling its numbers from last year.
The breakdown, provided by WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that pulls the data from the courts, follows:
FDCPA: 1,125 in April, up 14% from 987 in March and up 8% from 1,045 in April 2012.
FCRA: 232 in April, up 38.1% from 168 in March and up 32% from 176 in April 2012.
TCPA: 156 in April, up 10.6% from 141 in March and up 81% from 86 in April 2012.
Year-to-date through April 30, FDCPA lawsuits reached 3,989, an increase of 7% from 3,728 through April 2012; FCRA lawsuits totaled 710, down 8% from 771 through April 2012; and TCPA lawsuits reached 612, up 76% from 348 through April 2012.
There were 1,285 total lawsuits filed under consumer statutes in April. Of those cases, there were an estimated 1,376 unique plaintiffs, including 464 - or 34% - who previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 2,412 lawsuits since 2001. An estimated 1,087 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in April.
Those most active consumer attorneys in April included: Craig Thor Kimmel, representing 45 consumers; Sergei Lemberg, 42 consumers; and Daniel Edelman, 28 consumers.
The data gathered from the courts does not include a breakdown of dismissals or other outcomes.