Consumers in March filed more than 1,000 lawsuits citing violations of consumer statutes, the bulk of which listed Fair Debt Collection Practices Act offenses. A total of 938 of 1,038 lawsuits filed cited act violations, according to data from U.S. District Court complaint dockets.
The total number of lawsuits is up from 899 in February and 851 in January. The number of cases related to the debt-collection act also is up, from 756 in February and 716 in January.
Breaking down the March numbers, there were 545 consumer statute lawsuits in the second half of the month compared with 538 in the first half. There also was no significant change in debt-collection act cases - 476 in the second half of March compared to 462 in the first half, reports research firm WebRecon LLC, which compiles the monthly data.
Other common consumer statute lawsuits regularly listed in the monthly court data include violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
In the data released today, WebRecon analysis of the last two weeks of March showed an estimated 525 different collection agencies and creditors were named in lawsuits in the period. Of those cases there were an estimated 588 unique plaintiffs, and 172 of them had previously sued citing consumer statutes. Combined, the 172 plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,045 lawsuits since 2001.
In 2009, lawsuits citing debt-collection act violations reached 8,287, a record high and easily topping the previous mark of 5,188 in 2008, according to the courts. The number of debt-collection act lawsuits in 2007 and 2006 totaled 3,813 and 3,220 respectively.