A review of lawsuits filed against collection agencies and creditors in the first two-week reporting period for 2012 shows that Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits are down from the same two-week period a year ago.

However, both Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Truth-In-Lending Act (TILA) lawsuits are up compared to a year ago.

WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company that tracks the data from U.S. district courts, provided the analysis.

FDCPA lawsuits from Jan. 1-15 totaled 377 compared with 431 in the same period last year. FCRA lawsuits appear to be continuing solid growth - 66 this period compared to 57 in the same period last year.  

TCPA lawsuits fell to 18 this period compared to 27 in the same period last year. However, TCPA are expected to become more of a threat in coming months because of a court decision last week that should make it easier for consumers to sue. TILA is up as well (48 this period compared to 38 in the same period last year).  

There were an estimated 409 lawsuits filed under consumer statutes in the first half of January 2012. Eighteen percent of plaintiffs this period were repeat litigants, and the most active attorney was Sergei Lemberg, representing 16 consumers.

 Of the cases filed in the Jan. 1-15 period:

  • Of those cases, there were an estimated  465 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, an estimated 129, or 18%, had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 749 lawsuits since 2001.
  • Actions were filed in 121 different US District Court branches.
  • An estimated 447 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 21 Lawsuits: California Central District Court - Western Division - Los Angeles
  • 18 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court - Denver
  • 17 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court - Dmn
  • 16 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court - Chicago
  • 14 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court - Philadelphia
  • 12 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court - San Diego
  • 11 Lawsuits: New York Western District Court - Buffalo
  • 10 Lawsuits: Texas Northern District Court - Dallas
  • 9 Lawsuits: New Jersey District Court - Newark
  • 9 Lawsuits: Connecticut District Court - New Haven

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 16 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg
  • Representing 15 Consumers: Joseph M Meinhardt
  • Representing 12 Consumers: Craig T Kimmel
  • Representing 12 Consumers: Michael D Shaffer
  • Representing 9 Consumers: Tammy L Hussin
  • Representing 8 Consumers: Samuel A Ehrenfeld
  • Representing 7 Consumers: Brad J Davidzik
  • Representing 7 Consumers: Jody B Burton
  • Representing 7 Consumers: Alex D Weisberg
  • Representing 7 Consumers: David J Philipps

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