An estimated 588 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in the second half of February, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiled the data from U.S. District Courts.

The 526 total lawsuits filed under consumer statutes in the Feb. 16-29 period rose in three key categories compared with the first half of the month. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits rose to 422, up 7.9%; Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) cases totaled 129, up 25.2%; and there were 37 Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) lawsuits, up 37%. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits held steady at 44. Several legal actions cited more than one alleged violation.

"Year-to-date, FCRA and TCPA continue to show strong growth over 2011, while FDCPA is on pace with last year’s number and TILA is considerably lower. Expect FDCPA and TILA to pick up as the year goes on," says Jack Gordon CEO at WebRecon.

Total lawsuits for the year reached 1,968, including 1,685 citing alleged FDCPA violations.

Of the total cases for the Feb. 16-29 period, there were an estimated 535 unique plaintiffs, of which an estimated 214 (or 40%) previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,050 lawsuits since 2001

Lawsuits were filed in 120 different U.S. District Court branches. The top courts where lawsuits were filed include: California Central District Court, Western Division, Los Angeles (46); Illinois Northern District Court, Chicago (35); Colorado District Court, Denver (29); and Pennsylvania Eastern District Court, Philadelphia (19).

The most active consumer attorneys for the second half of February include: David M. Larson (representing 14 consumers); Craig T. Kimmel (11); and Novlette R. Kidd (10).

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