Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits soared in January to 153, up 82% from 84 in the year-ago period and up 24.4% from 123 a month earlier, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company that pulls the data from U.S. district courts.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits increased to 932, up 6.9% compared with 872 in December and up 7% compared with 867 in January 2012. Conversely, Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits dropped slightly to 155, down 3.1% compared with a month earlier and down 11% compared with January 2012.

An estimated 754 different collection agencies and creditors were sued in January. Of the total of 1,079 lawsuits filed under the various consumer statutes, there were an estimated 1,210 unique plaintiffs. Of those plaintiffs, an estimated 366 - or 30% - had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs filed an estimated 2,186 lawsuits since 2001.

The Illinois Northern District Court, Chicago, saw the most lawsuits (66) during the month, followed by New York Eastern District Court, Brooklyn, (51) and Colorado District Court, Denver, (49).

The most active consumer attorneys included: Sergei Lemberg (representing 32 consumers); Daniel A. Edelman (30); Thomas Espinosa (30); and Craig Thor Kimmel (25).

WebRecon switched this year from semi-monthly litigation updates to monthly, according to CEO Jack Gordon.

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