Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits rose slightly to 455 in the Oct. 1-15 period compared to 441 in the last half of September, according to data from U.S. District Courts.

The total number of consumer statute lawsuits in the first half of October reached 497, up from 481. The number includes 58 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits and 24 Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases.

Between Oct. 1-15, an estimated 482 different collection agencies and creditors were sued, up from an estimated 456 in the last half of September and 409 in the first half of September.

Of the total, there were approximately 524 unique plaintiffs, including an estimated 100 who previously had sued under consumer statutes. In total, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 514 lawsuits since 2001, according to WebRecon LLC, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based research firm that compiles the totals from the courts.

Year-to-date, plaintiffs have filed 9,060 lawsuits, including 8,481 FDCPA cases, 1,002 FCRA cases and 420 Truth-in-Lending actions. Jack Dennis Card is the most active consumer attorney this year, representing 294 consumers in lawsuits. Card surpassed Sergei Lemberg in the most recent reporting period. Lemberg has represented 278 consumers in lawsuits this year.

In June, Lemberg criticized the collection industry in a statement to the press, see story, for blaming consumer attorneys for a spike in lawsuits, which he argued are rising because of increasingly aggressive tactics by collectors.

Editor's Note: To comment on this story, contact Darren Waggoner at 815.463.9008 or darren.waggoner@sourcemedia.com.

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