FDCPA Lawsuits Decline, While FCRA and TCPA Filings Increase

Report by ACA International http://www.acainternational.org/news-fdcpa-lawsuits-decline-while-fcra-and-tcpa-filings-increase-31303.aspx

District courts see a 26 percent decrease in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act filings, a 19 percent increase in early Fair Credit Reporting Act filings and a 30 percent jump in Telephone Consumer Protection Act filings, according to January data from WebRecon.

In January 2014, 709 lawsuits were filed in U.S. district courts for alleged Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations, representing a 26 percent decline from January 2013, according to new data from WebRecon. The number of Fair Credit Reporting Act filings increased from 161 in January 2013 to 191 this year—a 19 percent jump. Telephone Consumer Protection Act filings grew from 160 last year to 208 in January 2014—a 30 percent increase.

Of the cases filed in January, about 940 were from unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit). Of those 940 plaintiffs, about 299 (31.8 percent) had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1,595 lawsuits since 2001. Approximately 782 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

WebRecon also reports that 2,975 consumer complaints about debt collectors were filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2014. Top complaints included:

1,215 Continued attempts to collect debt not owed (40.8 percent).

0561 Communication tactics (18.9 percent).

508 Disclosure verification of debt (17.1 percent).

265 Improper contact or sharing of info (8.9 percent).

233 False statements or representation (7.8 percent).

193 Taking/threatening an illegal action (6.5 percent).

The status of January’s CFPB complaints:

2,027 Closed with explanation (68.1 percent).

477 Closed with non-monetary relief (16 percent).

261 In progress (8.8 percent).

93 Closed (3.1 percent).

70 Closed with monetary relief (2.4 percent).

47 Untimely response (1.6 percent).\

In total, 2,894 (97.3 percent) of the month’s complaints were considered timely, and 81 (2.7 percent) were untimely. Consumers accepted 2,505 (84.2 percent) of company responses and disputed 470 (15.8 percent) of them.

© 2014 ACA International

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