FDCPA Lawsuits and CFPB Complaints Increased in June

Monthly data reflects an uptick in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation and complaints about debt collectors to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but a decline in Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act cases. Complaints against debt collectors logged in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s complaint database in June 2014 increased 3.7 percent to 3,336, compared to 3,213 in May, according to new data from WebRecon.

The number will continue to increase in the coming weeks, making it a strong increase over the 3,213 complaints in May but still lower than the 3,693 filed in April, according to WebRecon.

For six months, there have been at least 3,000 debt collector complaints. The year started with 3,271 in January and 3,364 in February.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation had a relatively strong month with 806 lawsuits filed, an increase of 4 percent from May. Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits declined by 4.3 percent to 207 and Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits declined by 21.9 percent to 169 lawsuits in June.

Year-to-date, however, TCPA lawsuits increased 34.4 percent over 2013 from 869 to 1,325 and FCRA lawsuits increased 11.2 percent from 1,041 to 1,172.

Of those cases filed in June, there were about 1,081 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit.) Of those 1,081 plaintiffs, about 364 (34 percent) had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1,420 lawsuits since 2001. Approximately 875 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

Top complaints among those filed about debt collection include:

The status of June’s CFPB complaints:

In total, 3,164 responses (95 percent) were considered timely and 172 (5 percent) were untimely. Consumers accepted 2,819 (85 percent) of the responses to complaints and disputed 517 (15 percent) of them.