The number of debt collection companies sued alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act, increased by more than 26% in February, compared with January, according to data released by WebRecon.
The number of lawsuits filed increased from January to February, as well. As well, more of the individuals filing lawsuits against collection companies were repeat filers. According to WebRecon, 37% of those filing lawsuits in February had previously sued a collection agency. That figure is slightly higher than previous months.
Through the first two months of 2016, the number of FDCPA lawsuits is lower than the same period of last year, but the number of TCPA lawsuits is 55% higher, indicating where plaintiffs attorneys are focusing their attention. This could be the increase that the industry has been bracing for following the Federal Communications Commission’s changes to the TCPA last July. Lawsuits claiming violations of the FCRA are also up significantly on a year-over-year basis.
The number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against collection agencies was slightly higher in February than a month earlier, but was significantly lower than the same month of 2015.
The 473 plaintiffs who filed lawsuits in February who had previously sued a collection agency have filed a total of 2,433 lawsuits since 2001.
Attorney Todd Friedman continued to be the most active attorney representing consumers in suits against collection agencies. He filed 51 lawsuits in February, more than 20 more than the next most active attorney, Paul Sieg. To date in 2016, Friedman has filed 80 suits against collection agencies.