Individuals who have a bone to pick with collection agencies did not go on vacation in August, choosing instead to visit the air conditioned offices of lawyers and court clerks nationwide, filing lawsuits.
The number of lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act were all higher in August than in July — collectively 19% higher — and, when coupled with the number of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, marked the first time in more than two years that every data point increased on a month-over-month basis, according to data released yesterday by WebRecon.
For the year, only the number of FCRA lawsuits is higher than the total from the first eight months of 2017; the number of FDCPA suits is down 6% on a year-over-year basis and the number of TCPA suits is down 14%. There have been a collective 12,222 lawsuits filed against collection agencies during the first eight months of 2018, down 3% from the 12,722 that were filed during the same period last year. The number of complaints filed with the BCFP is up 11% on a year-over-year basis.
The number of lawsuits had been leveling off in recent months so it remains to be seen whether August’s bump is an anomaly or a sign that professional plaintiffs and plaintiff’s attorneys are ramping up their efforts against collection agencies.