Suit Totals Drop in February, But Still Mostly Remain Above 2019 Pace: WebRecon

Even though they might not have maintained the pace set in January, the number of lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act still are mostly outpacing the number that were filed during the first two months of last year, according to data released yesterday by WebRecon.

Overall, all three categories were down in February, compared with January (2.9% for FDCPA, 12.9% for FCRA, and 49.3% for TCPA), but through the first two months of 2020, the number of FCRA suits is up 19.8% from the same period a year ago and the number of TCPA suits is up 38.8%.

Class action lawsuits represented 21.1% of FDCPA filings, 6.9% of FCRA filings, and 48.3% of TCPA lawsuits that were filed in February.

Source: WebRecon

The number of complaints filed by consumers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about debt collections was up 5.7% in February, compared with January, and is up 8.8% through the first two months of the year.

That robust activity is expected to slow down in March and for the foreseeable future as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and, for the first time, WebRecon provided a glimpse into how that is playing out. Through the first two weeks of March, the number of FDCPA suits is down 20.9%, the number of FCRA suits is down 22%, and the number of TCPA suits is down 14.2% from the same period in February. Compared to the same month a year ago, FDCPA and TCPA are both down (23.7% and 18.7% respectively) while the FCRA total was actually 8.5% higher than a year ago.

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