See-Saw Lawsuit Filings Continue in August: WebRecon

Trying to make heads or tails of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the volume of lawsuits filed against collection agencies continues to baffle, according to the latest data released yesterday by WebRecon.

In July, where the volume of lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act were up from a month earlier, the trend went the other way in August, where the volume declined on a month-over-month basis.

July

August

While it might be hard to discern the trends on a monthly basis, the number of suits filed through the first two-thirds of 2020 show that FCRA and TCPA claims continue to be en vogue even during a global pandemic, while plaintiffs are filing fewer lawsuits claiming violations of the FDCPA.

And while the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continue to be below the levels filed last year, the gap between 2019 and 2020 is narrowing.

The low numbers for FCRA and TCPA lawsuits posted in August did affect the year-to-date comparisons for 2019 and 2020, lessening the increases that have been reported thus far this year.

Putative class actions accounted for 15% of FDCPA suits, 57% of TCPA suits, and 4% of FCRA suits filed in August, according to WebRecon.

For complaints filed with the CFPB, consumers claiming there was an attempt to collect a debt that was not owed continued to be the most popular category, accounting for 54% of all complaints, more than double the next-highest category — written notification of a debt, which accounted for 23% of complaints.

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