WebRecon’s monthly statistics outlining the number of lawsuits filed in January alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a classic, “good news, bad news” type of situation. The good news is that compared with the same month last year, the totals for each statute were down, significantly in the cases of the FDCPA and TCPA. The bad news us that the totals from January were higher than what was filed in December, significantly in the case of the TCPA.
As well, complaints filed by consumers with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were up significantly from the same month last year.
The 239 TCPA complaints filed in January were half the total filed in the same month last year, but 23% higher than the total that were filed in January. So the data indicates a trend, but it’s not exactly clear what that trend is. For the FCRA, January’s total was a slight decline from the total filed in the same month last year and a slight increase from the total filed in December. The FDCPA was the only case where the numbers went in the same direction on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. The total was down one case from December, but 24% lower than the number of cases that were filed in January 2020.
The 4,796 complaints filed with the CFPB were up 3% from the total in December and 27% from the total that were submitted last January. Credit card debt was the most common category of debt complained about, just edging out other debt and the always interesting, “I don’t know.” Attempts to collect a debt not owed accounted for 58% of all complaints, nearly three times the amount of the next-highest type of complaint — written notification about a debt.