Consumer complaints about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act were down in February 2023 compared to the previous year, the previous month, and year-to-date, according to data released yesterday by WebRecon. The same applies to consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which were also down across all three categories. However, while the trend is promising, it’s too early to conclude anything significant from the data for this year. TCPA claims were on a downward trend for the last few years, but they remain consistent with the first two months of 2022, while FDCPA claims continue to decrease. Even FCRA, which has been the only statute with a consistently growing number of claims, saw a double-digit decrease in claims compared to the same period in 2022.
The report also highlights that putative class actions represented 11.7% of FDCPA, 50.5% of TCPA, and 2.9% of FCRA lawsuits filed in February 2023. Additionally, around 42% of plaintiffs who filed suit last month had filed at least once before. The report also provides information about the most active consumer attorneys, the courts where lawsuits were filed, and the most common types of debt behind the complaints.
The CFPB received 5,170 complaints against debt collectors in February 2023. The majority of the complaints were related to attempts to collect debt not owed, followed by written notification about debt, and taking or threatening to take negative or legal action. The most common types of debt behind the complaints were “other debt,” followed by “I do not know,” and credit card debt. Florida, Texas, and California were the states with the most complaints filed.
Overall, while the decrease in consumer complaints is a positive trend, it’s important to continue monitoring the data to see if the trend continues throughout the year. The report provides valuable insights into the current state of consumer complaints and can help inform policies and practices in the industries that are being regulated.