TCPA Cases Continue to Decline while Complaints to CFPB Increase in February

WebRecon reports the early data for 2015 is not enough to draw conclusions on trends in litigation filings.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act cases against debt collectors increased slightly in February, however case filings related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act continued to decline, according to the latest report from WebRecon.

According to WebRecon, TCPA case filings in February declined 13.4 percent from January and 46.1 percent from this time in 2014.

Both FDCPA and FCRA cases increased from January (10.1 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively) and this time in 2014 (5.9 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively,) according to the report.

There were 842 FDCPA lawsuits last month, 227 related to the FCRA and 123 related to the TCPA.

However, with only two months of data for 2015, it is too early to draw conclusions on what could be a positive trend in TCPA cases and negative trends related to the FDCPA and FCRA.

Of the lawsuits filed under consumer statutes in February 2015, there were approximately 1,045 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit.) Of those plaintiffs, approximately 329 (31 percent) had sued under consumer statutes before. Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1,285 lawsuits since 2001.

Complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also increased in February, and will likely continue to rise as more complaints become public, according to the WebRecon report.

There were 3,380 complaints filed against 830 different debt collectors last month, which is a 3.1 percent increase from January.

Top complaints among those filed about debt collection include:

  • 1,522 continued attempts to collect debt not owed (45 percent)
  • 562 communication tactics (17 percent)
  • 590 disclosure verification of debt (17 percent)
  • 278 false statements or representation (8 percent)
  • 176 taking/threatening illegal action (5 percent)
  • 252 improper contact or sharing of information (7 percent)

The status of February’s CFPB complaints:

  • 2,226 closed with explanation (66 percent)
  • 602 closed with nonmonetary relief (18 percent)
  • 219 in progress (6 percent)
  • 158 closed (5 percent)
  • 135 untimely response (4 percent)
  • 40 closed with monetary relief (1 percent)

In total, 3,123 responses (92 percent) were considered timely and 257 (8 percent) were considered untimely.