New data from WebRecon reflects an increase in the number of consumer finance lawsuits filed during the month of May. After a sharp decline in the number of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuits filed during the month of April, May saw a roughly 30% increase in the number of these lawsuits filed across the country. Overall, the number of new consumer finance lawsuits filed between January and May is up 1% since the same period last year.
In May, TCPA and FCRA actions led the way with 43.5% and 41.7% increases, respectively, while the number of FDCPA lawsuits filed rose 20.7%. Over the January-May time period, FCRA actions are up almost 10%, TCPA actions have remained relatively constant, while the number of FDCPA actions filed is down 2.3%. These percentages may reflect a shift among plaintiffs’ attorneys towards FCRA-based lawsuits.
Despite the slight decrease in year-to-date FDCPA actions, FDCPA lawsuits still make up over 50% of the 8,156 total lawsuits filed thus far in 2017 as well as over 50% of the 1,849 lawsuits filed in May. In addition, 24.1% of the 967 FDCPA actions filed in May were class actions – almost double that of either FCRA or TCPA class actions.
The number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also decreased for a second month in a row. However, looking at the yearly trend, the total number of CFPB complaints is up almost 27% compared to the same period last year.
The geographical distribution of the cases filed in May was limited to just a handful of states. Courts in Texas and California each saw over 400 consumer finance lawsuits filed while courts in New Jersey took in just 103.
We will continue to monitor and report on emerging trends in consumer finance lawsuits in all areas.