In a new article detailing its Stats for December 2017 and Year in Review, WebRecon presented data showing a slight decrease in the number of consumer litigation lawsuits filed in 2017 compared to other years. We previously reported on WebRecon’s consumer litigation statistics for May of 2017, where we found the number of new consumer finance lawsuits filed in 2017 were on pace with 2016.

Despite what the May 2017 numbers suggested, the overall number of new Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits decreased from 2016. There were 9,788 FDCPA lawsuits filed in 2017, a 5.7% decrease since 2016 and a 20% decrease since 2011, the most active year for FDCPA lawsuits. This is the second straight year the number of FDCPA lawsuits has decreased. However, it is worth noting that FDCPA lawsuits still represented almost 53% of the consumer litigation lawsuits filed in 2017. Similarly, there were 4,392 TCPA lawsuits filed in 2017, representing a 9.2% decrease since 2016 and the first year the filing of TCPA lawsuits has decreased since 2002.

In contrast to actions filed under the FDCPA and TCPA, lawsuits under the Fair Credit Reporting Act increased by 9% since 2016, with a total of 4,346 lawsuits filed in 2017. Overall, there were just under 3% fewer consumer litigation lawsuits filed in 2017 when compared to 2016. In addition, complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were up 1.3% and 18.5%, respectively.

The data for the month of December also reflects that the same jurisdictions continue to receive the majority of consumer litigation lawsuits as in months previous. The Eastern District of New York led the way in December 2017, with 148 new lawsuits. The next closest jurisdiction was the Northern District of Illinois with 77 new lawsuits.

Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor and report on emerging trends in consumer finance litigation.