The filing lawsuits under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) increased dramatically in the first month of 2022 when compared to the number of filings in January and December 2021, per a report released recently by Web Recon LLC. The number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also rose slightly when compared to the same time periods.

Out of the approximately 1,053 lawsuits litigants have filed this year under the aforementioned statutes, 524 seek relief under the FCRA. This is almost a 14% increase when compared to the same time period one year ago, as well as when compared to December 2021. Lawsuits under the FDCPA came in a close second, with 518 actions seeking relief under that act. This is almost a 5% increase when compared to the same time period one year ago and a 13% increase since December 2021. The embattled TCPA also saw a 35% increase in the number of filings in January 2022 when compared to December 2021. Although TCPA filings are down 45% when compared to the same time period one year ago, this recent uptick in filings could signal plaintiffs have found or are looking for new avenues of attack under the TCPA. Class actions made up roughly 11% of the total filings.

The most active jurisdiction for filings were the Northern District of Illinois, the Northern District of Georgia, the Southern District of Florida, and the Middle District of Florida, each with 50 or more filings in January. The District of Minnesota, the District of Nevada, the Eastern District of New York, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Central District of California rounded out the top 10 with 40 or less filings in the first month of the year.

Also, there were 5,035 complaints filed within the CFPB in January, representing an almost 2% increase when compared to December 2021. Over half of the complaints alleged the consumer was subjected to collection attempts for a debt he/she did not owe, with the next highest category of disputes claiming an issue with the written notification about a debt. Threats of legal action, false representations, unlawful or unscrupulous communication tactics, and threats of disclosing information about the debt rounded out the other four categories of complaints.

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Photo of David N. Anthony David N. Anthony

David is an experienced trial attorney with a concentration in litigating financial services and business disputes, including class actions related to the FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA and other consumer protection statutes.

Photo of Stefanie Jackman Stefanie Jackman

Stefanie devotes her practice to assisting financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on complex compliance issues, as well as defending them in individual and class action lawsuits. Stefanie represents clients across the financial services industry, including…

Stefanie devotes her practice to assisting financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on complex compliance issues, as well as defending them in individual and class action lawsuits. Stefanie represents clients across the financial services industry, including banks and nonbanks, mortgage banking lenders and servicers, debt collectors and buyers, third-party service providers, health care and medical revenue cycle service providers, credit and prepaid card companies, auto lenders, and fintechs. She regularly advises her clients on issues arising under an array of federal and state consumer financial laws, including UDAP/UDAAP statutes, the FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, EFTA, SCRA, and TILA.

In addition to her litigation and government investigations work, Stefanie focuses a significant portion of her practice on providing compliance-related advice to her clients. She regularly counsels clients on conducting compliance assessments relating to their debt collection, credit reporting and dispute resolution processes, fair lending and underwriting, and vendor oversight, as well as the functionality of their overall compliance management system. Stefanie also brings her litigation and enforcement experience to bear in assisting clients in designing new products and processes, including product structuring, advertising, online application flows, underwriting, and servicing-related strategies.

Photo of Stephen Lozier Stephen Lozier

Steve assists clients with navigating the variety of laws in consumer financial services with particular focus on federal consumer protection statutes such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).