According to a recent report by WebRecon, the month of April saw a significant reduction from the previous month in filings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as a reduction in complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

WebRecon reports the overall statistics for consumer litigation in April as follows:

  • 426 FCRA cases were filed, representing a 10.1% decrease from March;
  • 290 FDCPA cases were filed, representing a 16.2% decrease from March;
  • 113 TCPA cases filed, representing a 16.9% decrease from March; and
  • 5,325 complaints filed with the CFPB, representing a 16.2% decrease from March.

Focusing specifically on the CFPB complaints, the types of debts at issue included:

  • 1612 Other debt (30%);
  • 1358 Credit card debt (26%);
  • 1280 I do not know (24%);
  • 568 Medical debt (11%);
  • 258 Auto debt (5%);
  • 107 Payday loan debt (2%);
  • 77 Mortgage debt (1%);
  • 35 Private student loan debt (1%);
  • 30 Federal student loan debt (1%).

This reduction in filings on a month-to-month basis is interesting to note, but it is likely more representative of a short-term ebb-and-flow rather than a long-term trend. By comparison, WebRecon reported last month that filings and complaints had increased across the board (FCRA: 20.9%, FDCPA: 9.5%, TCPA: 27.1%, and CFPB: 15%), while it reported in February that all four categories had decreased that month. The more insightful statistics are often the end-of-year numbers, which last year showed an increase in FCRA filings while FDCPA filings, TCPA filings, and CFPB complaints each decreased.

Troutman Pepper will continue to monitor and report on trends in consumer litigation, both in terms of volumes of filings, emerging liability theories, and notable decisions.