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Consumer Protection & Privacy

Consumer Lawsuits and Complaint Activity Increase During Early 2015

 by Tim J. St. GeorgeDavid M. Gettings and David N. Anthony

Lawsuits filed by consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act all increased from February to March 2015, according to the latest report from WebRecon.

FDCPA lawsuits increased by 3.9 percent (892 to 927), from February to March, and FCRA lawsuits increased 3.3 percent (245 to 253), according to the report.

TCPA lawsuits jumped 15.5 percent, from 187 to 216, in March. However, the number of TCPA claims is down from a year ago. In March 2014, there were 238 TCPA cases while there were 216 in March this year – a 9.2 percent decline.

Complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also increased in March. In March, 3,865 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors, which is a 12.6 percent increase from the previous month.

As of April 30, the top five topics of debt collection complaints were:

  • • 1,086 complaints that the debt was not theirs (28 percent);
  • • 440 complaints about lack of information to verify debt (11 percent);
  • • 428 complaints about debt that had already been paid (11 percent);
  • • 416 complaints about frequent or repeated calls (11 percent); and
  • • 264 complaints about attempts to collect the wrong amount (7 percent).

As the CFPB continues to add transparency to the complaints it receives, the nature and content of these complaints will also become more ascertainable. Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor the complaint database and any related CFPB activity.

 Read more at Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor by Troutman Sanders LLP.

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