New data offer fascinating insight into current trends for consumer finance litigation. According to WebRecon, Complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have spiked by 10% in the last month alone. And, from October to November, litigious plaintiffs increased their efforts to bring statutory claims against financial service providers. In the last month, Telephone Consumer Protection Act filings increased 37.1 percent from 248 to 340; Fair Credit Reporting Act filings increased 4.4 percent from 339 to 354; and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act filings increased 15.5 percent from 638 to 737.
But interestingly, if we zoom out and look at annual numbers, data show that a fair amount of consumer finance litigation is actually decreasing. So far, FDCPA claims are down more than 6% this year compared to last year. TCPA claims are down more than 12% for the year – making this year the second in a row that we’ve seen fewer TCPA claims. But FCRA litigation is moving in the opposite direction. FCRA claims are on track to finish roughly 4% higher than last year. Many of those suits involve high stakes, seven-figure claims, and multiple plaintiffs. Indeed, the number of FCRA class actions are on the rise. Increasingly, we have seen employee and job applicant class actions, challenging the adequacy of FCRA disclosures. FCRAland reported on two recent examples, against Petco and Stanford University