News & Resources

FDCPA-related lawsuits set to drop this year

Nov 08, 2012 Philip Burgess

Those in the debt collection industry know that there are certain laws they have to abide by. They can't just take it on good faith that an individual owes a company and contact that person in whatever manner they see fit, saying whatever they'd like. A number of state and federal regulations govern the industry, with the most all-encompassing being the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), added to the books decades ago and updated in recent years. The law denotes the ways in which agents can contact debtors and what can be said during the conversations. Because the regulation is so overarching, however, there are many ways it can be violated. Statistics show a decline
However, though it's not uncommon for legitimate, well-intentioned debt collectors to violate the regulation by mistake, many have been decreasing the frequency with which this occurs. According to insideARM, the number of FDCPA-related lawsuits is rapidly on the decline, with the rate of 2012 suits set to be significantly lower than the total number seen in 2011. "We can now project FDCPA claims will finish the year at around 10,500 suits, down from 12,018 in 2011," owner of suit tracking company WebRecon Jack Gordon told the news source. InsideARM explained that as of October 1, 2012, the number of lawsuits filed claiming the FDCPA was violated was 8 percent under the amount at the same point in 2011. The number of cases in 2012 has lagged behind 2011 for the majority of the year. Companies should remain compliant
Debt collection agents need to keep this good streak going and continue to drive down the instances of violations. Leaders can achieve this through stringent training programs, requiring employees to know the various laws they have to follow. Moreover, leaders may want to think about featuring copies of the regulations around the office so staffers can brush up on clauses. This is not only important for the FDCPA. Workers in the industry need to focus on staying compliant with other laws, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). InsideARM explained that though FDCPA-related suits are on the decline, the same can't be said for other litigation levied against the industry. For example, TCPA cases are up by 50 percent in comparison to 2011, while FCRA suits rose by 16 percent year-over-year.