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Consumers Fighting Back More Than Ever – What’s It Mean?

Lawsuits Against Debt Collectors By Consumers In 2011According to tracking company WebRecon, consumers strapped on their boxing gloves and stepped into the ring against debt collectors and credit reporting agencies more in 2011 than ever before. I like to think that sites like this have something to do with it.

Over 12,000 lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act were filed by consumers against debt collectors in 2011. Actions brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act rose 2.45%. Also on the rise were cases under the Truth-In-Lending Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

These statistics don’t seem to take into consideration those filed at the state court level alleging violations of state consumer protection laws such as California’s Rosenthal Act. Once those actions are factored in, I’m sure it was a bad year overall for the collection industry.

You’re getting stronger, which is exactly what I like to see.

Why Consumer Protection Lawsuits Are On The Rise

The rise in the number of lawsuits doesn’t necessarily means that debt collectors and credit reporting agencies are doing a poorer job. Rather, I’m betting the rise is a consequence of the proliferation of quality consumer information online.

Around the country, consumer protection lawyers like me are giving more information online now than ever before. Sites like as Avvo invite consumers to post questions. Forum sites are hotbeds of consumer protection activity.

As for the collection industry, there are publications out there as well. Sites such as InsideARM provide a daily flow of information about the industry, and if you think consumers aren’t reading then you’re sadly mistaken.

That’s good for the consumer.  And in the long-run, it may even be good for the collection industry.  More lawsuits cause greater long-term compliance with the law, I think.

Making You Stronger

My job as a consumer protection and bankruptcy lawyer is to help people make the right decisions about their financial problems. Sometimes that means filing for bankruptcy, other times it involves defending a credit card collection lawsuit. When my clients are victims of creditor harassment, I step in to help using the court system.

I do none of that lightly, though. My clients don’t look for lawsuits to file, nor do they love bankruptcy. They want peace and quiet, financial security, and the freedom to live their lives. I do what I can to help them out.

This site plays an integral part in making sure my clients get what they need. I put out as much information as I possibly can without giving specific legal advice, and my hope is that you’ll read it and share it with someone you know. To be sure, this site isn’t all-encompassing yet. I’m building it out as fast as I can, and I’m dedicated to making it as rich in information as possible. I wish there were 25 hours in a day for me to work on it, but other obligations like practicing law co-exist.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – whatever’s best for you, I appreciate it if you’d take a moment to share your favorite articles.

If you would like to print out the articles, there’s a print-to-PDF button at the bottom of each post. Have at it, by all means. Don’t cut-and-paste the articles to your own site, but feel free to link to the ones here.

Finally, there’s a subscription box on the sidebar of the site where you can enter your email address and get automatic updates.

Whatever you choose, thanks for helping me spread the word.

Image credit:   joliexis

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By |February 29th, 2012|

About the Author:

I've been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I'm a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.
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