|(25 Oct 2017)
The latest available data from the federal courts show that a total of 10,583 new consumer credit lawsuits were filed for fiscal year 2017.
This is the first time in memory that new annual filings of this type surpassed 10,000. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, this number is up 8.0% over the previous year when the number of civil filings of this type totaled 9,800.
Many of these suits are brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was initially passed by Congress in 1970 to help ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It is the Fair Credit Reporting Act that gives consumers specific rights when the person is a victim of identity theft. Additional consumer credit lawsuits are also brought under the Fair Debt Collection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692, which is designed to prohibit debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices.
In terms of the sheer number of consumer credit lawsuits, the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) easily surpassed every other federal district in the country in each of the last two years. During FY 2017 that district saw a total of 1,218 such suits. Relative to the population within each district, the District of Nevada surpassed the Eastern District of New York with the most suits on a per capita basis in both years.
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