The media seems to enjoy painting anyone involved in debt collection as a “bad guy.” But law firms and collection agencies are aware that there are “professional debtors” out there who know how to “work the system” and make a living from suing, even if the collector is not at fault. Most people who routinely file complaints and lawsuits against agencies win, simply because it is too expensive to defend their false claims in court, and they know it. Even consumers who have filed just one FDCPA, FCRA or TCPA litigation in the past are a much higher risk to do it again.
If you Google “identifying litigious consumers,” you are just as likely to find advice that will help debtors sue as you are to find the several software solutions now being offered to identify litigious consumers and track litigation and CFPB complaints filed against companies in the debt collection industry. If you are looking for a way to minimize consumer litigation risk, read on.
Today, we’ll point you in the direction of one company, WebRecon, which offers three tools that can be integrated with your collection software or database in order to:
- Quickly and easily segregate from your database the riskiest consumers who have filed FDCPA, FCRA or TCPA litigation in the past (The Litigant Alert)
- Isolate litigious consumers by tracking phone numbers that are associated with known plaintiffs, allowing you to pull high litigation risks prior to a dialing campaign. (Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub)
- Keep tabs on your vendors, partners, etc. – monitoring consumer litigation and CFPB complaints filed against them, letting you know when the companies you do business with can cause you trouble. (Vendor Monitoring)
The Litigant Alert service is a suite of tools designed to help you quickly isolate consumer accounts that have sued others in the past, and are therefore a much higher risk to file suit against you. The matching data includes FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, Truth-in-Lending and several others. It addition to federal litigation, it includes litigation from state, county, city and small-claims courts around the country. You can also do an individual query by typing in the name of a plaintiff, defendant or attorney and WebRecon can instantly return that party’s entire litigation history (at least as it relates to the credit and collection industry).
The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub is an optional part of The Litigant Alert service. When you upload your list of phone numbers, you will almost instantly receive back a report telling you which of those numbers have been associated with consumers who have filed FDCPA, FCRA or TCPA litigation in the past. This allows you to remove them from your daily dialing queue for further review. The scoring system tells you if the number is a 10-digit, 7-digit or some other variation of a match.
Vendor Monitoring is a watch list you create to keep tabs on consumer litigation and CFPB complaints filed against the companies you do business with. The CFPB database is updated daily, pulling in all complaints filed and matching those complaints against the companies on your custom watch list. It also tracks civil litigation filed in state and federal courts under FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, TILA and more, and matches the defendant field against your custom watch list.
Also available on the WebRecon website is a blog with posts such as Debt Collection Litigation & CFPB Complaint Statistics and an archive with litigation stats.
As the industry faces more and more challenges, you might want to see what you can do to minimize the risk of one of them by checking into WebRecon or another company that provides software purporting to minimize the risk of litigation by not working claims belonging to consumers who are known for their propensity to sue!