Happy Halloween TCPAland!
As has been our tradition we pause this All Hallows Eve to provide some TCPA ghost stories. (And yes, I carved that TCPA pumpkin.)
First, we saw 25 new TCPA filings today–the most in months. Might this be the beginning of a Marks–inspired trend? Tav Gomez, the head of the Consumer Protection Department at Morgan & Morgan, told me yesterday that his firm is preparing a massive uptick in TCPA filings (80-100 in the next month) in light of renewed confidence in the TCPA following Marks. Given the sharp increase in recent filings it seems that Morgan & Morgan is not alone.
Next, Webrecon reports 2,954 claimants filings TCPA suits through the end of September, 2018. TCPAland’s count–which tracks filings and not claimants–stands at nearly 3,000 through the end of October. While those numbers are startling, they are a little less than bone chilling considering that Webrecon reports TCPA filings are down 14.5% year over year.
But that’s only half the story. As I reported back in July, there’s more to this tale. Through the end of September there have been a whopping 709 TCPA class action filings. Last year there had only been 586 class action filings in the same period. That means 2018 TCPA class action filings are up 21% over last year!
*Insert horrifying scream here*
And when you take into account the massive uptick in confidential arbitration filings–a phenomenon that Jeff Lohman discussed with us at length the other day on the Ramble–it seems clear that the “downtick” in individual TCPA filings is just a mirage.
Want more horrifying statistics?
According to research performed by TCPAland’s crack statistics team, TCPA class action settlements submitted to courts for approval this year total at least $186,825,011. Again, that’s this year’s settlements alone!
This includes a pair of recent $28,000,000 settlements (one by Alarm.com and one by Monitronics.) It also includes the rejected $17,500,000.00 settlement Ocwen entered into–where the court rejected the settlement noting a good chance the class lawyers had “sold the case short.”
That will haunt your dreams tonight.
And here’s one last nightmarish statistic for you– want to know the average cost of a TCPA class action settlement in 2018?
Enjoy some spiked apple cider and a handful of candy corn tonight friends because I know you aren’t sleeping after that. Happy Halloween!