Want to know just how many lawsuits are filed by the debt collection industry? Well, in a document I just received, Unifund admitted to filing 14,172 collection lawsuits in California between January 1, 2004 and July 31, 2006! That is over 450 lawsuits per month and nearly 5,500 per year!
Of the total, Unifund obtained almost 9,000 default judgments. In other words, Unifund won the case because the defendant never filed a response to the complaint.
Defendants filed a response in only 771 cases, and Unifund ultimately dismissed more than a third of those cases. The document I have does not make clear how many of those defendants were represented by an attorney, but I would venture to guess that nearly all of those who obtained a dismissal were represented by an attorney. Debt collectors know some pretty good tricks to win cases.
The same thing happens in Minnesota, except that because of our “pocket filing” laws, the courts don’t feel the effects. But debt collection law firms like Messerli & Kramer and Wolpoff & Abramson file dozens or hundreds of collection lawsuits every month for debt collectors like Unifund, Palisades, Client Services, and others.