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Full Text of SB1351  100th General Assembly

SB1351sam001 100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Sen. Daniel Biss

Filed: 3/10/2017

 

 


 

 


 
10000SB1351sam001LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1
AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 1351

2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1351 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
 
4
"Article 1. General Provisions

 
5    Section 1-1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
6Student Loan Servicing Rights Act.
 
7    Section 1-5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
8    "Applicant" means a person applying for a license pursuant
9to this Act.
10    "Borrower" or "student loan borrower" means a person who
11has received or agreed to pay a student loan for his or her own
12educational expenses.
13    "Cosigner" means a person who has agreed to share
14responsibility for repaying a student loan with a borrower.
15    "Federal loan borrower eligible for referral to a repayment

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 2 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1specialist" means a borrower who possesses any of the following
2characteristics:
3        (1) requests information related to options to reduce
4    or suspend his or her monthly payment;
5        (2) indicates that he or she is experiencing or
6    anticipates experiencing financial hardship, distress, or
7    difficulty making his or her payments;
8        (3) has missed 2 consecutive monthly payments;
9        (4) is at least 75 days delinquent;
10        (5) is enrolled in a discretionary forbearance for more
11    than 9 of the previous 12 months;
12        (6) has rehabilitated or consolidated one or more loans
13    out of default within the past 12 months; or
14        (7) has not completed a course of study, as reflected
15    in the servicer's records, or the borrower identifies
16    himself or herself as not having completed a program of
17    study.
18    "Federal education loan" means any loan made, guaranteed,
19or insured under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act
20of 1965.
21    "Income-driven payment plan certification" means the
22documentation related to a federal student loan borrower's
23income or financial status the borrower must submit to renew an
24income-driven repayment plan.
25    "Income-driven repayment options" includes the
26Income-Contingent Repayment Plan, the Income-Based Repayment

 

 

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1Plan, the Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan, the Pay As You Earn
2Plan, the Revised Pay As you Earn Plan, and any other federal
3student loan repayment plan that is calculated based on a
4borrower's income.
5    "Licensee" means a person licensed pursuant to this Act.
6    "Other repayment plans" means the Standard Repayment Plan,
7the Graduated Repayment Plan, the Extended Repayment Plan, or
8any other federal student loan repayment plan not based on a
9borrower's income.
10    "Private education loan" has the meaning given to that term
11in 15 U.S.C. 1650.
12    "Private loan borrower eligible for referral to a repayment
13specialist" means a borrower who possesses any of the following
14characteristics:
15        (1) requests information related to options to reduce
16    or suspend his or her monthly payments; or
17        (2) indicates that he or she is experiencing or
18    anticipates experiencing financial hardship, distress, or
19    difficulty making his or her payments.
20    "Request for assistance" means all inquiries, complaints,
21account disputes, and requests for documentation a servicer
22receives from borrowers or cosigners.
23    "Requester" means any borrower or cosigner that submits a
24request for assistance.
25    "Secretary" means the Secretary of Financial and
26Professional Regulation.

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 4 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    "Servicing" means any of the following activities related
2to a student loan of a borrower or cosigner:
3        (1) receiving any scheduled periodic payments from a
4    borrower or cosigner or any notification that a borrower or
5    cosigner made a scheduled periodic payment;
6        (2) applying payments to the borrower's account
7    pursuant to the terms of the student loan or the contract
8    governing the servicing;
9        (3) during a period when no payment is required on a
10    student loan, performing both of the following:
11            (A) maintaining account records for the student
12        loan; and
13            (B) communicating with the borrower or cosigner
14        regarding the student loan on behalf of the owner of
15        the student loan promissory note; or
16        (4) interacting with a borrower or cosigner related to
17    that borrower's student loan with the goal of helping the
18    borrower avoid default on his or her student loan or
19    facilitating the activities described in paragraph (1) or
20    (2).
21    "Student loan" or "loan" means any federal education loan,
22private education loan, or other loan primarily for use to
23finance a postsecondary education and costs of attendance at a
24postsecondary institution, including, but not limited to,
25tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board,
26transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. "Student

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 5 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1loan" includes a loan made to refinance a student loan.
2    "Student loan servicer" or "servicer" means any person
3engaged in the business of servicing student loans.
 
4
Article 5. Student Loan Bill of Rights

 
5    Section 5-5. General provisions.
6    (a) A servicer shall not engage in any unfair or deceptive
7practice toward any borrower or cosigner or misrepresent or
8omit any material information in connection with the servicing
9of a student loan, including, but not limited to,
10misrepresenting the amount, nature, or terms of any fee or
11payment due or claimed to be due on a student loan, the terms
12and conditions of the student loan agreement, or the borrower's
13or cosigner's obligations under the student loan or the terms
14of any repayment plans.
15    (b) A servicer shall not misapply payments made by a
16borrower to the outstanding balance of a student loan.
17    (c) A servicer shall oversee third parties, including
18subservicers, debt collectors, independent contractors,
19subsidiaries, affiliates, and other agents, to ensure that
20those companies comply with this Article 5.
 
21    Section 5-10. Payment processing.
22    (a) A servicer shall credit borrower and cosigner payments
23promptly and accurately.

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 6 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    (b) A servicer shall provide borrowers and cosigners no
2less than 45 days' notice if the servicer changes the address
3to which the borrower or cosigner needs to send payments.
4    (c) A servicer shall not charge a penalty to a borrower or
5cosigner if a student loan payment is received at an address
6used for payments for a period of 90 days after the change in
7address.
8    (d) A servicer shall not misrepresent the delinquent amount
9of the loan on any call with a borrower or cosigner.
10    (e) A servicer shall allow a borrower or cosigner to
11specify instructions as to how an overpayment should be applied
12to the balance of the loan as consistent with the promissory
13note.
 
14    Section 5-15. Fees.
15    (a) A servicer may only charge late fees that are
16reasonable and proportional to the cost it incurs related to a
17late payment.
18    (b) A servicer shall not charge a borrower or cosigner any
19fee to modify, defer, forbear, renew, extend, or amend the
20borrower's or cosigner's loan.
 
21    Section 5-20. Billing statements.
22    (a) In any student loan billing statement, a servicer shall
23not misrepresent the:
24        (1) amount due;

 

 

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1        (2) fees assessed;
2        (3) total amount due for each loan;
3        (4) payment due date;
4        (5) date to avoid late fees;
5        (6) accrued interest during the billing cycle;
6        (7) default payment methodology;
7        (8) means to provide instructions for a payment; or
8        (9) procedure regarding escalated requests for
9    assistance.
10    (b) A servicer shall not misrepresent information
11regarding the $0 bill and advancement of the due date on any
12billing statement that reflects $0 owed.
 
13    Section 5-25. Payment histories. A servicer shall provide a
14written payment history to a borrower or cosigner upon request
15at no cost within 21 calendar days after receiving the request.
 
16    Section 5-30. Specialized assistance for student loan
17borrowers.
18    (a) A servicer shall specially designate servicing and
19collections personnel deemed repayment specialists who have
20received enhanced training related to repayment options.
21    (b) A servicer shall refrain from presenting forbearance as
22the sole or first repayment option to a student loan borrower
23struggling with repayment unless the servicer has determined
24that based on the borrower's financial status a short-term

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 8 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1forbearance is appropriate.
2    (c) All inbound and outbound calls from federal loan
3borrowers eligible for referral to a repayment specialist and
4private loan borrowers eligible for referral to a repayment
5specialist shall be routed to a repayment specialist.
6    (d) During each inbound or outbound communication with an
7eligible federal loan borrower, a repayment specialist shall
8first inform a federal loan borrower eligible for referral to a
9repayment specialist that federal income-driven repayment
10plans that can reduce the borrower's monthly payment may be
11available, discuss such plans, and assist the borrower in
12determining whether a particular repayment plan may be
13appropriate for the borrower.
14    (e) A repayment specialist shall assess the long-term and
15short-term financial situation and needs of a federal loan
16borrower eligible for referral to a repayment specialist and
17consider any available specific information from the borrower
18as necessary to assist the borrower in determining whether a
19particular income-driven repayment option may be available to
20the borrower.
21    (f) In each discussion with a federal loan borrower
22eligible for referral to a repayment specialist, a repayment
23specialist shall present and explain the following options, as
24appropriate:
25        (1) total and permanent disability discharge, public
26    service loan forgiveness, closed school discharge, and

 

 

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1    defenses to repayment;
2        (2) other repayment plans;
3        (3) deferment; and
4        (4) forbearance.
5    (g) A repayment specialist shall assess the long-term and
6short-term financial situation and needs of a private loan
7borrower eligible for referral to a repayment specialist in
8determining whether any private loan repayment options may be
9appropriate for the borrower.
10    (h) A servicer shall present and explain all private loan
11repayment options, including alternative repayment
12arrangements applicable to private student loan borrowers.
13    (i) A servicer shall be prohibited from implementing any
14compensation plan that has the intended or actual effect of
15incentivizing any repayment specialist to violate this Act or
16any other measure that encourages undue haste or lack of
17quality.
18    (j) The requirements of this Section shall not apply if a
19repayment specialist has already conversed with a borrower
20consistent with the requirements of this Section.
 
21    Section 5-35. Disclosures related to discharge and
22cancellation. If a servicer is aware that a student loan
23borrower attended a school the United States Department of
24Education has made findings supporting a defense to repayment
25claim or closed school discharge, or that a borrower may be

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 10 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1eligible to have his or her loans forgiven under a total and
2permanent disability discharge, the servicer's personnel shall
3disclose information related to the Department of Education's
4procedure for asserting a defense to repayment claim, closed
5school discharge, or submitting an application for a total and
6permanent disability discharge.
 
7    Section 5-40. Income-driven repayment plan certifications.
8A servicer shall disclose the date that a borrower's
9income-driven payment plan certification will expire and the
10consequences to the borrower for failing to recertify by the
11date, including the new repayment amount.
 
12    Section 5-45. Information to be provided to private
13education loan borrowers.
14    (a) A servicer shall provide on its website a description
15of any alternative repayment plan offered by the servicer for
16private education loans.
17    (b) A servicer shall establish policies and procedures and
18implement them consistently in order to facilitate evaluation
19of private student loan alternative repayment arrangement
20requests, including providing accurate information regarding
21any private student loan alternative repayment arrangements
22that may be available to the borrower through the promissory
23note or that may have been marketed to the borrower through
24marketing materials.

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 11 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    Private student loan alternative repayment arrangements
2shall consider the affordability of repayment plans for
3distressed borrowers as well as investor, guarantor, and
4insurer guidelines, and previous outcome and performance
5information.
6    (c) If a servicer offers private student loan repayment
7arrangements, the servicer shall consistently present and
8offer those arrangements to borrowers with similar financial
9circumstances.
 
10    Section 5-50. Cosigner release. A servicer shall provide
11information on billing statements and its website concerning
12the availability and criteria for a cosigner release.
 
13    Section 5-55. Payoff statements. A servicer shall indicate
14on its billing statements and its website that a borrower may
15request a payoff statement. The servicer shall provide the
16payoff statement within 10 days, including information the
17requester needs to pay off the loan. If a payoff is made, the
18servicer must send a paid-in-full notice within 30 days.
 
19    Section 5-60. Requirements related to the transfer of
20servicing.
21    (a) When acting as the transferor servicer, a servicer
22shall provide to each borrower subject to the transfer a
23written notice no less than 15 calendar days before the

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 12 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1effective date of the transfer. The transferee servicer and
2transferor servicer may provide a single notice, in which case
3the notice shall be provided no less than 15 calendar days
4before the effective date of the transfer. The notice by the
5transferor servicer or, if applicable, the combined notice of
6transfer shall contain the following information:
7        (1) the effective date of the transfer of servicing;
8        (2) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number
9    for the transferor servicer's designated point of contact
10    that can be contacted by the borrower to obtain answers to
11    servicing inquiries;
12        (3) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number
13    for the transferee servicer's designated point of contact
14    that can be contacted by the borrower to obtain answers to
15    servicing inquiries;
16        (4) the date on which the transferor servicer will
17    cease to accept payments relating to the loan and the date
18    on which the transferee servicer will begin to accept such
19    payments; the dates shall either be the same or consecutive
20    days;
21        (5) a statement that the transfer of servicing does not
22    affect any term or condition of the loan other than terms
23    directly related to the servicing of a loan;
24        (6) information on whether the borrower's
25    authorization for recurring electronic fund transfers, if
26    applicable, will be transferred to the transferee

 

 

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1    servicer; if any such recurring electronic funds transfers
2    cannot be transferred, the transferee servicer shall
3    provide information explaining how the borrower may
4    establish new recurring electronic funds transfers with
5    the transferee servicer; and
6        (7) a statement of the current loan balance, including
7    the current unpaid amount of principal, interest, and fees.
8    (b) When acting as the transferee servicer, a servicer
9shall provide to each borrower subject to the transfer a
10written notice no more than 15 calendar days after the
11effective date of the transfer. The transferee servicer and
12transferor servicer may provide a combined notice of transfer,
13in which case the notice shall be provided no less than 15 days
14before the effective date of the transfer. The notice by the
15transferee servicer or, if applicable, the combined notice of
16transfer shall contain the following information:
17        (1) the effective date of the transfer of servicing;
18        (2) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number
19    for the transferee servicer's designated point of contact
20    that can be contacted by the borrower to obtain answers to
21    servicing inquiries;
22        (3) the date on which the transferor servicer will
23    cease to accept payments relating to the loan and the date
24    on which the transferee servicer will begin to accept such
25    payments; the dates shall either be the same or consecutive
26    days;

 

 

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1        (4) a statement that the transfer of servicing does not
2    affect any term or condition of the student loan other than
3    terms directly related to the servicing of a loan;
4        (5) information on whether the borrower's
5    authorization for recurring electronic fund transfers, if
6    applicable, will be transferred to the transferee
7    servicer; if any such recurring electronic funds transfers
8    cannot be transferred, the transferee servicer shall
9    provide information explaining how the borrower may
10    establish new recurring electronic funds transfers with
11    the transferee servicer; and
12        (6) a statement of the current loan balance, including
13    the current unpaid amount of principal, interest, and fees.
14    (c) During the 60 calendar day period beginning on the
15effective date of transfer of the servicing of a loan, a
16payment timely made to the transferor servicer may not be
17treated as late for any purpose by the transferee servicer,
18including the assessment of late fees, accrual of additional
19interest, and furnishing negative credit information.
20    (d) To the extent practicable, for at least 120 calendar
21days beginning on the effective date of transfer of servicing
22of a loan, when acting as the transferor servicer, a servicer
23shall promptly transfer payments received to the transferee
24servicer for application to the borrower's loan account.
25    (e) Unless a borrower's authorizations for recurring
26electronic fund transfers are automatically transferred to the

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 15 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1transferee servicer, when acting as a transferee servicer, the
2servicer shall make available to a borrower whose loan
3servicing is transferred an online process through which
4borrowers may make a new authorization for recurring electronic
5fund transfers. A servicer shall also provide a process through
6which the borrower may make a new authorization for recurring
7electronic funds transfers by phone or through written
8approval.
 
9    Section 5-65. Requests for assistance, account dispute
10resolution, and appeals.
11    (a) A servicer shall implement reasonable policies and
12procedures for accepting, processing, investigating, and
13responding to requests for assistance in a timely and effective
14manner, including, but not limited to, the following
15requirements:
16        (1) A servicer shall provide readily accessible
17    methods for consumers to submit a request for assistance to
18    the servicer, including such methods as phone, email, and
19    U.S. mail.
20        (2) A servicer shall post on its website and disclose
21    on its billing statements:
22            (A) the toll-free telephone number, email address,
23        and mailing address for consumers to submit requests
24        for assistance to the servicer; and
25            (B) the procedures for a requester to send a

 

 

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1        written communication to the servicer regarding any
2        request for assistance.
3        (3) For any request for assistance that includes a
4    request for documentation or information, where a response
5    cannot be immediately provided, a servicer shall provide
6    the requested documentation or information to the
7    requester within 14 calendar days of the request; if a
8    servicer determines in good faith that it is unable to
9    provide the documentation or information within 14
10    calendar days, then, promptly after making the
11    determination, the servicer shall notify the requester of
12    the expected response period, which must be reasonable for
13    the request for assistance.
14    (b) A servicer shall implement a process by which a
15requester can escalate any request for assistance. The process
16shall allow a requester who has made a request for assistance
17on the phone and who receives a response during the call to
18obtain immediate review of the response by an employee of the
19servicer at a higher supervisory level.
20    (c) The following requirements shall apply when a requester
21submits a written or oral request for assistance that contains
22an account dispute to a servicer:
23        (1) Within 14 calendar days of its receipt of the
24    written communication or oral request for further
25    escalation, a servicer shall attempt to make contact,
26    including providing the requester with name and contact

 

 

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1    information of the representative handling the account
2    dispute, by phone or in writing, to the requester and
3    document the attempt in the borrower's account.
4        (2) A servicer shall complete the following actions
5    within 30 calendar days after its receipt of the written
6    communication or oral request for further escalation,
7    subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection (c):
8            (A) conduct a thorough investigation of the
9        account dispute;
10            (B) make all appropriate corrections to the
11        account of the requester, including crediting any late
12        fees assessed and derogatory credit furnishing as the
13        result of any error, and, if any corrections are made,
14        sending the requester a written notification that
15        includes the following information:
16                (i) an explanation of the correction or
17            corrections to the requester's account that have
18            been made; and
19                (ii) the toll-free telephone number, email
20            address, and mailing address of the servicer's
21            personnel knowledgeable about the investigation
22            and resolution of the account dispute.
23        (3) If a servicer determines in good faith that it
24    cannot complete a thorough investigation of the account
25    dispute within 30 calendar days after receiving the written
26    communication or oral request for further escalation

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 18 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    regarding the account dispute, then, promptly after making
2    such determination, the servicer shall notify the
3    requester of the expected resolution time period, which
4    must be reasonable for the account dispute. A servicer must
5    complete the actions listed in the investigation and
6    resolution of the account dispute within this time period.
7        (4) If a servicer determines as a result of its
8    investigation that the requested changes to a requester's
9    dispute will not be made, the servicer shall provide the
10    requester with a written notification that includes the
11    following information:
12            (A) a description of its determination and an
13        explanation of the reasons for that determination;
14            (B) the toll-free telephone number, email address,
15        and mailing address of the servicer's personnel
16        knowledgeable about the investigation and resolution
17        of the account dispute;
18            (C) instructions about how the requester can
19        appeal the servicer's determination in accordance with
20        paragraph (5) of this subsection (c); and
21            (D) information regarding the method by which a
22        borrower may request copies of documents a servicer
23        relied on to make a determination that no changes to a
24        requester's account will be made.
25        (5) After the requester receives a determination
26    regarding an account dispute in accordance with paragraph

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 19 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    (4) of this subsection (c), the servicer shall allow a
2    process by which the requester can appeal, in writing, the
3    determination. The appeals process shall include:
4            (A) a written acknowledgment notifying the
5        requester that the servicer has commenced the appeals
6        process; the acknowledgment shall be sent within 14
7        calendar days after receiving a written request for
8        appeal from the requester;
9            (B) an independent reassessment of the servicer's
10        determination regarding the account dispute, performed
11        by another employee of the servicer at an equal or
12        higher supervisory level than the employee or
13        employees involved in the initial account dispute
14        determination;
15            (C) investigation and resolution of appeals within
16        30 calendar days after the servicer's commencement of
17        the appeals process; and
18            (D) notification sent to the requester, in
19        writing, documenting the outcome of the appeal,
20        including any reason for denial.
21    (d) While a requester has a pending account dispute,
22including any applicable appeal, a servicer shall take
23reasonable steps to:
24        (1) prevent negative credit reporting with respect to
25    the borrower's or cosigner's account while the dispute is
26    under review; and

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 20 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1        (2) suspend all collection activities on the account
2    while the account dispute is being researched or resolved,
3    if the account dispute is related to the delinquency.
 
4
Article 10. Student Loan Ombudsman

 
5    Section 10-5. Student Loan Ombudsman.
6    (a) The position of Student Loan Ombudsman is created
7within the Office of the Attorney General to provide timely
8assistance to student loan borrowers.
9    (b) The Student Loan Ombudsman, in consultation with the
10Secretary, shall:
11        (1) receive, review, and attempt to resolve any
12    complaints from student loan borrowers, including, but not
13    limited to, attempts to resolve complaints in
14    collaboration with institutions of higher education,
15    student loan servicers, and any other participants in
16    student loan lending;
17        (2) compile and analyze data on student loan borrower
18    complaints;
19        (3) assist student loan borrowers to understand their
20    rights and responsibilities under the terms of student
21    education loans;
22        (4) provide information to the public, agencies,
23    legislators, and others regarding the problems and
24    concerns of student loan borrowers and make

 

 

10000SB1351sam001- 21 -LRB100 10505 SMS 23166 a

1    recommendations for resolving those problems and concerns;
2        (5) analyze and monitor the development and
3    implementation of federal, State, and local laws,
4    regulations, and policies relating to student loan
5    borrowers and recommend any changes the Student Loan
6    Ombudsman deems necessary;
7        (6) review the complete student education loan history
8    for any student loan borrower who has provided written
9    consent for such review;
10        (7) disseminate information concerning the
11    availability of the Student Loan Ombudsman to assist
12    student loan borrowers and potential student loan
13    borrowers, as well as public institutions of higher
14    education, student loan servicers, and any other
15    participant in student education loan lending, with any
16    student loan servicing concerns; and
17        (8) take any other actions necessary to fulfill the
18    duties of the Student Loan Ombudsman as set forth in this
19    subsection.
 
20
Article 15. Licensing

 
21    Section 15-5. Applicability.
22    (a) No person shall act as a student loan servicer,
23directly or indirectly, without first obtaining a license from
24the Secretary under subsection (b) of Section 15-10 unless the

 

 

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1person is exempt from licensure pursuant to subsection (b) of
2this Section.
3    (b) This Act does not apply to any of the following:
4        (1) a bank, out-of-state bank, Illinois credit union,
5    federal credit union, or out-of-state credit union;
6        (2) a wholly owned subsidiary of any such bank or
7    credit union; or
8        (3) an operating subsidiary where each owner of the
9    operating subsidiary is wholly owned by the same bank or
10    credit union.
 
11    Section 15-10. Applications.
12    (a) Any person seeking to act within this State as a
13student loan servicer shall make a written application to the
14Secretary for an initial license in the form the Secretary
15prescribes. The application shall be accompanied by:
16        (1) a financial statement prepared by a certified
17    public accountant or a public accountant, the accuracy of
18    which is sworn to under oath before a notary public by the
19    proprietor, a general partner, or a corporate officer or a
20    member duly authorized to execute the documents;
21        (2) the history of criminal convictions of the: (i)
22    applicant; (ii) partners, if the applicant is a
23    partnership; (iii) members, if the applicant is a limited
24    liability company or association; or (iv) officers,
25    directors, and principal employees, if the applicant is a

 

 

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1    corporation, and sufficient information pertaining to the
2    history of criminal convictions of the applicant,
3    partners, members, officers, directors, or principal
4    employees as the Secretary deems necessary to make the
5    findings under subsection (c) of this Section;
6        (3) a nonrefundable license fee of $1,000; and
7        (4) a nonrefundable investigation fee of $800.
8    The Secretary may conduct a State and national criminal
9history records check of the applicant and of each partner,
10member, officer, director, and principal employee of the
11applicant.
12    (b) Upon the filing of an application for an initial
13license and the payment of the fees for licensure and
14investigation, the Secretary shall investigate the financial
15condition and responsibility, financial and business
16experience, character, and general fitness of the applicant.
17The Secretary may issue a license if the Secretary finds that:
18        (1) the applicant's financial condition is sound;
19        (2) the applicant's business will be conducted
20    honestly, fairly, equitably, carefully, and efficiently
21    within the purposes and intent of this Act and in a manner
22    commanding the confidence and trust of the community;
23        (3)(A) if the applicant is an individual, the
24    individual is in all respects properly qualified and of
25    good character;
26        (B) if the applicant is a partnership, each partner is

 

 

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1    in all respects properly qualified and of good character;
2        (C) if the applicant is a corporation or association,
3    the president, chairperson of the executive committee,
4    senior officer responsible for the corporation's business,
5    and chief financial officer or any other person who
6    performs similar functions as determined by the Secretary,
7    each director, each trustee, and each shareholder owning
8    10% or more of each class of the securities of the
9    corporation is in all respects properly qualified and of
10    good character; or
11        (D) if the applicant is a limited liability company,
12    each member is in all respects properly qualified and of
13    good character;
14        (4) no person on behalf of the applicant knowingly has
15    made any incorrect statement of a material fact in the
16    application or in any report or statement made pursuant to
17    this Act;
18        (5) no person on behalf of the applicant knowingly has
19    omitted to state any material fact necessary to give the
20    Secretary any information lawfully required by the
21    Secretary;
22        (6) the applicant has paid the investigation fee and
23    the license fee required under subsection (a); and
24        (7) the applicant has met any other similar
25    requirements as determined by the Secretary.
26    (c) A license issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this

 

 

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1Section shall expire at the close of business on September 30
2of the odd-numbered year following its issuance, unless renewed
3or earlier surrendered, suspended, or revoked pursuant to
4Section 20-5 of this Act. No later than 15 days after a
5licensee ceases to engage in the business of student loan
6servicing in this State for any reason, including a business
7decision to terminate operations in this State, license
8revocation, bankruptcy, or voluntary dissolution, the licensee
9shall provide written notice of surrender to the Secretary and
10shall surrender to the Secretary its license for each location
11in which the licensee has ceased to engage in business. The
12written notice of surrender shall identify the location where
13the records of the licensee will be stored and the name,
14address, and telephone number of an individual authorized to
15provide access to the records. The surrender of a license does
16not reduce or eliminate the licensee's civil or criminal
17liability arising from acts or omissions occurring prior to the
18surrender of the license, including any administrative actions
19undertaken by the Secretary to revoke or suspend a license,
20assess a civil penalty, order restitution, or exercise any
21other authority provided to the Secretary.
22    (d) A license may be renewed for the ensuing 24-month
23period upon the filing of an application containing all
24required documents and fees as provided in subsection (b) of
25this Section. The renewal application shall be filed on or
26before September 1 of the year in which the license expires.

 

 

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1Any renewal application filed with the Secretary after
2September 1 shall be accompanied by a $100 late fee and any
3such filing shall be deemed to be timely and sufficient. If an
4application for a renewal license has been filed with the
5Secretary on or before the date the license expires, the
6license sought to be renewed shall continue in full force and
7effect until the issuance by the Secretary of the renewal
8license applied for or until the Secretary has notified the
9licensee in writing of the Secretary's refusal to issue the
10renewal license together with the grounds upon which the
11refusal is based. The Secretary may refuse to issue a renewal
12license on any ground on which the Secretary might refuse to
13issue an initial license.
14    (e) If the Secretary determines that a check filed with the
15Secretary to pay a license or renewal fee has been dishonored,
16the Secretary shall automatically suspend the license or the
17renewal license that has been issued but is not yet effective.
18The Secretary shall give the licensee notice of the automatic
19suspension pending proceedings for revocation or refusal to
20renew and an opportunity for a hearing on such actions in
21accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and
22the rules of the Secretary.
23    (f) The applicant or licensee shall notify the Secretary,
24in writing, of any change in the information provided in its
25initial application for a license or its most recent renewal
26application for licensure, as applicable, not later than 10

 

 

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1business days after the occurrence of the event that results in
2the information becoming inaccurate.
3    (g) The Secretary may deem an application for a license
4abandoned if the applicant fails to respond to any request for
5information required under this Act or any rules adopted
6pursuant to this Act. The Secretary shall notify the applicant,
7in writing, that if the applicant fails to submit the
8information no later than 60 days after the date on which the
9request for information was made, the application is deemed
10abandoned. An application filing fee paid before the date an
11application is deemed abandoned pursuant to this subsection
12shall not be refunded. Abandonment of an application pursuant
13to this subsection shall not preclude the applicant from
14submitting a new application for a license under this Section.
 
15    Section 15-15. Business name. No person licensed to act
16within this State as a student loan servicer shall do so under
17any other name or at any other place of business than that
18named in the license. Any change of location of a place of
19business of a licensee shall require prior written notice to
20the Secretary. No more than one place of business shall be
21maintained under the same license, but the Secretary may issue
22more than one license to the same licensee upon compliance with
23the provisions of this Act as to each new licensee. A license
24is not transferable or assignable.
 

 

 

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1    Section 15-20. Recordkeeping.
2    (a) Each student loan servicer licensee and persons exempt
3from licensure pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 15-5 of
4this Act shall maintain adequate records of each student
5education loan transaction for no less than 2 years following
6the final payment on the student education loan or the
7assignment of the student education loan, whichever occurs
8first, or a longer period if required by any other provision of
9law.
10    (b) If requested by the Secretary, each student loan
11servicer shall make the records available or send the records
12to the Secretary by registered or certified mail, return
13receipt requested, or by any express delivery carrier that
14provides a dated delivery receipt, no later than 5 business
15days after requested by the Secretary to do so. Upon request,
16the Secretary may grant a licensee additional time to make the
17records available or send the records to the Secretary.
 
18
Article 20. Enforcement

 
19    Section 20-5. Administration and enforcement.
20    (a) The Secretary shall have the authority to conduct
21investigations and examinations as follows:
22        (1) For purposes of initial licensing, license
23    renewal, license suspension, license revocation or
24    termination, or general or specific inquiry or

 

 

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1    investigation to determine compliance with this Act, the
2    Secretary may access, receive, and use any books, accounts,
3    records, files, documents, information, or evidence,
4    including, but not limited to: (A) criminal, civil, and
5    administrative history information; (B) personal history
6    and experience information, including independent credit
7    reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency
8    described in Section 603(p) of the federal Fair Credit
9    Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681a; and (C) any other
10    documents, information, or evidence the Secretary deems
11    relevant to the inquiry or investigation regardless of the
12    location, possession, control, or custody of the
13    documents, information, or evidence.
14        (2) For the purposes of investigating violations or
15    complaints arising under this Act or for the purposes of
16    examination, the Secretary may review, investigate, or
17    examine any student loan servicer licensee or person
18    subject to this Act as often as necessary in order to carry
19    out the purposes of this Act. The Secretary may direct,
20    subpoena, or order the attendance of and examine under oath
21    any person whose testimony may be required about the
22    student education loan or the business or subject matter of
23    any examination or investigation, and may direct,
24    subpoena, or order that person to produce books, accounts,
25    records, files, and any other documents the Secretary deems
26    relevant to the inquiry.

 

 

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1    (b) In making any examination or investigation authorized
2by this Section, the Secretary may control access to any
3documents and records of the student loan servicer licensee or
4person under examination or investigation. The Secretary may
5take possession of the documents and records or place a person
6in exclusive charge of the documents and records in the place
7where they are usually kept. During the period of control, no
8person shall remove or attempt to remove any of the documents
9and records, except pursuant to a court order or with the
10consent of the Secretary. Unless the Secretary has reasonable
11grounds to believe the documents or records of the student loan
12servicer licensee or person have been or are at risk of being
13altered or destroyed for purposes of concealing a violation of
14this Act, the student loan servicer licensee or owner of the
15documents and records shall have access to the documents or
16records as necessary to conduct its ordinary business affairs.
17    (c) In order to carry out the purposes of this Section, the
18Secretary may:
19        (1) retain accountants or other professionals and
20    specialists as examiners, auditors, or investigators to
21    conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or
22    investigations;
23        (2) enter into agreements or relationships with other
24    government officials or regulatory associations in order
25    to improve efficiencies and reduce regulatory burden by
26    sharing resources, standardized or uniform methods or

 

 

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1    procedures, and documents, records, information, or
2    evidence obtained under this Section;
3        (3) use, hire, contract, or employ publicly or
4    privately available analytical systems, methods, or
5    software to examine or investigate the student loan
6    servicer licensee or person subject to this Act;
7        (4) accept and rely on examination or investigation
8    reports made by other government officials, within or
9    without this State;
10        (5) accept audit reports made by an independent
11    certified public accountant for the student loan servicer
12    licensee or person subject to this Act in the course of
13    that part of the examination covering the same general
14    subject matter as the audit and may incorporate the audit
15    report in the report of examination, report of
16    investigation, or other writing of the Secretary; and
17        (6) adopt rules necessary to implement this Act.
18    (d) The authority of this Section shall remain in effect,
19whether the student loan servicer licensee or person subject to
20this Act acts or claims to act under any licensing or
21registration law of this State, or claims to act without such
22authority.
23    (e) No student loan servicer licensee or person subject to
24investigation or examination under this Section may knowingly
25withhold, abstract, remove, mutilate, destroy, or secrete any
26books, records, computer records, or other information.

 

 

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1    (f) The Secretary may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew
2any license issued under the provisions of this Act if the
3Secretary finds that (1) the licensee has violated any
4provision of this Act or any rule or order lawfully made
5pursuant to and within the authority of this Act, (2) any fact
6or condition exists that, if it had existed at the time of the
7original application for the license, clearly would have
8warranted a denial of the license, or (3) the licensee engaged
9in dishonest activities or made any misrepresentation. No
10abatement of the license fee shall be made if the license is
11surrendered, revoked, or suspended prior to the expiration of
12the period for which it was issued.
 
13    Section 20-10. Enforcement; Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
14Business Practices Act. In addition to any other penalties
15specified in this Act, violation of this Act constitutes an
16unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
17Business Practices Act.
 
18
Article 90. Amendatory Provisions

 
19    Section 90-1. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
20Practices Act is amended by changing Section 2Z as follows:
 
21    (815 ILCS 505/2Z)  (from Ch. 121 1/2, par. 262Z)
22    Sec. 2Z. Violations of other Acts. Any person who knowingly

 

 

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1violates the Automotive Repair Act, the Automotive Collision
2Repair Act, the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, the Dance
3Studio Act, the Physical Fitness Services Act, the Hearing
4Instrument Consumer Protection Act, the Illinois Union Label
5Act, the Job Referral and Job Listing Services Consumer
6Protection Act, the Travel Promotion Consumer Protection Act,
7the Credit Services Organizations Act, the Automatic Telephone
8Dialers Act, the Pay-Per-Call Services Consumer Protection
9Act, the Telephone Solicitations Act, the Illinois Funeral or
10Burial Funds Act, the Cemetery Oversight Act, the Cemetery Care
11Act, the Safe and Hygienic Bed Act, the Pre-Need Cemetery Sales
12Act, the High Risk Home Loan Act, the Payday Loan Reform Act,
13the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act, subsection (a) or (b) of Section
143-10 of the Cigarette Tax Act, subsection (a) or (b) of Section
153-10 of the Cigarette Use Tax Act, the Electronic Mail Act, the
16Internet Caller Identification Act, paragraph (6) of
17subsection (k) of Section 6-305 of the Illinois Vehicle Code,
18Section 11-1431, 18d-115, 18d-120, 18d-125, 18d-135, 18d-150,
19or 18d-153 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, Article 3 of the
20Residential Real Property Disclosure Act, the Automatic
21Contract Renewal Act, the Reverse Mortgage Act, Section 25 of
22the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, or the Personal
23Information Protection Act, or the Student Loan Servicing
24Rights Act commits an unlawful practice within the meaning of
25this Act.
26(Source: P.A. 99-331, eff. 1-1-16; 99-411, eff. 1-1-16; 99-642,

 

 

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1eff. 7-28-16.)
 
2
Article 99. Severability; Effective Date

 
3    Section 99-1. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
4severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
 
5    Section 99-99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
6becoming law.".