(225 ILCS 425/4.5)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 4.5. Unlicensed practice; violation; civil penalty.
    (a) Any person who practices, offers to practice, attempts to practice, or holds oneself out to practice as a collection agency without being licensed under this Act shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, pay a civil penalty to the Department in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each offense as determined by the Department. The civil penalty shall be assessed by the Department after a hearing is held in accordance with the provisions set forth in this Act regarding the provision of a hearing for the discipline of a licensee.
    (b) The Department has the authority and power to investigate any and all unlicensed activity. In addition to taking any other action provided under this Act, whenever the Department has reason to believe a person has violated any provision of subsection (a) of this Section, the Department may issue a rule to show cause why an order to cease and desist should not be entered against that person. The rule shall clearly set forth the grounds relied upon by the Department and shall provide a period of 7 days from the date of the rule to file an answer to the satisfaction of the Department. Failure to answer to the satisfaction of the Department shall cause an order to cease and desist to be issued immediately.
    (c) The civil penalty shall be paid within 60 days after the effective date of the order imposing the civil penalty. The order shall constitute a judgment and may be filed and execution had thereon in the same manner as any judgment from any court of record.
    (d) All moneys collected under this Section shall be deposited into the General Professions Dedicated Fund.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)