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225 ILCS 429/10

    (225 ILCS 429/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Consumer" means any person who purchases or contracts for the purchase of debt settlement services.
    "Consumer settlement account" means any account or other means or device in which payments, deposits, or other transfers from a consumer are arranged, held, or transferred by or to a debt settlement provider for the accumulation of the consumer's funds in anticipation of proffering an adjustment or settlement of a debt or obligation of the consumer to a creditor on behalf of the consumer.
    "Debt settlement provider" means any person or entity engaging in, or holding itself out as engaging in, the business of providing debt settlement service in exchange for any fee or compensation, or any person who solicits for or acts on behalf of any person or entity engaging in, or holding itself out as engaging in, the business of providing debt settlement service in exchange for any fee or compensation. "Debt settlement provider" does not include:
        (1) attorneys licensed, or otherwise authorized, to
    
practice in Illinois who are engaged in the practice of law;
        (2) escrow agents, accountants, broker dealers in
    
securities, or investment advisors in securities, when acting in the ordinary practice of their professions and through the entity used in the ordinary practice of their profession;
        (3) any bank, agent of a bank, operating subsidiary
    
of a bank, affiliate of a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, savings bank, credit union, crop credit association, development credit corporation, industrial development corporation, title insurance company, title insurance agent, independent escrowee or insurance company operating or organized under the laws of a state or the United States, or any other person authorized to make loans under State law while acting in the ordinary practice of that business;
        (4) any person who performs credit services for his
    
or her employer while receiving a regular salary or wage when the employer is not engaged in the business of offering or providing debt settlement service;
        (5) a collection agency licensed pursuant to the
    
Collection Agency Act that is collecting a debt on its own behalf or on behalf of a third party;
        (6) an organization that is described in Section
    
501(c)(3) and subject to Section 501(q) of Title 26 of the United States Code and exempt from tax under Section 501(a) of Title 26 of the United States Code and governed by the Debt Management Service Act;
        (7) public officers while acting in their official
    
capacities and persons acting under court order;
        (8) any person while performing services incidental
    
to the dissolution, winding up, or liquidating of a partnership, corporation, or other business enterprise; or
        (9) persons licensed under the Real Estate License
    
Act of 2000 when acting in the ordinary practice of their profession and not holding themselves out as debt settlement providers.
    "Debt settlement service" means:
        (1) offering to provide advice or service, or acting
    
as an intermediary between or on behalf of a consumer and one or more of a consumer's creditors, where the primary purpose of the advice, service, or action is to obtain a settlement, adjustment, or satisfaction of the consumer's unsecured debt to a creditor in an amount less than the full amount of the principal amount of the debt or in an amount less than the current outstanding balance of the debt; or
        (2) offering to provide services related to or
    
providing services advising, encouraging, assisting, or counseling a consumer to accumulate funds for the primary purpose of proposing or obtaining or seeking to obtain a settlement, adjustment, or satisfaction of the consumer's unsecured debt to a creditor in an amount less than the full amount of the principal amount of the debt or in an amount less than the current outstanding balance of the debt.
    "Debt settlement service" does not include (A) the services of attorneys licensed, or otherwise authorized, to practice in Illinois who are engaged in the practice of law or (B) debt management service as defined in the Debt Management Service Act.
    "Enrollment or set up fee" means any fee, obligation, or compensation paid or to be paid by the consumer to a debt settlement provider in consideration of or in connection with establishing a contract or other agreement with a consumer related to the provision of debt settlement service.
    "Maintenance fee" means any fee, obligation, or compensation paid or to be paid by the consumer on a periodic basis to a debt settlement provider in consideration of maintaining the relationship and services to be provided by a debt settlement provider in accordance with a contract with a consumer related to the provision of debt settlement service.
    "Principal amount of the debt" means the total amount or outstanding balance owed by a consumer to one or more creditors for a debt that is included in a contract for debt settlement service at the time when the consumer enters into a contract for debt settlement service.
    "Savings" means the difference between the principal amount of the debt and the amount paid by the debt settlement provider to the creditor or negotiated by the debt settlement provider and paid by the consumer to the creditor pursuant to a settlement negotiated by the debt settlement provider on behalf of the consumer as full and complete satisfaction of the creditor's claim with regard to that debt.
    "Secretary" means the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation.
    "Settlement fee" means any fee, obligation, or compensation paid or to be paid by the consumer to a debt settlement provider in consideration of or in connection with a completed agreement or other arrangement on the part of a creditor to accept less than the principal amount of the debt as satisfaction of the creditor's claim against the consumer.
(Source: P.A. 96-1420, eff. 8-3-10.)