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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

PROFESSIONS, OCCUPATIONS, AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS
(225 ILCS 425/) Collection Agency Act.

225 ILCS 425/1

    (225 ILCS 425/1) (from Ch. 111, par. 2001)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Collection Agency Act".
(Source: P.A. 78-1248.)

225 ILCS 425/1a

    (225 ILCS 425/1a) (from Ch. 111, par. 2001a)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 1a. Declaration of public policy. The practice as a collection agency by any entity in the State of Illinois is hereby declared to affect the public health, safety and welfare and to be subject to regulation and control in the public interest. It is further declared to be a matter of public interest and concern that the collection agency profession merit and receive the confidence of the public and that only qualified entities be permitted to practice as a collection agency in the State of Illinois. This Act shall be liberally construed to carry out these objects and purposes.
    It is further declared to be the public policy of this State to protect consumers against debt collection abuse.
(Source: P.A. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96.)

225 ILCS 425/2

    (225 ILCS 425/2) (from Ch. 111, par. 2002)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 2. Definitions. In this Act:
    "Address of record" means the designated address recorded by the Department in the applicant's or licensee's application file or license file as maintained by the Department's licensure maintenance unit. It is the duty of the applicant or licensee to inform the Department of any change of address and those changes must be made either through the Department's website or by contacting the Department.
    "Board" means the Collection Agency Licensing and Disciplinary Board.
    "Charge-off balance" means an account principal and other legally collectible costs, expenses, and interest accrued prior to the charge-off date, less any payments or settlement.
    "Charge-off date" means the date on which a receivable is treated as a loss or expense.
    "Collection agency" means any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engages in the collection of a debt.
    "Consumer debt" or "consumer credit" means money or property, or their equivalent, due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a natural person by reason of a consumer credit transaction.
    "Credit transaction" means a transaction between a natural person and another person in which property, service, or money is acquired on credit by that natural person from such other person primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
    "Creditor" means a person who extends consumer credit to a debtor.
    "Current balance" means the charge-off balance plus any legally collectible costs, expenses, and interest, less any credits or payments.
    "Debt" means money, property, or their equivalent which is due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a person to another person.
    "Debt buyer" means a person or entity that is engaged in the business of purchasing delinquent or charged-off consumer loans or consumer credit accounts or other delinquent consumer debt for collection purposes, whether it collects the debt itself or hires a third-party for collection or an attorney-at-law for litigation in order to collect such debt.
    "Debtor" means a person from whom a collection agency seeks to collect a consumer or commercial debt that is due and owing or alleged to be due and owing from such person.
    "Department" means the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
    "Person" means a natural person, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust, estate, cooperative, association, or other similar entity.
    "Licensed collection agency" means a person who is licensed under this Act to engage in the practice of debt collection in Illinois.
    "Secretary" means the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15; 99-500, eff. 1-29-16.)

225 ILCS 425/2.01

    (225 ILCS 425/2.01)
    Sec. 2.01. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 85-1209. Repealed by P.A. 95-437, eff. 1-1-08.)

225 ILCS 425/2.02

    (225 ILCS 425/2.02)
    Sec. 2.02. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 94-414, eff. 12-31-05. Repealed by P.A. 95-437, eff. 1-1-08.)

225 ILCS 425/2.03

    (225 ILCS 425/2.03) (from Ch. 111, par. 2005)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 2.03. Exemptions. This Act does not apply to persons whose collection activities are confined to and are directly related to the operation of a business other than that of a collection agency, and specifically does not include the following:
        1. Banks, including trust departments, affiliates,
    
and subsidiaries thereof, fiduciaries, and financing and lending institutions (except those who own or operate collection agencies);
        2. Abstract companies doing an escrow business;
        3. Real estate brokers when acting in the pursuit of
    
their profession;
        4. Public officers and judicial officers acting under
    
order of a court;
        5. Licensed attorneys at law;
        6. Insurance companies;
        7. Credit unions, including affiliates and
    
subsidiaries thereof (except those who own or operate collection agencies);
        8. Loan and finance companies, including entities
    
licensed pursuant to the Residential Mortgage License Act of 1987;
        9. Retail stores collecting their own accounts;
        10. Unit Owner's Associations established under the
    
Condominium Property Act, and their duly authorized agents, when collecting assessments from unit owners; and
        11. Any person or business under contract with a
    
creditor to notify the creditor's debtors of a debt using only the creditor's name.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/2.04

    (225 ILCS 425/2.04) (from Ch. 111, par. 2005.1)
    (Text of Section from P.A. 99-85)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 2.04. Child support indebtedness.
    (a) Persons, associations, partnerships, corporations, or other legal entities engaged in the business of collecting child support indebtedness owing under a court order as provided under the Illinois Public Aid Code, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Non-Support of Spouse and Children Act, the Non-Support Punishment Act, the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, or similar laws of other states are not restricted (i) in the frequency of contact with an obligor who is in arrears, whether by phone, mail, or other means, (ii) from contacting the employer of an obligor who is in arrears, (iii) from publishing or threatening to publish a list of obligors in arrears, (iv) from disclosing or threatening to disclose an arrearage that the obligor disputes, but for which a verified notice of delinquency has been served under the Income Withholding for Support Act (or any of its predecessors, Section 10-16.2 of the Illinois Public Aid Code, Section 706.1 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Section 4.1 of the Non-Support of Spouse and Children Act, Section 26.1 of the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, or Section 20 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984), or (v) from engaging in conduct that would not cause a reasonable person mental or physical illness. For purposes of this subsection, "obligor" means an individual who owes a duty to make periodic payments, under a court order, for the support of a child. "Arrearage" means the total amount of an obligor's unpaid child support obligations.
    (a-5) A collection agency may not impose a fee or charge, including costs, for any child support payments collected through the efforts of a federal, State, or local government agency, including but not limited to child support collected from federal or State tax refunds, unemployment benefits, or Social Security benefits.
    No collection agency that collects child support payments shall (i) impose a charge or fee, including costs, for collection of a current child support payment, (ii) fail to apply collections to current support as specified in the order for support before applying collection to arrears or other amounts, or (iii) designate a current child support payment as arrears or other amount owed. In all circumstances, the collection agency shall turn over to the obligee all support collected in a month up to the amount of current support required to be paid for that month.
    As to any fees or charges, including costs, retained by the collection agency, that agency shall provide documentation to the obligee demonstrating that the child support payments resulted from the actions of the agency.
    After collection of the total amount or arrearage, including statutory interest, due as of the date of execution of the collection contract, no further fees may be charged.
    (a-10) The Department of Professional Regulation shall determine a fee rate of not less than 25% but not greater than 35%, based upon presentation by the licensees as to costs to provide the service and a fair rate of return. This rate shall be established by administrative rule.
    Without prejudice to the determination by the Department of the appropriate rate through administrative rule, a collection agency shall impose a fee of not more than 29% of the amount of child support actually collected by the collection agency subject to the provisions of subsection (a-5). This interim rate is based upon the March 2002 General Account Office report "Child Support Enforcement", GAO-02-349. This rate shall apply until a fee rate is established by administrative rule.
    (b) The Department shall adopt rules necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-85, eff. 1-1-16.)
 
    (Text of Section from P.A. 99-227)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 2.04. Child support debt.
    (a) Collection agencies engaged in the business of collecting child support debt owing under a court order as provided under the Illinois Public Aid Code, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Non-Support Punishment Act, the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, or similar laws of other states are not restricted (i) in the frequency of contact with an obligor who is in arrears, whether by phone, mail, or other means, (ii) from contacting the employer of an obligor who is in arrears, (iii) from publishing or threatening to publish a list of obligors in arrears, (iv) from disclosing or threatening to disclose an arrearage that the obligor disputes, but for which a verified notice of delinquency has been served under the Income Withholding for Support Act (or any of its predecessors, Section 10-16.2 of the Illinois Public Aid Code, Section 706.1 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Section 22 of the Non-Support Punishment Act, Section 26.1 of the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, or Section 20 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984), or (v) from engaging in conduct that would not cause a reasonable person mental or physical illness. For purposes of this subsection, "obligor" means an individual who owes a duty to make periodic payments, under a court order, for the support of a child. "Arrearage" means the total amount of an obligor's unpaid child support obligations.
    (a-5) A collection agency may not impose a fee or charge, including costs, for any child support payments collected through the efforts of a federal, State, or local government agency, including but not limited to child support collected from federal or State tax refunds, unemployment benefits, or Social Security benefits.
    No collection agency that collects child support payments shall (i) impose a charge or fee, including costs, for collection of a current child support payment, (ii) fail to apply collections to current support as specified in the order for support before applying collection to arrears or other amounts, or (iii) designate a current child support payment as arrears or other amount owed. In all circumstances, the collection agency shall turn over to the obligee all support collected in a month up to the amount of current support required to be paid for that month.
    As to any fees or charges, including costs, retained by the collection agency, that agency shall provide documentation to the obligee demonstrating that the child support payments resulted from the actions of the agency.
    After collection of the total amount or arrearage, including statutory interest, due as of the date of execution of the collection contract, no further fees may be charged.
    (a-10) The Department shall determine a fee rate of not less than 25% but not greater than 35%, based upon presentation by the licensees as to costs to provide the service and a fair rate of return. This rate shall be established by administrative rule.
    Without prejudice to the determination by the Department of the appropriate rate through administrative rule, a collection agency shall impose a fee of not more than 29% of the amount of child support actually collected by the collection agency subject to the provisions of subsection (a-5). This interim rate is based upon the March 2002 General Account Office report "Child Support Enforcement", GAO-02-349. This rate shall apply until a fee rate is established by administrative rule.
    (b) The Department shall adopt rules necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/3

    (225 ILCS 425/3) (from Ch. 111, par. 2006)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 3. A person acts as a collection agency when he, she, or it:
        (a) Engages in the business of collection for others
    
of any account, bill or other debt;
        (b) Receives, by assignment or otherwise, accounts,
    
bills, or other debt from any person owning or controlling 20% or more of the business receiving the assignment, with the purpose of collecting monies due on such account, bill or other debt;
        (c) Sells or attempts to sell, or gives away or
    
attempts to give away to any other person, other than one licensed under this Act, any system of collection, letters, demand forms, or other printed matter where the name of any person, other than that of the creditor, appears in such a manner as to indicate, directly or indirectly, that a request or demand is being made by any person other than the creditor for the payment of the sum or sums due or asserted to be due;
        (d) Buys accounts, bills or other debt;
        (e) Uses a fictitious name in collecting its own
    
accounts, bills, or debts with the intention of conveying to the debtor that a third party has been employed to make such collection; or
        (f) Engages in the business of collection of a check
    
or other payment that is returned unpaid by the financial institution upon which it is drawn.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/4

    (225 ILCS 425/4) (from Ch. 111, par. 2007)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 4. No collection agency shall operate in this State, directly or indirectly engage in the business of collecting debt, solicit debt claims for others, have a sales office, a client, or solicit a client in this State, exercise the right to collect, or receive payment for another of any debt, without obtaining a license under this Act except that no collection agency shall be required to be licensed if the agency's activities in this State are limited to collecting debts from debtors located in this State by means of interstate communication, including telephone, mail, or facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or any other Internet communication from the agency's location in another state provided they are licensed in that state and these same privileges are permitted in that licensed state to agencies licensed in Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/4.5

    (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.)

225 ILCS 425/5

    (225 ILCS 425/5) (from Ch. 111, par. 2008)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 5. Application for original license. Application for an original license shall be made to the Secretary on forms provided by the Department, shall be accompanied by the required fee and shall state:
        (1) the applicant's name and address;
        (2) the names and addresses of the officers of the
    
collection agency and, if the collection agency is a corporation, the names and addresses of all persons owning 10% or more of the stock of such corporation, if the collection agency is a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners of the partnership holding a 10% or more interest in the partnership, if the collection agency is a limited liability company, the names and addresses of all members holding 10% or more interest in the limited liability company, and if the collection agency is any other legal business entity, the names and addresses of all persons owning 10% or more interest in the entity; and
        (3) such other information as the Department may deem
    
necessary.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/6

    (225 ILCS 425/6)
    Sec. 6. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/6a

    (225 ILCS 425/6a)
    Sec. 6a. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 94-414, eff. 12-31-05. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/7

    (225 ILCS 425/7) (from Ch. 111, par. 2010)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 7. Qualifications for license. In order to be qualified to obtain a license or a renewal license under this Act, a collection agency's officers shall:
        (a) be of good moral character and of the age of 18
    
years or more;
        (b) (blank); and
        (c) have an acceptable credit rating, have no
    
unsatisfied judgments; and not have been officers and owners of 10% or more interest of a former licensee or registrant under this Act whose licenses or certificates were suspended or revoked without subsequent reinstatement.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/8

    (225 ILCS 425/8) (from Ch. 111, par. 2011)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8. Bond requirement. A collection agency shall be required to file and maintain in force a surety bond, issued by an insurance company authorized to transact fidelity and surety business in the State of Illinois. The bond shall be for the benefit of creditors who obtain a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction based on the failure of the agency to remit money collected on account and owed to the creditor. No action on the bond shall be commenced more than one year after the creditor obtains a judgment against the collection agency from a court of competent jurisdiction. The bond shall be in the form prescribed by the Secretary in the sum of $25,000. The bond shall be continuous in form and run concurrently with the original and each renewal license period unless terminated by the insurance company. An insurance company may terminate a bond and avoid further liability by filing a 60-day notice of termination with the Department and at the same time sending the same notice to the agency. A license shall be cancelled on the termination date of the agency's bond unless a new bond is filed with the Department to become effective at the termination date of the prior bond. If a license has been cancelled under this Section, the agency must file a new application and will be considered a new applicant if it obtains a new bond.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/8a

    (225 ILCS 425/8a) (from Ch. 111, par. 2011a)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8a. Fees.
    (a) The fees for the administration and enforcement of this Act, including but not limited to original licensure, renewal, and restoration, shall be set by the Department by rule. The fees shall be nonrefundable.
    (b) All fees collected under this Act shall be deposited into the General Professions Dedicated Fund and shall be appropriated to the Department for the ordinary and contingent expenses of the Department in the administration of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/8a-1

    (225 ILCS 425/8a-1) (from Ch. 111, par. 2011a-1)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8a-1. (a) No account may be referred by a collection agency to an attorney unless, prior to placing an account with an attorney for further collection action, each account creditor is notified in writing by the collection agency of the collection agency's intent to refer the account to an attorney. The account may not be referred to an attorney if a creditor notifies the collection agency within 5 days after receiving the notice that the creditor is withholding authorization for the account to be referred to an attorney. The notice requirement under this subsection may, in the alternative, be satisfied if the creditor signs the complaint that will be filed in the circuit court seeking judgment on the debt owed. A collection agency shall not take any action that in fact or in appearance interferes with the professional relationship between the attorney and the creditor.
    (b) Court costs expended by the agency or the creditor for filing a complaint are recoverable by the agency or the creditor if the principal on the debt is paid before the judgment is issued.
(Source: P.A. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96.)

225 ILCS 425/8b

    (225 ILCS 425/8b) (from Ch. 111, par. 2011b)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8b. Assignment for collection. An account may be assigned to a collection agency for collection with title passing to the collection agency to enable collection of the account in the agency's name as assignee for the creditor provided:
    (a) The assignment is manifested by a written agreement, separate from and in addition to any document intended for the purpose of listing a debt with a collection agency. The document manifesting the assignment shall specifically state and include:
        (i) the effective date of the assignment; and
        (ii) the consideration for the assignment.
    (b) The consideration for the assignment may be paid or given either before or after the effective date of the assignment. The consideration may be contingent upon the settlement or outcome of litigation and if the debt being assigned has been listed with the collection agency as an account for collection, the consideration for assignment may be the same as the fee for collection.
    (c) All assignments shall be voluntary and properly executed and acknowledged by the corporate authority or individual transferring title to the collection agency before any action can be taken in the name of the collection agency.
    (d) No assignment shall be required by any agreement to list a debt with a collection agency as an account for collection.
    (e) No litigation shall commence in the name of the licensee as plaintiff unless: (i) there is an assignment of the account that satisfies the requirements of this Section and (ii) the licensee is represented by a licensed attorney at law.
    (f) If a collection agency takes assignments of accounts from 2 or more creditors against the same debtor and commences litigation against that debtor in a single action, in the name of the collection agency, then (i) the complaint must be stated in separate counts for each assignment and (ii) the debtor has an absolute right to have any count severed from the rest of the action.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/8c

    (225 ILCS 425/8c) (from Ch. 111, par. 2011c)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8c. (a) Each licensed collection agency shall at all times maintain a separate bank account in which all monies received on debts shall be deposited, referred to as a "Trust Account", except that negotiable instruments received may be forwarded directly to a creditor if such procedure is provided for by a writing executed by the creditor. Monies received shall be so deposited within 5 business days after posting to the agency's books of account.
    There shall be sufficient funds in the trust account at all times to pay the creditors the amount due them.
    (b) The trust account shall be established in a bank, savings and loan association, or other recognized depository which is federally or State insured or otherwise secured as defined by rule. Such account may be interest bearing. The licensee shall pay to the creditor interest earned on funds on deposit after the sixtieth day.
    (c) Notwithstanding any contractual arrangement, every client of a licensee shall within 60 days after the close of each calendar month, account and pay to the licensee collection agency all sums owed to the collection agency for payments received by the client during that calendar month on debts in possession of the collection agency. If a client fails to pay the licensee any sum due under this Section, the licensee shall, in addition to other remedies provided by law, have the right to offset any money due the licensee under this Section against any moneys due the client.
    (d) Each collection agency shall keep on file the name of the bank, savings and loan association, or other recognized depository in which each trust account is maintained, the name of each trust account, and the names of the persons authorized to withdraw funds from each account.
    The collection agency, within 30 days of the time of a change of depository or person authorized to make withdrawal, shall update its files to reflect such change.
    An examination and audit of an agency's trust accounts may be made by the Department as the Department deems appropriate.
    A trust account financial report shall be submitted annually on forms provided by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/8.5

    (225 ILCS 425/8.5)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8.5. Debt buyers. A debt buyer shall be subject to all of the terms, conditions, and requirements of this Act, except as otherwise provided for in subsection (b) of Section 8.6 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 97-1070, eff. 1-1-13.)

225 ILCS 425/8.6

    (225 ILCS 425/8.6)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 8.6. Debt buyer activities.
    (a) Debt buyers initiating actions upon an obligation arising out of a consumer debt shall be commenced within the applicable statute of limitations period.
    (b) With respect to its activities as a debt buyer in pursuing the collection of accounts it owns, a debt buyer shall be subject to all of the terms, conditions, and requirements of this Act, except that a debt buyer shall not be required to (i) file and maintain in force a surety bond under Section 8 of this Act; (ii) maintain a trust account under Section 8c of this Act; (iii) procure written authorization to refer the account to an attorney for suit under Section 8a-1 of this Act; or (iv) adhere to the assignment for collection criteria under Section 8b of this Act.
    (c) The Attorney General may enforce against debt buyers the provisions identified in Section 9.7 of this Act as an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
(Source: P.A. 97-1070, eff. 1-1-13.)

225 ILCS 425/9

    (225 ILCS 425/9) (from Ch. 111, par. 2012)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9. Disciplinary actions.
    (a) The Department may refuse to issue or renew, or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take other disciplinary or non-disciplinary action as the Department may deem proper, including fines not to exceed $10,000 per violation, for any one or any combination of the following causes:
        (1) Material misstatement in furnishing information
    
to the Department.
        (2) Violations of this Act or of the rules
    
promulgated hereunder.
        (3) Conviction by plea of guilty or nolo contendere,
    
finding of guilt, jury verdict, or entry of judgment or by sentencing of any crime, including, but not limited to, convictions, preceding sentences of supervision, conditional discharge, or first offender probation of the collection agency or any of the officers or owners of more than 10% interest of the agency of any crime under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction that (i) is a felony, (ii) is a misdemeanor, an essential element of which is dishonesty, or (iii) is directly related to the practice of a collection agency.
        (4) Fraud or misrepresentation in applying for, or
    
procuring, a license under this Act or in connection with applying for renewal of a license under this Act.
        (5) Aiding or assisting another person in violating
    
any provision of this Act or rules adopted under this Act.
        (6) Failing, within 60 days, to provide information
    
in response to a written request made by the Department.
        (7) Habitual or excessive use or addiction to
    
alcohol, narcotics, stimulants or any other chemical agent or drug which results in the inability to practice with reasonable judgment, skill, or safety by any of the officers or owners of 10% or more interest of a collection agency.
        (8) Discipline by another state, the District of
    
Columbia, a territory of the United States, or a foreign nation, if at least one of the grounds for the discipline is the same or substantially equivalent to those set forth in this Act.
        (9) A finding by the Department that the licensee,
    
after having his license placed on probationary status, has violated the terms of probation.
        (10) Willfully making or filing false records or
    
reports in his or her practice, including, but not limited to, false records filed with State agencies or departments.
        (11) Practicing or attempting to practice under a
    
false or, except as provided by law, an assumed name.
        (12) A finding by the Federal Trade Commission that a
    
licensee violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or its rules.
        (13) Failure to file a return, or to pay the tax,
    
penalty or interest shown in a filed return, or to pay any final assessment of tax, penalty or interest, as required by any tax Act administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue until such time as the requirements of any such tax Act are satisfied.
        (14) Using or threatening to use force or violence to
    
cause physical harm to a debtor, his or her family or his or her property.
        (15) Threatening to instigate an arrest or criminal
    
prosecution where no basis for a criminal complaint lawfully exists.
        (16) Threatening the seizure, attachment or sale of a
    
debtor's property where such action can only be taken pursuant to court order without disclosing that prior court proceedings are required.
        (17) Disclosing or threatening to disclose
    
information adversely affecting a debtor's reputation for credit worthiness with knowledge the information is false.
        (18) Initiating or threatening to initiate
    
communication with a debtor's employer unless there has been a default of the payment of the obligation for at least 30 days and at least 5 days prior written notice, to the last known address of the debtor, of the intention to communicate with the employer has been given to the employee, except as expressly permitted by law or court order.
         (19) Communicating with the debtor or any member of
    
the debtor's family at such a time of day or night and with such frequency as to constitute harassment of the debtor or any member of the debtor's family. For purposes of this Section the following conduct shall constitute harassment:
             (A) Communicating with the debtor or any member
        
of his or her family in connection with the collection of any debt without the prior consent of the debtor given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the debtor. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock a.m. and before 9 o'clock p.m. local time at the debtor's location.
             (B) The threat of publication or publication of a
        
list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency.
            (C) The threat of advertisement or advertisement
        
for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.
            (D) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any
        
person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
        (20) Using profane, obscene or abusive language in
    
communicating with a debtor, his or her family or others.
        (21) Disclosing or threatening to disclose
    
information relating to a debtor's debt to any other person except where such other person has a legitimate business need for the information or except where such disclosure is permitted by law.
        (22) Disclosing or threatening to disclose
    
information concerning the existence of a debt which the collection agency knows to be disputed by the debtor without disclosing the fact that the debtor disputes the debt.
        (23) Engaging in any conduct that is intended to
    
cause and did cause mental or physical illness to the debtor or his or her family.
        (24) Attempting or threatening to enforce a right or
    
remedy with knowledge or reason to know that the right or remedy does not exist.
        (25) Failing to disclose to the debtor or his or her
    
family the corporate, partnership or proprietary name, or other trade or business name, under which the collection agency is engaging in debt collections and which he or she is legally authorized to use.
        (26) Using any form of communication which simulates
    
legal or judicial process or which gives the appearance of being authorized, issued or approved by a governmental agency or official or by an attorney at law when it is not.
        (27) Using any badge, uniform, or other indicia of
    
any governmental agency or official except as authorized by law.
        (28) Conducting business under any name or in any
    
manner which suggests or implies that the collection agency is a branch of or is affiliated in any way with a governmental agency or court if such collection agency is not.
        (29) Failing to disclose, at the time of making any
    
demand for payment, the name of the person to whom the debt is owed and at the request of the debtor, the address where payment is to be made and the address of the person to whom the debt is owed.
        (30) Misrepresenting the amount of the debt alleged
    
to be owed.
        (31) Representing that an existing debt may be
    
increased by the addition of attorney's fees, investigation fees or any other fees or charges when such fees or charges may not legally be added to the existing debt.
        (32) Representing that the collection agency is an
    
attorney at law or an agent for an attorney if he or she is not.
        (33) Collecting or attempting to collect any interest
    
or other charge or fee in excess of the actual debt unless such interest or other charge or fee is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt unless expressly authorized by law or unless in a commercial transaction such interest or other charge or fee is expressly authorized in a subsequent agreement. If a contingency or hourly fee arrangement (i) is established under an agreement between a collection agency and a creditor to collect a debt and (ii) is paid by a debtor pursuant to a contract between the debtor and the creditor, then that fee arrangement does not violate this Section unless the fee is unreasonable. The Department shall determine what constitutes a reasonable collection fee.
        (34) Communicating or threatening to communicate with
    
a debtor when the collection agency is informed in writing by an attorney that the attorney represents the debtor concerning the debt. If the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time, the collector may communicate with the debtor. The collector may communicate with the debtor when the attorney gives his or her consent.
        (35) Engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or
    
unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public.
    (b) The Department shall deny any license or renewal authorized by this Act to any person who has defaulted on an educational loan guaranteed by the Illinois State Scholarship Commission; however, the Department may issue a license or renewal if the person in default has established a satisfactory repayment record as determined by the Illinois State Scholarship Commission.
    No collection agency while collecting or attempting to collect a debt shall engage in any of the Acts specified in this Section, each of which shall be unlawful practice.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/9.1

    (225 ILCS 425/9.1)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.1. Communication with persons other than debtor. Any collection agency communicating with any person other than the debtor for the purpose of acquiring location information about the debtor shall:
        (1) identify himself or herself, state that he or she
    
is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his or her employer;
        (2) not state that the consumer owes any debt;
        (3) not communicate with any person more than once
    
unless requested to do so by the person or unless the collection agency reasonably believes that the earlier response of the person is erroneous or incomplete and that the person now has correct or complete location information;
        (4) not communicate by postcard;
        (5) not use any language or symbol on any envelope or
    
in the contents of any communication effected by mail or telegram that indicates that the collection agency is in the debt collection business or that the communication relates to the collection of a debt; and
        (6) not communicate with any person other than the
    
attorney after the collection agency knows the debtor is represented by an attorney with regard to the subject debt and has knowledge of or can readily ascertain the attorney's name and address, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time, not less than 30 days, to communication from the collection agency.
    This Section applies to a collection agency or debt buyer only when engaged in the collection of consumer debt.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15; 99-500, eff. 1-29-16.)

225 ILCS 425/9.2

    (225 ILCS 425/9.2)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.2. Communication in connection with debt collection.
    (a) Without the prior consent of the debtor given directly to the collection agency or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a collection agency may not communicate with a debtor in connection with the collection of any debt in any of the following circumstances:
        (1) At any unusual time, place, or manner that is
    
known or should be known to be inconvenient to the debtor. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a collection agency shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a debtor is after 8:00 a.m. and before 9:00 p.m. local time at the debtor's location.
        (2) If the collection agency knows the debtor is
    
represented by an attorney with respect to such debt and has knowledge of or can readily ascertain, the attorney's name and address, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication from the collection agency or unless the attorney consents to direct communication with the debtor.
        (3) At the debtor's place of employment, if the
    
collection agency knows or has reason to know that the debtor's employer prohibits the debtor from receiving such communication.
    (b) Except as provided in Section 9.1 of this Act, without the prior consent of the debtor given directly to the collection agency, the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post judgment judicial remedy, a collection agency may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the debtor, the debtor's attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the collection agency.
    (c) If a debtor notifies a collection agency in writing that the debtor refuses to pay a debt or that the debtor wishes the collection agency to cease further communication with the debtor, the collection agency may not communicate further with the debtor with respect to such debt, except to perform any of the following tasks:
        (1) Advise the debtor that the collection agency's
    
further efforts are being terminated.
        (2) Notify the debtor that the collection agency or
    
creditor may invoke specified remedies that are ordinarily invoked by such collection agency or creditor.
        (3) Notify the debtor that the collection agency or
    
creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
    If such notice from the debtor is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
    (d) For the purposes of this Section, "debtor" includes the debtor's spouse, parent (if the debtor is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.
    (e) This Section applies to a collection agency or debt buyer only when engaged in the collection of consumer debt.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15; 99-500, eff. 1-29-16.)

225 ILCS 425/9.3

    (225 ILCS 425/9.3)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.3. Validation of debts.
    (a) Within 5 days after the initial communication with a debtor in connection with the collection of any debt, a collection agency shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the debtor has paid the debt, send the debtor a written notice with each of the following disclosures:
        (1) The amount of the debt.
        (2) The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.
        (3) That, unless the debtor, within 30 days after
    
receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the collection agency.
        (4) That, if the debtor notifies the collection
    
agency in writing within the 30-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the collection agency will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the debtor and a copy of the verification or judgment will be mailed to the debtor by the collection agency.
        (5) That upon the debtor's written request within the
    
30-day period, the collection agency will provide the debtor with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. If the disclosures required under this subsection (a) are placed on the back of the notice, the front of the notice shall contain a statement notifying debtors of that fact.
    (b) If the debtor notifies the collection agency in writing within the 30-day period set forth in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Section that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed or that the debtor requests the name and address of the original creditor, the collection agency shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the collection agency obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment or the name and address of the original creditor and mails a copy of the verification or judgment or name and address of the original creditor to the debtor.
    (c) The failure of a debtor to dispute the validity of a debt under this Section shall not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the debtor.
    (d) This Section applies to a collection agency or debt buyer only when engaged in the collection of consumer debt.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15; 99-500, eff. 1-29-16.)

225 ILCS 425/9.4

    (225 ILCS 425/9.4)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.4. Debt collection as a result of identity theft.
    (a) Upon receipt from a debtor of all of the following information, a collection agency must cease collection activities until completion of the review provided in subsection (d) of this Section:
        (1) A copy of a police report filed by the debtor
    
alleging that the debtor is the victim of an identity theft crime for the specific debt being collected by the collection agency.
        (2) The debtor's written statement that the debtor
    
claims to be the victim of identity theft with respect to the specific debt being collected by the collection agency, including (i) a Federal Trade Commission's Affidavit of Identity Theft, (ii) an Illinois Attorney General ID Theft Affidavit, or (iii) a written statement that certifies that the representations are true, correct, and contain no material omissions of fact to the best knowledge and belief of the person submitting the certification. This written statement must contain or be accompanied by, each of the following, to the extent that an item listed below is relevant to the debtor's allegation of identity theft with respect to the debt in question:
            (A) A statement that the debtor is a victim of
        
identity theft.
            (B) A copy of the debtor's driver's license or
        
identification card, as issued by this State.
            (C) Any other identification document that
        
supports the statement of identity theft.
            (D) Specific facts supporting the claim of
        
identity theft, if available.
            (E) Any explanation showing that the debtor did
        
not incur the debt.
            (F) Any available correspondence disputing the
        
debt after transaction information has been provided to the debtor.
            (G) Documentation of the residence of the debtor
        
at the time of the alleged debt, which may include copies of bills and statements, such as utility bills, tax statements, or other statements from businesses sent to the debtor and showing that the debtor lived at another residence at the time the debt was incurred.
            (H) A telephone number for contacting the debtor
        
concerning any additional information or questions or direction that further communications to the debtor be in writing only, with the mailing address specified in the statement.
            (I) To the extent the debtor has information
        
concerning who may have incurred the debt, the identification of any person whom the debtor believes is responsible.
            (J) An express statement that the debtor did not
        
authorize the use of the debtor's name or personal information for incurring the debt.
    (b) A written certification submitted pursuant to item (iii) of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Section shall be sufficient if it is in substantially the following form:
    "I certify that the representations made are true, correct,
    and contain no material omissions of fact known to me.
 
            (Signature)
 
            (Date)"
 
    (c) If a debtor notifies a collection agency orally that he or she is a victim of identity theft, the collection agency shall notify the debtor orally or in writing, that the debtor's claim must be in writing. If a debtor notifies a collection agency in writing that he or she is a victim of identity theft, but omits information required pursuant to this Section, and if the collection agency continues collection activities, the collection agency must provide written notice to the debtor of the additional information that is required or send the debtor a copy of the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Affidavit form.
    (d) Upon receipt of the complete statement and information described in subsection (a) of this Section, the collection agency shall review and consider all of the information provided by the debtor and other information available to the collection agency in its file or from the creditor. The collection agency may recommence debt collection activities only upon making a good faith determination that the information does not establish that the debtor is not responsible for the specific debt in question. The collection agency must notify the debtor in writing of that determination and the basis for that determination before proceeding with any further collection activities. The collection agency's determination shall be based on all of the information provided by the debtor and other information available to the collection agency in its file or from the creditor.
    (e) No inference or presumption that the debt is valid or invalid or that the debtor is liable or not liable for the debt may arise if the collection agency decides after the review described in subsection (d) to cease or recommence the debt collection activities. The exercise or non-exercise of rights under this Section is not a waiver of any other right or defense of the debtor or collection agency.
    (f) A collection agency that (i) ceases collection activities under this Section, (ii) does not recommence those collection activities, and (iii) furnishes adverse information to a consumer credit reporting agency, must notify the consumer credit reporting agency to delete that adverse information.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/9.5

    (225 ILCS 425/9.5)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.5. Statute of limitations. No action may be filed against any licensee for violation of the terms of this Act or its rules unless the action is commenced within 5 years after the occurrence of the alleged violation. A continuing violation will be deemed to have occurred on the date when the circumstances first existed which gave rise to the alleged continuing violation.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/9.7

    (225 ILCS 425/9.7)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.7. Enforcement under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The Attorney General may enforce the knowing violation of Section 9 (except for items (2) through (4), (7) through (9), (11) through (13), and (23) of subsection (a)), 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, or 9.4 of this Act as an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/9.22

    (225 ILCS 425/9.22) (from Ch. 111, par. 2034)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 9.22. Administrative Procedure Act. The Illinois Administrative Procedure Act is hereby expressly adopted and incorporated herein as if all of the provisions of that Act were included in this Act, except that the provision of subsection (d) of Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act that provides that at hearings the licensee has the right to show compliance with all lawful requirements for retention, continuation or renewal of the license is specifically excluded. For the purposes of this Act the notice required under Section 10-25 of the Administrative Procedure Act is deemed sufficient when mailed to the address of record of a party.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/10

    (225 ILCS 425/10)
    Sec. 10. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/11

    (225 ILCS 425/11) (from Ch. 111, par. 2036)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 11. Informal conferences. Informal conferences shall be conducted with at least one member of the Board in attendance. Notwithstanding any provisions concerning the conduct of hearings and recommendations for disciplinary actions, the Department has the authority to negotiate agreements with licensees and applicants resulting in disciplinary or non-disciplinary consent orders. The consent orders may provide for any of the forms of discipline provided in this Act. The consent orders shall provide that they were not entered into as a result of any coercion by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/13

    (225 ILCS 425/13)
    Sec. 13. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 84-242. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/13.1

    (225 ILCS 425/13.1) (from Ch. 111, par. 2038.1)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 13.1. Collection Agency Licensing and Disciplinary Board; members; qualifications; duties.
    (a) There is created in the Department the Collection Agency Licensing and Disciplinary Board composed of 7 members appointed by the Secretary. Five members of the Board shall be employed in a collection agency licensed under this Act and 2 members of the Board shall represent the general public, shall not be employed by or possess an ownership interest in any collection agency licensed under this Act, and shall have no family or business connection with the practice of collection agencies.
    (b) Each of the members appointed to the Board, except for the public members, shall have at least 5 years of active collection agency experience.
    (c) The Board shall annually elect a chairperson from among its members. The members of the Board shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses as authorized by the Department while engaged in their duties.
    (d) Members shall serve for a term of 4 years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. No Board member shall be appointed to more than 2 full consecutive terms. A partial term of more than 2 years shall be considered a full term. Appointments to fill vacancies for the unexpired portion of a vacated term shall be made in the same manner as original appointments. All members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified.
    (e) The Secretary may remove any member of the Board for cause at any time before the expiration of his or her term. The Secretary shall be the sole arbiter of cause.
    (f) The majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum. A vacancy in the membership of the Board shall not impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the duties of the Board.
    (g) Members of the Board shall be immune from suit in any action based upon disciplinary proceedings or other acts performed in good faith as members of the Board.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/13.2

    (225 ILCS 425/13.2) (from Ch. 111, par. 2038.2)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 13.2. Powers and duties of Department. The Department shall exercise the powers and duties prescribed by the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois for the administration of licensing Acts and shall exercise such other powers and duties necessary for effectuating the purposes of this Act.
    Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Department may:
        (1) Conduct hearings on proceedings to refuse to
    
issue or renew or to revoke licenses or suspend, place on probation, or reprimand persons licensed under this Act.
        (2) Formulate rules required for the administration
    
of this Act.
        (3) Obtain written recommendations from the Board
    
regarding standards of professional conduct, formal disciplinary actions and the formulation of rules affecting these matters. Notice of proposed rulemaking shall be transmitted to the Board and the Department shall review the Board's responses and any recommendations made therein. The Department may solicit the advice of the Board on any matter relating to the administration and enforcement of this Act.
        (4) Maintain rosters of the names and addresses of
    
all licensees and all persons whose licenses have been suspended, revoked, or denied renewal for cause within the previous calendar year. These rosters shall be available upon written request and payment of the required fee as established by rule.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/13.3

    (225 ILCS 425/13.3)
    Sec. 13.3. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 86-615. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/14

    (225 ILCS 425/14)
    Sec. 14. (Repealed).
(Source: P.A. 78-1248. Repealed by P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/14a

    (225 ILCS 425/14a) (from Ch. 111, par. 2039a)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 14a. Unlicensed practice; Injunctions. The practice as a collection agency by any person not holding a valid and current license under this Act is declared to be inimical to the public welfare, to constitute a public nuisance, and to cause irreparable harm to the public welfare. The Secretary, the Attorney General, the State's Attorney of any county in the State, or any person may maintain an action in the name of the People of the State of Illinois, and may apply for injunctive relief in any circuit court to enjoin such entity from engaging in such practice. Upon the filing of a verified petition in such court, the court, if satisfied by affidavit or otherwise that such entity has been engaged in such practice without a valid and current license, may enter a temporary restraining order without notice or bond, enjoining the defendant from such further practice. Only the showing of non-licensure, by affidavit or otherwise, is necessary in order for a temporary injunction to issue. A copy of the verified complaint shall be served upon the defendant and the proceedings shall thereafter be conducted as in other civil cases except as modified by this Section. If it is established that the defendant has been or is engaged in such unlawful practice, the court may enter an order or judgment perpetually enjoining the defendant from further practice. In all proceedings hereunder, the court, in its discretion, may apportion the costs among the parties interested in the action, including cost of filing the complaint, service of process, witness fees and expenses, court reporter charges and reasonable attorneys' fees. In case of violation of any injunctive order entered under the provisions of this Section, the court may summarily try and punish the offender for contempt of court. Such injunction proceedings shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, all penalties and other remedies provided in this Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/14b

    (225 ILCS 425/14b) (from Ch. 111, par. 2039b)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 14b. Penalty of unlawful practice; second and subsequent offenses. Any entity that practices or offers to practice as a collection agency in this State without being licensed for that purpose, or whose license is suspended, revoked, or expired, or that violates any of the provisions of this Act for which no specific penalty has been provided herein, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
    Any entity that has been previously convicted under any of the provisions of this Act and that subsequently violates any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of a Class 4 felony. In addition, whenever any entity is punished as a subsequent offender under this Section, the Secretary shall proceed to obtain a permanent injunction against such entity under Section 14a of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/15

    (225 ILCS 425/15) (from Ch. 111, par. 2040)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 15. If any clause, sentence, Section, provision or part of this Act shall be adjudged to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such judgment shall not impair, affect or invalidate the remainder of this Act, which shall be in full force and effect thereafter.
(Source: P.A. 78-1248.)

225 ILCS 425/16

    (225 ILCS 425/16)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 16. Investigation; notice and hearing. The Department may investigate the actions or qualifications of any applicant or of any person rendering or offering to render collection agency services or any person holding or claiming to hold a license as a collection agency. The Department shall, before refusing to issue or renew, revoking, suspending, placing on probation, reprimanding, or taking any other disciplinary action under Section 9 of this Act, at least 30 days before the date set for the hearing, (i) notify the accused in writing of the charges made and the time and place for the hearing on the charges, (ii) direct him or her to file his or her written answer to the charges with the Department under oath within 20 days after the service on him or her of the notice, and (iii) inform the accused that if he or she fails to file an answer default will be taken against him or her or his or her license may be suspended, revoked, or placed on probation, or other disciplinary action may be taken with regard to the license, including limiting the scope, nature, or extent of his or her practice, as the Department may consider proper. At the time and place fixed in the notice, the Department shall proceed to hear the charges. The parties or their counsel shall be accorded ample opportunity to present any pertinent statements, testimony, evidence, and arguments. The Department may continue the hearing from time to time. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to require that a hearing be commenced and completed in one day. At the discretion of the Secretary, after having first received the recommendation of the Board, the accused person's license may be suspended or revoked, if the evidence constitutes sufficient grounds for such action under this Act. If the person fails to file an answer after receiving notice, his or her license may, in the discretion of the Department, be suspended, revoked, or placed on probation, or the Department may take whatever disciplinary action it considers proper, including limiting the scope, nature, or extent of the person's practice or the imposition of a fine, without a hearing, if the act or acts charged constitute sufficient grounds for such action under this Act. This written notice may be served by personal delivery or certified mail to the respondent at the address of record.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/17

    (225 ILCS 425/17)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 17. Record of hearing; transcript. The Department, at its expense, shall preserve a record of all proceedings at the formal hearing of any case. The notice of hearing, complaint, all other documents in the nature of pleadings, written motions filed in the proceedings, the transcript of testimony, the report of the Board, and orders of the Department shall be in the record of the proceedings. If the respondent orders from the reporting service and pays for a transcript of the record within the time for filing a motion for rehearing under Section 20, the 20 calendar day period within which a motion may be filed shall commence upon the delivery of the transcript to the respondent.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/18

    (225 ILCS 425/18)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 18. Subpoenas; oaths; attendance of witnesses.
    (a) The Department has the power to subpoena documents, books, records, or other materials and to bring before it any person and to take testimony either orally or by deposition, or both, with the same fees and mileage and in the same manner as prescribed in civil cases in the courts of this State.
    (b) The Secretary, the designated hearing officer, and every member of the Board has power to administer oaths to witnesses at any hearing that the Department is authorized to conduct and any other oaths authorized in any Act administered by the Department.
    (c) Any circuit court may, upon application of the Department or designee or of the applicant or licensee against whom proceedings under this Act are pending, enter an order requiring the attendance of witnesses and their testimony, and the production of documents, papers, files, books, and records in connection with any hearing or investigations. The court may compel obedience to its order by proceedings for contempt.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/19

    (225 ILCS 425/19)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 19. Findings and recommendations. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall present to the Secretary a written report of its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations. The report shall contain a finding whether or not the accused person violated this Act or the rules adopted under this Act or failed to comply with the conditions required in this Act or those rules. The Board shall specify the nature of the violation or failure to comply and shall make its recommendations to the Secretary.
    The report of findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the Board shall be the basis for the Department's order for refusing to issue, restore, or renew a license, or otherwise disciplining a licensee, or for the granting of a license. If the Secretary disagrees with the report, findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations of the Board, the Secretary may issue an order in contravention of the Board's recommendations. The finding is not admissible in evidence against the person in a criminal prosecution brought for the violation of this Act, but the hearing and finding are not a bar to a criminal prosecution brought for the violation of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/20

    (225 ILCS 425/20)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 20. Board; rehearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, a copy of the Board's report shall be served upon the applicant or licensee by the Department, either personally or as provided in this Act for the service of the notice of hearing. Within 20 calendar days after the service, the applicant or licensee may present to the Department a motion in writing for a rehearing which shall specify the particular grounds for rehearing. The Department may respond to the motion for rehearing within 20 days after its service on the Department, and the applicant or licensee may reply within 7 days thereafter. If no motion for rehearing is filed, then upon the expiration of the time specified for filing a motion, or if a motion for rehearing is denied, then upon denial, the Secretary may enter an order in accordance with the recommendations of the Board, except as provided for in Section 19. If the applicant or licensee orders a transcript of the record from the reporting service and pays for it within the time for filing a motion for rehearing, the 20 day period within which a motion for rehearing may be filed shall commence upon the delivery of the transcript to the applicant or licensee.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/21

    (225 ILCS 425/21)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 21. Secretary; rehearing. Whenever the Secretary is not satisfied that substantial justice has been done in the revocation, suspension, or refusal to issue, restore, or renew a license, or other discipline of an applicant or licensee, the Secretary may order a rehearing by the same or other examiners.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/22

    (225 ILCS 425/22)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 22. Appointment of a hearing officer. The Secretary has the authority to appoint any attorney duly licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois to serve as the hearing officer in any action for refusal to issue, restore, or renew a license or to discipline a licensee. The hearing officer shall have full authority to conduct the hearing. A Board member or members may, but are not required to, attend hearings. The hearing officer shall report his or her findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations to the Board. The Board shall review the report of the hearing officer and present its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations to the Secretary and to all parties to the proceeding. If the Secretary disagrees with the recommendation of the Board or of the hearing officer, the Secretary may issue an order in contravention of the recommendation.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/23

    (225 ILCS 425/23)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 23. Order or certified copy; prima facie proof. An order or a certified copy thereof, over the seal of the Department and purporting to be signed by the Secretary, shall be prima facie proof that:
        (1) the signature is the genuine signature of the
    
Secretary;
        (2) the Secretary is duly appointed and qualified; and
        (3) the Board and its members are qualified to act.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/24

    (225 ILCS 425/24)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 24. Restoration of license from discipline. At any time after the successful completion of a term of indefinite probation, suspension, or revocation of any license, the Department may restore the license to the licensee, upon the written recommendation of the Board, unless after an investigation and a hearing the Secretary determines that restoration is not in the public interest. No person whose license or authority has been revoked as authorized in this Act may apply for restoration of that license or authority until such time as provided for in the Department of Professional Regulation Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/25

    (225 ILCS 425/25)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 25. Surrender of license. Upon the revocation or suspension of any license, the licensee shall immediately surrender the license to the Department. If the licensee fails to do so, the Department shall have the right to seize the license.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/26

    (225 ILCS 425/26)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 26. Administrative review; venue.
    (a) All final administrative decisions of the Department are subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review Law and its rules. The term "administrative decision" is defined as in Section 3-101 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
    (b) Proceedings for judicial review shall be commenced in the circuit court of the county in which the party applying for review resides, but if the party is not a resident of Illinois, the venue shall be in Sangamon County.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/27

    (225 ILCS 425/27)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 27. Certifications of record; costs. The Department shall not be required to certify any record to the court or file any answer in court or otherwise appear in any court in a judicial review proceeding, unless and until the Department has received from the plaintiff payment of the costs of furnishing and certifying the record, which costs shall be determined by the Department. Failure on the part of the plaintiff to file a receipt in court shall be grounds for dismissal of the action.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/30

    (225 ILCS 425/30)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 30. Expiration, renewal, and restoration of license. The expiration date and renewal period for each license shall be set by rule. A collection agency whose license has expired may reinstate its license at any time within 5 years after the expiration thereof, by making a renewal application and by paying the required fee.
    However, any licensed collection agency whose license has expired while the individual licensed or while a shareholder, partner, or member owning 50% or more of the interest in the collection agency whose license has expired while he or she was (i) on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or called into service or training by the State militia; or (ii) in training or education under the supervision of the United States preliminary to induction into the military service, may have his or her license renewed, restored, or reinstated without paying any lapsed renewal fee, restoration fee, or reinstatement fee if, within 2 years after termination of the service, training, or education, he or she furnishes the Department with satisfactory evidence of service, training, or education and it has been terminated under honorable conditions.
    Any collection agency whose license has expired for more than 5 years may have it restored by applying to the Department, paying the required fee, and filing acceptable proof of fitness to have the license restored as set by rule.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/35

    (225 ILCS 425/35)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 35. Returned checks; fines. Any person who delivers a check or other payment to the Department that is returned to the Department unpaid by the financial institution upon which it is drawn shall pay to the Department, in addition to the amount already owed to the Department, a fine of $50. The fines imposed by this Section are in addition to any other discipline provided under this Act for unlicensed practice or practice on a non-renewed license. The Department shall notify the entity that payment of fees and fines shall be paid to the Department by certified check or money order within 30 calendar days of the notification. If, after the expiration of 30 days from the date of notification, the person has failed to submit the necessary remittance, the Department shall automatically terminate the license or deny the application, without hearing. If, after the termination or denial, the entity seeks a license, it shall apply to the Department for restoration or issuance of the license and pay all fees and fines due to the Department. The Department may establish a fee for the processing of an application for restoration of a license to pay all expenses of processing this application. The Secretary may waive the fines due under this Section in individual cases where the Secretary finds that the fines would be unreasonable or unnecessarily burdensome.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/40

    (225 ILCS 425/40)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 40. Unlicensed practice; cease and desist. Whenever, in the opinion of the Department, a person violates any provision of this Act, 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 allow at least 7 days from the date of the rule to file an answer satisfactory to the Department. Failure to answer to the satisfaction of the Department shall cause an order to cease and desist to be issued.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/45

    (225 ILCS 425/45)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 45. Summary suspension of license. The Secretary may summarily suspend the license of a licensed collection agency without a hearing, simultaneously with the institution of proceedings for a hearing provided for in Section 16 of this Act, if the Secretary finds that evidence in the Secretary's possession indicates that the continuation of practice by a licensed collection agency would constitute an imminent danger to the public. In the event that the Secretary summarily suspends the license of a licensed collection agency without a hearing, a hearing must be commenced within 30 days after the suspension has occurred and concluded as expeditiously as practical.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/50

    (225 ILCS 425/50)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 50. Consent order. At any point in the proceedings as provided in Sections 9.5, 11, 14a, 16, and 45, both parties may agree to a negotiated consent order. The consent order shall be final upon signature of the Secretary.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/55

    (225 ILCS 425/55)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 55. Confidentiality. All information collected by the Department in the course of an examination or investigation of a licensee or applicant, including, but not limited to, any complaint against a licensee filed with the Department and information collected to investigate any such complaint, shall be maintained for the confidential use of the Department and shall not be disclosed other than in the course of a formal hearing as determined by the Department. The Department may not disclose the information to anyone other than law enforcement officials, other regulatory agencies that have an appropriate regulatory interest as determined by the Secretary, or a party presenting a lawful subpoena to the Department. Information and documents disclosed to a federal, State, county, or local law enforcement agency shall not be disclosed by the agency for any purpose to any other agency or person. A formal complaint filed against the licensee by the Department or any order issued by the Department against a licensee or applicant shall be a public record, except as otherwise prohibited by law.
(Source: P.A. 99-227, eff. 8-3-15.)

225 ILCS 425/60

    (225 ILCS 425/60)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
    Sec. 60. Liability; federal compliance. A collection agency or a debt buyer shall not be subject to civil liability for its failure to comply with Section 2, 9.1, 9.2, or 9.3 of this Act, as amended by Public Act 99-227, if the collection agency or the debt buyer can demonstrate compliance with comparable provisions of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-500, eff. 1-29-16.)