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(225 ILCS 429/115)
Required pre-sale consumer disclosures and warnings.
(a) Before the consumer signs a contract, the debt settlement provider shall provide an oral and written notice to the consumer that clearly and conspicuously discloses all of the following:
(1) Debt settlement services may not be suitable for
(2) Using a debt settlement service likely will harm
the consumer's credit history and credit score.
(3) Using a debt settlement service does not stop
creditor collection activity, including creditor lawsuits and garnishments.
(4) Not all creditors will accept a reduction in the
balance, interest rate, or fees a consumer owes.
(5) The consumer should inquire about other means of
dealing with debt, including, but not limited to, nonprofit credit counseling and bankruptcy.
(6) The consumer remains obligated to make periodic
or scheduled payments to creditors while participating in a debt settlement plan, and that the debt settlement provider will not make any periodic or scheduled payments to creditors on behalf of the consumer.
(7) The failure to make periodic or scheduled
payments to a creditor is likely to:
(A) harm the consumer's credit history, credit
(B) lead the creditor to increase lawful
collection activity, including litigation, garnishment of the consumer's wages, and judgment liens on the consumer's property; and
(C) lead to the imposition by the creditor of
interest charges, late fees, and other penalty fees, increasing the principal amount of the debt.
(8) The amount of time estimated to be necessary to
achieve the represented results.
(9) The estimated amount of money or the percentage
of debt the consumer must accumulate before a settlement offer will be made to each of the consumer's creditors.
(10) For student loan debt relief services, before
the student loan borrower signs a contract, the provider shall provide an oral and written notice to the student loan borrower that clearly and conspicuously discloses the following:
"[Name of company] is a private company, and is
not affiliated with the Department of Education or any other academic entity or governmental agency. [Name of company] is not a lender, guarantor, or servicer of federal student loans. You can apply for consolidation and other repayment plans without paid assistance through the United States Department of Education. More information is available through the Department's website or your federal student loan servicer. You can find out who your servicer is through the Department of Education.".
(b) The consumer shall sign and date an acknowledgment form entitled "Consumer Notice and Rights Form" that states: "I, the debtor, have received from the debt settlement provider a copy of the form entitled "Consumer Notice and Rights Form"." The debt settlement provider or its representative shall also sign and date the acknowledgment form, which includes the name and address of the debt settlement services provider. The acknowledgment form shall be in duplicate and incorporated into the "Consumer Notice and Rights Form". The original acknowledgment form shall be retained by the debt settlement provider, and the duplicate copy shall be retained within the form by the consumer.
If the acknowledgment form is in electronic form, then it shall contain the consumer disclosures required by Section 101(c) of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d), the requirements of this Section are satisfied if the provider provides the following warning verbatim, both orally and in writing, with the caption "CONSUMER NOTICE AND RIGHTS FORM" in at least 28-point font and the remaining portion in at least 14-point font, to a consumer before the consumer signs a contract for the debt settlement provider's services:
"CONSUMER NOTICE AND RIGHTS FORM
We CANNOT GUARANTEE that you successfully will reduce or eliminate your debt.
If you stop paying your creditors, there is a strong likelihood some or all of the following may happen:
- CREDITORS MAY STILL CONTACT YOU AND TRY TO COLLECT.
- CREDITORS MAY STILL SUE YOU FOR THE MONEY YOU OWE.
- YOUR WAGES OR BANK ACCOUNT MAY STILL BE GARNISHED.
- YOUR CREDIT RATING AND CREDIT SCORE LIKELY WILL BE HARMED.
- NOT ALL CREDITORS WILL AGREE TO ACCEPT A BALANCE REDUCTION.
- YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ALL YOUR OPTIONS FOR ADDRESSING YOUR DEBT, SUCH AS CREDIT COUNSELING AND BANKRUPTCY FILING.
- THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU OWE MAY INCREASE DUE TO CREDITOR IMPOSITION OF INTEREST CHARGES, LATE FEES, AND OTHER PENALTY FEES.
- EVEN IF WE DO SETTLE YOUR DEBT, YOU MAY STILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY TAXES ON THE AMOUNT FORGIVEN.
YOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL
If you sign a contract with a Debt Settlement Provider, you have the right to cancel at any time and receive a full refund of all unearned fees you have paid to the provider and all funds placed in your settlement fund that have not been paid to any creditors.
IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED
OR YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
If you are dissatisfied with a debt settlement provider or have any questions, please bring it to the attention of the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Attorney General Toll-Free Numbers:
Carbondale (800) 243-0607
Springfield (800) 243-0618
Chicago (800) 386-5438
Website for Department of Financial and Professional Regulation: www.idfpr.com
I, the debtor, have received from the debt settlement provider a copy of the form entitled Consumer Notice and Rights Form.".
(d) All providers of student loan debt relief services shall include the following disclosure:
"[NAME OF COMPANY] IS A PRIVATE COMPANY, AND IS NOT
AFFILIATED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OR ANY OTHER ACADEMIC ENTITY OR GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY. [NAME OF COMPANY] IS NOT A LENDER, GUARANTOR, OR SERVICER OF FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS. YOU CAN APPLY FOR CONSOLIDATION AND OTHER REPAYMENT PLANS WITHOUT PAID ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE OR YOUR FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN SERVICER. YOU CAN FIND OUT WHO YOUR SERVICER IS THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.".
(Source: P.A. 102-298, eff. 8-6-21.)