(225 ILCS 425/9)
(from Ch. 111, par. 2012)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
(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
(1) Material misstatement in furnishing information
(2) Violations of this Act or of the rules
(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
(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) 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; 100-872, eff. 8-14-18.)
(225 ILCS 425/9.2)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
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 425/9.4)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
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
(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
(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.
(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.)