State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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HB3046 Engrossed                               LRB9109389ACtm

 1        AN  ACT  to  amend  the Collection Agency Act by changing
 2    Section 9.

 3        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section  5.   The  Collection  Agency  Act  is amended by
 6    changing Section 9 as follows:

 7        (225 ILCS 425/9) (from Ch. 111, par. 2012)
 8        Sec. 9.  (a) The Department may refuse to issue or renew,
 9    or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take
10    other disciplinary action as the Department may deem  proper,
11    including  fines  not  to  exceed  $1,000  per  licensee  per
12    complaint,  for  any  one or any combination of the following
13    causes:
14             (1)  Violations  of  this  Act  or  of   the   rules
15        promulgated hereunder.
16             (2)  Conviction  of  the  collection  agency  or the
17        principals of the agency of any crime under the  laws  of
18        any U.S. jurisdiction which is a felony, a misdemeanor an
19        essential element of which is dishonesty, or of any crime
20        which directly relates to the practice of the profession.
21             (3)  Making any misrepresentation for the purpose of
22        obtaining a license or certificate.
23             (4)  Habitual  or  excessive  use  or  addiction  to
24        alcohol,  narcotics,  stimulants  or  any  other chemical
25        agent or drug which results in the inability to  practice
26        with  reasonable judgment, skill, or safety by any of the
27        principals of a collection agency.
28             (5)  Discipline  by  another  U.S.  jurisdiction  or
29        foreign nation, if at least one of the  grounds  for  the
30        discipline  is  the  same  or substantially equivalent to
31        those set forth in this Act.
HB3046 Engrossed            -2-                LRB9109389ACtm
 1             (6)  A finding by the Department that the  licensee,
 2        after  having  his license placed on probationary status,
 3        has violated the terms of probation.
 4             (7)  Practicing or attempting to  practice  under  a
 5        name  other  than the name as shown on his or her license
 6        or any other legally authorized name.
 7             (8)  A finding by the Federal Trade Commission  that
 8        a  licensee violated the Federal Fair Debt and Collection
 9        Act or its rules.
10             (9)  Failure to file a return, or to  pay  the  tax,
11        penalty  or  interest  shown in a filed return, or to pay
12        any final assessment of  tax,  penalty  or  interest,  as
13        required  by  any  tax  Act  administered by the Illinois
14        Department of Revenue until such time as the requirements
15        of any such tax Act are satisfied.
16             (10)  Using or threatening to use force or  violence
17        to  cause  physical  harm  to a debtor, his family or his
18        property.
19             (11)  Threatening to instigate an arrest or criminal
20        prosecution where  no  basis  for  a  criminal  complaint
21        lawfully exists.
22             (12)  Threatening the seizure, attachment or sale of
23        a  debtor's  property where such action can only be taken
24        pursuant to court order  without  disclosing  that  prior
25        court proceedings are required.
26             (13)  Disclosing    or   threatening   to   disclose
27        information adversely affecting a debtor's reputation for
28        credit  worthiness  with  knowledge  the  information  is
29        false.
30             (14)  Initiating   or   threatening   to    initiate
31        communication  with  a debtor's employer unless there has
32        been a default of the payment of the  obligation  for  at
33        least  30  days and at least 5 days prior written notice,
34        to the last known address of the debtor, of the intention
HB3046 Engrossed            -3-                LRB9109389ACtm
 1        to communicate with the employer has been  given  to  the
 2        employee,  except  as expressly permitted by law or court
 3        order.
 4             (15)  Communicating with the debtor or any member of
 5        the debtor's family at such a time of day  or  night  and
 6        with  such  frequency  as to constitute harassment of the
 7        debtor  or  any  member  of  the  debtor's  family.   For
 8        purposes of this  Section  the  following  conduct  shall
 9        constitute harassment:
10                  (A)  Communicating   with  the  debtor  or  any
11             member of his or her family in connection  with  the
12             collection  of any debt without the prior consent of
13             the debtor given directly to the debt collector,  or
14             the  express  permission  of  a  court  of competent
15             jurisdiction, at any unusual time or place or a time
16             or place known  or  which  should  be  known  to  be
17             inconvenient  to  the  debtor.   In  the  absence of
18             knowledge of circumstances to the contrary,  a  debt
19             collector  shall assume that the convenient time for
20             communicating with a consumer  is  after  8  o'clock
21             a.m.  and  before  9  o'clock p.m. local time at the
22             debtor's location.
23                  (B)  The threat of publication  or  publication
24             of  a  list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay
25             debts, except to a consumer reporting agency.
26                  (C)  The    threat    of    advertisement    or
27             advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment
28             of the debt.
29                  (D)  Causing a telephone to  ring  or  engaging
30             any  person  in telephone conversation repeatedly or
31             continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or  harass
32             any person at the called number.
33             (16)  Using  profane, obscene or abusive language in
34        communicating with a debtor, his or her family or others.
HB3046 Engrossed            -4-                LRB9109389ACtm
 1             (17)  Disclosing   or   threatening   to    disclose
 2        information  relating  to  a debtor's indebtedness to any
 3        other  person  except  where  such  other  person  has  a
 4        legitimate business need for the  information  or  except
 5        where such disclosure is regulated by law.
 6             (18)  Disclosing    or   threatening   to   disclose
 7        information concerning the existence of a debt which  the
 8        debt  collector  knows  to  be reasonably disputed by the
 9        debtor  without  disclosing  the  fact  that  the  debtor
10        disputes the debt.
11             (19)  Engaging in any  conduct  which  the  Director
12        finds  was  intended  to  cause  and  did cause mental or
13        physical illness to the debtor or his or her family.
14             (20)  Attempting or threatening to enforce  a  right
15        or remedy with knowledge or reason to know that the right
16        or remedy does not exist.
17             (21)  Failing  to  disclose  to the debtor or his or
18        her family  the  corporate,  partnership  or  proprietary
19        name,  or  other  trade or business name, under which the
20        debt collector is engaging in debt collections and  which
21        he or she is legally authorized to use.
22             (22)  Using   any   form   of   communication  which
23        simulates legal or judicial process or  which  gives  the
24        appearance  of  being authorized, issued or approved by a
25        governmental agency or official or by an attorney at  law
26        when it is not.
27             (23)  Using  any badge, uniform, or other indicia of
28        any governmental agency or official except as  authorized
29        by law.
30             (24)  Conducting  business  under any name or in any
31        manner which suggests or implies that a debt collector is
32        bonded if such collector is or  is  a  branch  of  or  is
33        affiliated  with any governmental agency or court if such
34        collector is not.
HB3046 Engrossed            -5-                LRB9109389ACtm
 1             (25)  Failing to disclose, at the time of making any
 2        demand for payment, the name of the person  to  whom  the
 3        claim  is  owed  and  at  the  request of the debtor, the
 4        address where payment is to be made and  the  address  of
 5        the person to whom the claim is owed.
 6             (26)  Misrepresenting  the  amount  of  the claim or
 7        debt alleged to be owed.
 8             (27)  Representing that  an  existing  debt  may  be
 9        increased   by   the   addition   of   attorney's   fees,
10        investigation fees or any other fees or charges when such
11        fees  or charges may not legally be added to the existing
12        debt.
13             (28)  Representing that the  debt  collector  is  an
14        attorney at law or an agent for an attorney if he is not.
15             (29)  Collecting   or   attempting  to  collect  any
16        interest or other charge or fee in excess of  the  actual
17        debt or claim unless such interest or other charge or fee
18        is  expressly  authorized  by  the agreement creating the
19        debt or claim  unless  expressly  authorized  by  law  or
20        unless in a commercial transaction such interest or other
21        charge  or  fee  is  expressly authorized in a subsequent
22        agreement. If a contingency or hourly fee arrangement (i)
23        is established under an agreement  between  a  collection
24        agency  and a creditor to collect a debt and (ii) is paid
25        by a debtor pursuant to a contract between the debtor and
26        the creditor, then that fee arrangement does not  violate
27        this   Section   unless  the  fee  is  unreasonable.  The
28        Department shall determine what constitutes a  reasonable
29        collection fee.
30             (30)  Communicating  or  threatening  to communicate
31        with a debtor when the  debt  collector  is  informed  in
32        writing  by  an attorney that the attorney represents the
33        debtor concerning the claim,  unless  authorized  by  the
34        attorney.   If  the  attorney  fails  to respond within a
HB3046 Engrossed            -6-                LRB9109389ACtm
 1        reasonable period of time, the collector may  communicate
 2        with  the debtor.  The collector may communicate with the
 3        debtor when the attorney gives his consent.
 4             (31)  Engaging  in   dishonorable,   unethical,   or
 5        unprofessional  conduct of a character likely to deceive,
 6        defraud, or harm the public.
 7        (b)  The Department shall deny  any  license  or  renewal
 8    authorized  by this Act to any person who has defaulted on an
 9    educational loan guaranteed by the Illinois State Scholarship
10    Commission; however, the Department may issue  a  license  or
11    renewal   if   the   person  in  default  has  established  a
12    satisfactory repayment record as determined by  the  Illinois
13    State Scholarship Commission.
14        No  debt  collector  while  collecting  or  attempting to
15    collect a debt shall engage in any of the Acts  specified  in
16    this Section, each of which shall be unlawful practice.
17    (Source: P.A. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96.)

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