State of Illinois
91st General Assembly
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Public Act 91-0768

HB3046 Enrolled                                LRB9109389ACtm

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

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

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

    (225 ILCS 425/9) (from Ch. 111, par. 2012)
    Sec. 9.  (a) The Department may refuse to issue or renew,
or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take
other  disciplinary action as the Department may deem proper,
including  fines  not  to  exceed  $1,000  per  licensee  per
complaint, for any one or any combination  of  the  following
         (1)  Violations   of   this  Act  or  of  the  rules
    promulgated hereunder.
         (2)  Conviction of  the  collection  agency  or  the
    principals  of  the agency of any crime under the laws of
    any U.S. jurisdiction which is a felony, a misdemeanor an
    essential element of which is dishonesty, or of any crime
    which directly relates to the practice of the profession.
         (3)  Making any misrepresentation for the purpose of
    obtaining a license or certificate.
         (4)  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
    principals of a collection agency.
         (5)  Discipline  by  another  U.S.  jurisdiction  or
    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.
         (6)  A  finding by the Department that the licensee,
    after having his license placed on  probationary  status,
    has violated the terms of probation.
         (7)  Practicing  or  attempting  to practice under a
    name other than the name as shown on his or  her  license
    or any other legally authorized name.
         (8)  A  finding by the Federal Trade Commission that
    a licensee violated the Federal Fair Debt and  Collection
    Act or its rules.
         (9)  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.
         (10)  Using  or threatening to use force or violence
    to cause physical harm to a debtor,  his  family  or  his
         (11)  Threatening to instigate an arrest or criminal
    prosecution  where  no  basis  for  a  criminal complaint
    lawfully exists.
         (12)  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.
         (13)  Disclosing   or   threatening   to    disclose
    information adversely affecting a debtor's reputation for
    credit  worthiness  with  knowledge  the  information  is
         (14)  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
         (15)  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.
         (16)  Using profane, obscene or abusive language  in
    communicating with a debtor, his or her family or others.
         (17)  Disclosing    or   threatening   to   disclose
    information relating to a debtor's  indebtedness  to  any
    other  person  except  where  such  other  person  has  a
    legitimate  business  need  for the information or except
    where such disclosure is regulated by law.
         (18)  Disclosing   or   threatening   to    disclose
    information  concerning the existence of a debt which the
    debt collector knows to be  reasonably  disputed  by  the
    debtor  without  disclosing  the  fact  that  the  debtor
    disputes the debt.
         (19)  Engaging  in  any  conduct  which the Director
    finds was intended to  cause  and  did  cause  mental  or
    physical illness to the debtor or his or her family.
         (20)  Attempting  or  threatening to enforce a right
    or remedy with knowledge or reason to know that the right
    or remedy does not exist.
         (21)  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
    debt  collector is engaging in debt collections and which
    he or she is legally authorized to use.
         (22)  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.
         (23)  Using any badge, uniform, or other indicia  of
    any  governmental agency or official except as authorized
    by law.
         (24)  Conducting business under any name or  in  any
    manner which suggests or implies that a debt collector is
    bonded  if  such  collector  is  or  is a branch of or is
    affiliated with any governmental agency or court if  such
    collector is not.
         (25)  Failing to disclose, at the time of making any
    demand  for  payment,  the name of the person to whom the
    claim 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 claim is owed.
         (26)  Misrepresenting the amount  of  the  claim  or
    debt alleged to be owed.
         (27)  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
         (28)  Representing  that  the  debt  collector is an
    attorney at law or an agent for an attorney if he is not.
         (29)  Collecting  or  attempting  to   collect   any
    interest  or  other charge or fee in excess of the actual
    debt or claim unless such interest or other charge or fee
    is expressly authorized by  the  agreement  creating  the
    debt  or  claim  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.
         (30)  Communicating or  threatening  to  communicate
    with  a  debtor  when  the  debt collector is informed in
    writing by an attorney that the attorney  represents  the
    debtor  concerning  the  claim,  unless authorized by the
    attorney.  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 consent.
         (31)  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 debt  collector  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. 89-387, eff. 1-1-96.)

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