Illinois Bill Provides Welcome Fix to Illinois Collection Agency Act

Springfield, Illinois - State CapitolA recent Illinois bill provides a welcome fix to the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA). The legislation, SB 1369, corrects amendments made to the ICAA this past August.  Those amendments potentially expanded sections of the ICAA to commercial debt and would require disclosures contrary to (and possibly in violation of) the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The corrective legislation:

  • Amends section 9.1 (Communication with persons other than debtor) to provide that when seeking location information from third parties, collection agencies and debt buyers must provide the name of their employer “only if expressly requested”
  • Amends section 9.3 (Debt validation) to provide that a collection agency or debt buyer provide a debtor with the name and address of the original creditor only if requested by a debtor, in writing, within the 30-day validation period
  • Amends the above sections as well as sections 2 (Definitions) and 9.2 (Communication in connection with debt) to apply only to debt incurred primarily for personal, family or household purposes
  • Adds that a collection agency or debt buyer is immune from civil liability under sections 2, 9.1, 9.2, or 9.3 of the ICCA if it can demonstrate compliance with comparable provisions of the FDCPA

The bill, which took its current form through a House Committee Amendment on Oct. 16, passed in the House on Nov. 10, and will be returned to the Senate for concurrence.  Assuming concurrence and absent a veto, the legislation will become law immediately upon the Governor’s signature or, if the Governor takes no action, within 60 days of the date it was presented.

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Eric Rosenkoetter is based in Maurice Wutscher’s Austin office. For many years, he has focused his practice on various aspects of financial services law. As a litigation attorney, he has conducted every aspect of the litigation process, including countless depositions, motion proceedings, bench and jury trials, and appeals in various courts. In addition, he has significant experience as a compliance and transactional attorney, providing strategic, business growth, legislative, compliance and regulatory advice to national corporations and trade associations. For example, he has drafted consumer contracts and disclosures designed to state-specific statutory requirements, and developed “Best Practices” guides and state-by-state compliance grids, for national financial services companies. He also conducted research and crafted a metrics report for a national trade association with analysis designed to counter the claims of advocacy groups. Eric’s experience also includes working for a national corporation as Executive Counsel, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer, and Director of Legislative Affairs, and as a federal lobbyist and Director of Government and Public Affairs for a national financial services trade association. In the government sector, Eric presided over approximately 6,000 state administrative hearings, served as a staff attorney for the Missouri Senate, and handled litigation in 33 counties as a regional managing attorney. Eric frequently speaks to audiences on topics relevant to the financial services industry and related advocacy initiatives.