Illinois Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Harassment from a debt collector can be a frightening
experience. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides
protection for consumers against harassment or other abusive
practices. Some states have enacted their own laws to protect
consumers from abusive collection practices. In Illinois,
there is a state law that applies to debt collectors.225 Ill.Comp.
Stat. 425/1 to 425/25
The Illinois debt collection statute covers debt collectors and
debt buyers. The law does not, however, apply to lawyers and
financial institutions (banks or lenders), real estate
professionals and insurance companies.
The statute is a licensing statute which means it requires the
collector to be licensed to collect in Illinois. Also, the
statute prohibits the use of threats, harassment, abusive language,
unlawful publication of indebtedness, and conduct which causes the
debtor or family to suffer mental or physical illness. It is
also a violation for a failure to disclose the business name, or to
simulate legal process. Certain methods of collecting location
information can be considered a violation of this act, as well as
communication by a post card or placing information on the
outside of an envelope that reveals purpose of communication.
The statute also forbids calls at unusual times or places, calls at
the workplace if it is known to be prohibited by employer, and
communicating with a consumer represented by an attorney.
Just like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Illinois law
also requires the sending of a debt validation notice within 5 days
of initial communication and allows consumer to send written demand
to cease communication.
There is no mention of a private right of action; however, there
is no decision specifically barring one in Illinois.