Illinois debt collector rules are very similar to the federal Fair Deb Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in order to resolve conflict or unjust situations inflicted by debt collectors or collection agencies:
- Debt collector cannot publish or post your name
- Collectors may only contact debtors between 8am and 9pm unless you indicate otherwise
- If you are being represented by an attorney, the debt collector must communicate with you through your lawyer
- Creditor initiated calls must be made between the hours of 8am and 9pm (unless you indicate otherwise)
- Collectors must send all correspondence in an unmarked envelope--no postcards or stamps outside the envelope indicating it is from a collections agency
- The collector cannot misrepresent documents by making correspondence appear to be legal documents when its not
- Collectors cannot charge you fees or collect an amount greater than what you owe
- Debt can be disputed in writing within 30 days of receiving the first notice--the collector cannot contact you again until your notification mails
In Illinois, if a debt collection agency violates any FDCPA regulations the agency’s license can be revoked and further action can be taken by the state. In Illinois, individual consumers cannot sue debt collection agencies although the courts have implied that consumers have the right to pursue matters through private action.
If the debt collector has violated the FDCPA, you may receive damages of up to $1,000, which includes attorney fees.
Illinois Statue of Limitations (SOL)
Idaho has a five-year statue of limitation (SOL) on open accounts such as credit cards, which means you can only be contacted for up to five years regarding an outstanding credit card debt. For written contracts you have up to 10 years.
In terms of wage garnishment, federal law applies, however Illinois has provided for additional exemptions such as:
- Social Security is protected under federal law
- Pensions and retirement benefits--public, state, county and municipal pensions are protected including teacher and police
- Public benefits/assistance-- workers’ compensation, unemployment, aid to families with dependent children, veteran’s benefits and aid to the blind, elderly or disabled
- Many insurance and disability benefits including life insurance and annuities
Credit Card Debt Relief Act of 2010
The Credit Card Debt Relief Act of 2010 has streamlined the methods for repaying debt and regulated how collectors work with debtors. The Act has impacted debt relief collections several ways:
- The number of fraudulent or weak performing credit card companies are gone
- Reduces the chances of falling victim to fraudulent debt settlement companies due to new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reforms
- Increased, open communication from creditors--more information is provided to help you eliminate your loans
- Debt settlement companies cannot request upfront fees from clients