A 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.