How Do Illinois Debt Collection Laws Work

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Illinois Debt Collection Laws: The Ultimate Guide

Even though Illinois laws tend to favor debt collectors, you also have potent rights as a debtor. That's why you should know the and leverage them fully. They will protect you from harmful, illegal collection moves by lenders or IL debt collection agencies. After all, negotiating with debt collectors is no easy feat, especially when you don't know your rights.

Therefore, whether you are dealing with a debt collector or wondering how long they can legally collect their debt, understanding Illinois debt collection laws keeps you safe from malicious debt collectors. And if you need help, you should not hesitate to let DoNotPay request validation for your debt or protect you from inappropriate debt collection behaviors. Let's guide you in understanding the Illinois debt collection laws and regulations.

Illinois Debt Collection Laws

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), in conjunction with Illinois debt collection laws, offers protection for consumers against harassment or other abusive debt collection practices.

cover debt collectors and buyers, not lawyers, financial institutions, real estate professionals, or insurance companies. They clearly explain what collectors can and cannot do in Illinois when collecting a debt.

To understand Illinois debt collection laws, let's look at the IL statute of limitations on debt collection and what collectors in IL can do.

What Can Illinois Debt Collectors Legally Do When Chasing a Debt?

Illinois debt collection companies have different ways to recover money owed when you fail to pay it, including:

1. Pursue a Lawsuit

Your debt collector can take legal action against you when you fail to clear your debt.

2. Garnish Your Wages

If their lawsuit is successful, the court can allow them to garnish your wages. They will take a specific percentage from your paycheck until the debt is fully settled. However, they cannot take from your spouse's wages. Debt collectors in Illinois are also prohibited from taking money from child support, unemployment, veteran, or federal benefits.

3. Put a Levy on Your Bank Account

A debt collector in Illinois can also put a levy on your bank account to use the money to pay for your pending debt.

4. Put a Lien on Your House

They can put a lien on your home to sell it and use the money received to pay your debt. IL debt collectors leverage this because of how profitable real estates are.

What IL Debt Collectors Cannot Do Under the IL Debt Collection Laws and FDCPA

1. Harassment

Your debt collector is not allowed to:

  • Regularly call you to annoy you, including calls at unusual times
  • Create and publicize a list of people who have failed to pay their debts, including you
  • Use abusive language when talking to you
  • Threaten to use violence

2. Use False Statements

In IL, your debt collector can't:

  • Trick you into believing that you've committed a crime
  • Pretend to be an attorney or government official
  • Adjust the amount owed
  • Make you think that not paying your debt will result in imprisonment
  • Claim to work for a credit bureau
  • Use a fake name
  • Convey any other false information

3. Using Unfair Methods

They cannot:

  • Forcibly seize your property or threaten to do so without a court order
  • Force you to pick up their calls
  • Contact you through a postcard
  • Use a name different from the debt collector that contacted you

Illinois Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

Even though Illinois debt collection laws allow debt collectors to pursue a lawsuit, they cannot sue you outside the Illinois statute of limitations. These are:

  • 10 years — written contracts including mortgages
  • 5 years — oral agreements
  • 5 years — credit card and installment payment debts

However, you should remember that the clock restarts if you make any payment, even when the IL statute of limitations has expired.

How to Respond to an Illinois Debt Collection Lawsuit

When your debt collector pursues a lawsuit, you will receive summon and details of the complaint. The summon letter calls you into court, and you'd not want to ignore or throw it away, as this can lead to an unfavorable judgment against you. Sometimes, you'll need an attorney to give you advice. You can respond to this by creating an answer document to confirm or deny the complaints and ensure that the court and debt collector get your responsive papers.

What to Do If a Debt Collector Breaks the Illinois Debt Collection Laws?

Every debt collector in IL is supposed to adhere to Illinois debt collection laws as well as FDCPA.

If you believe that the debt doesn't belong to you, you can ask the debt collector to validate the debt by sending them a dispute letter after they first contact you. Otherwise, send them a cease-and-desist letter if you don't want calls from your debt collector.

If your debt collector violates your rights, the FDCPA gives you one year to file a case. If the debt collector broke the law, they could pay you, including attorney fees and court costs incurred. You can also report unlawful debt collection to the FTC or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Mailing AddressFederal Trade Commission

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20580

Telephone: (202) 326-2222

Phone Number(202) 326-2222
Email or Contact

If your debt collector violates your rights, the FDCPA gives you one year to file a case. If the debt collector broke the law, they could pay you, including attorney fees and court costs incurred. You can also report unlawful debt collection to the FTC or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

How DoNotPay Can Help You by Enforcing Illinois Debt Collection Laws

Owing a debt is sometimes an inevitable event in a person's life. However, infringement of Illinois debt collection laws or FDCPA like harassment from your debt collector can be a scary experience. Luckily, DoNotPay can protect you from any debt-related misfortunes. All you have to do is let DoNotPay help you in 3 straightforward steps:

  1. Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.

  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

And that's it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We'll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they're no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.

DoNotPay Works Across All States and Debt Collection Agencies

DoNotPay can help you handle all manner of challenges people face when dealing with debt collectors. By using DoNotPay, we can help you:

For more ways in which DoNotPay can help you, check out our different products available at your disposal.

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