Date Posted: September 25, 2023 By: Maggie Marques
Understanding Debt Collection Laws in Illinois: Your Guide to Your Rights
Debt can be overwhelming, but understanding the law can help you and protect you as a consumer. In Illinois, fair treatment for consumers is ensured. There are specific regulations that will save you against unscrupulous debt collection practices. Here’s your guide to your rights as you navigate your financial challenges:
Statute of limitations on debt. Illinois limits how long a creditor can legally sue the debtor for unpaid debts. Most of the consumer debts have a 5-year limitation. This means that they can’t file a lawsuit after five years.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This also protects consumers from unfair and abusive debt collection practices. A debt collector has to consider where, when, and how he communicates with you.
Debt collector licensing. Collection agencies and debt collectors must have licenses to operate. You can verify if the collector is licensed with the state. You can report them to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) if they are not.
Debt Settlement and negotiation. You always have the option to negotiate for a settlement.
Cease and desist letters. Another option is sending a cease and desist letter and requesting that a debt collector stop contacting you. It does not mean that they can’t file a lawsuit and go after your debt, but once they receive the letter, they can only contact you to inform you of actions they will take, like filing a case against you.
Understanding debt collection laws in Illinois: what else you need to know
Debt collectors aren’t allowed to harass you or use abusive language to collect a debt. Threatening you is not permitted well. They must still adhere to professional and ethical standards when asking you to honor your obligations. You also have the right to request a debt verification. When the debt collector contacts you within five days of the first contact, you can ask for proof of the debt’s details, including the amount owed and the original creditor’s name.