On August 27th, Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed into law Senate Bill 1398 amending the Illinois Collection Agency Act (“CAA”). Senate Bill 1398:

    • Changes definitions under the CAA, including the definition of “debt collector” and “collection agency” (such terms are now
      defined to include persons who engage in specified activities only with respect to consumer debts);
    • Exempts affiliates and subsidiaries of banks, trust departments and credit unions from regulation;
    • Provides that debt buyers who collect debts are subject to regulation (prior to amendment, the CAA regulated debt buyers
      only if they bought debts “with recourse”);
    • Establishes requirements and restrictions that must be followed when attempting to locate a debtor or communicating with a
      debtor or other third parties;
    • Establishes validation of debt requirements;
    • Establishes requirements and restrictions that must be followed if a debtor is the victim of identity theft; and
    • Provides that the Attorney General may enforce knowing violations of certain sections of the CAA as an unlawful practice
      under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

    Although the new law contains provisions that are substantially similar to provisions under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices
    Act (“FDCPA), certain provisions of the new law go beyond the FDCPA (e.g., the CAA, unlike the FDCPA, provides that if the
    required validation of debt disclosures are placed on the back of the validation of debt notice, the front of the notice must contain a
    statement notifying debtors of that fact). The new law takes effect January 1, 2008.

    • Charles Gall and Mike Tomkies