The ICAA was created to protect citizens with debts awaiting collection. The Illinois collection act demands that the debt collecting agency possess the necessary licenses and operate in line the collection regulations when taking debts. Learn your debt settlement rights below if you’ve been having a problem with debt collectors.
This act gives anyone in debt the right to ask the collector to verify the accurateness of the debt details— also known as debt validation.
These state regulations match with the provisions of the FDCPA (federal fair debt collection practices) act that controls debt collection practices nationwide.
Debt collection agencies must abide by the regulations in their states as well as those of the FDCPA. These regulations are laid down to protect consumers from harassment, deception and unfair practices by debt collectors.
The ICAA, for example, demands that all debt collectors (also known as licensees) acquire operating licenses before they start selling their services. Within the law is also a clause that controls how a debt collector should contact and communicate with a person. What’s more, the act also tells the agency what to do in case the debtor challenges the accuracy of the debt.
Nevertheless, the ICAA doesn’t demand that any firms or persons collecting debts to act under its rules. These regulations only apply to agencies that are registered in the debt collection space. Any company “confined” in other dealings besides collection can’t be forced to meet the terms of the ICAA.
Here’s a list of professions and industries that are excused from the ICAA.
- Billing companies that strictly deal with sending account notices
- Retail stores
- Banking and financial institutions, e.g. credit unions
- Real estate brokerage agencies
- Homeowners association – a.k.a. unit owners association under Illinois law
What Bad Debt Collection Practices does the ICAA protect you from?
The act defines the ways a collecting entity can or cannot use to take debts from you, how they should talk to you, and how they communicate to the participating third parties. There are also provisions within the law for defaulters who wish to dispute debts.
The debt collecting agency is not allowed to use violence or force against a debtor, their family or property. Threatening defaulters is also against the provisions of the ICAA. Find out more actions that the ICAA safeguards you against whenever a collection agency approaches you to take debt.
- The debt collecting firm cannot use abusive or obscene language.
- The collection agency cannot use prosecution or arrest threats unless the case has a basis for criminal complaints.
- The law says licensees are not allowed to confiscate a defaulter’s property but fails to mention that they need a court order to do so.
- Licensee cannot threaten to tell or publish the default to the public.
- Debt collection agencies cannot use fake documents or impersonate an attorney or any state official.
- The debt collector can’t threaten to add more charges to the first debt unless authorized by the official lenders and these extra fees must be reasonable.
Anyone who feels a licensee violated their rights can file their grievances to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Author bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high-risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. His job includes setting up high risk accounts for debt collection agencies. He’s just as passionate about his business as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.