On January 29, Illinois enacted Senate Bill 1369.  The bill makes certain revisions and amendments to the prior debt collection requirements that were enacted within the state in 2015.  The law is effective immediately.

Among other provisions, the law adds the following definitions to the debt collection statute:

  • “Collection agency” means any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engages in the collection of a debt.
  • “Consumer debt” or “consumer credit” means money or property, or their equivalent, due or owing or alleged to be due or owing from a natural person by reason of a consumer credit transaction.

These definitions provide some degree of clarity as to the scope of regulated activity.  The bill further provides that a debt collector need only identify his or her employer if “expressly requested.”  The law also limits the debt collector’s validation requirement to 30 days and to requests made in writing, which is consistent with the federal FDCPA.

Finally, the new law provides that a collection agency or a debt buyer shall not be subject to civil liability for its failure to comply with the sections noted above if the collection agency or the debt buyer can demonstrate compliance with the comparable provisions of the federal FDCPA.