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Illinois Considering Five Changes to Debt Collection Laws

Posted on in Debt Collection

Illinois Considering Five Changes to Debt Collection LawsA group of Illinois State Representatives has introduced a package of bills that are meant to increase debtor protection against creditors. The bills are all stalled at the committee level, putting their future in doubt. However, that is unlikely to stop the legislators from continuing to push these bills or from creating similar bills in the future if the current bills die. The laws would reduce a creditor’s ability to collect on outstanding debts by shortening the window of opportunity to enforce a debt judgment, reducing interest rates on debts, and providing greater protections for debtor assets.

Proposed Changes

The legislators have presented five bills that would amend Illinois’ Code of Civil Procedure, including:

  1. Reducing the time frame during which a debt judgment may be enforced from 27 years to five years, after which the creditor must petition to revive the judgment;
  2. Creating a debtor’s bill of rights that must be included with any legal summons regarding the collection of a debt;
  3. Increasing the limits on wage garnishment against a debtor to the lesser of 10 percent of the gross weekly pay or the amount by which earnings exceed 60 times the federal minimum wage;
  4. Increasing the homestead exemption for debtors from $15,000 to $150,000 for individuals and from $30,000 to $200,000 for groups; and
  5. Reducing the annual interest rate from nine percent to two percent on judgments of $50,000 or less.


All of these laws have the intended effect of protecting debtors who are struggling to repay their debts after a court judgment in favor of the creditor. Debtor advocates claim that the current laws force low-income debtors to either surrender financial assets that they cannot afford to lose or allow the debt to grow and become more burdensome. However, creditors need tools such as wage garnishment and asset recovery if a debtor is either unable or unwilling to repay his or her debts. Weakening those tools will make it less likely that creditors will be able to collect the full value of the debt. As a result, creditors may be less willing to provide loans or credit to risky, low-income debtors. While that may protect some people from getting into debt, it will also limit their ability to make financial investments that may require a loan.

Legal Action in Debt Collection

Receiving a court judgment against a debtor can give you legal backing in your efforts to collect on an outstanding debt. A Chicago debt collection attorney at Walinski & Associates, P.C., can lead you through successful court action against a debtor. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-704-0771.


Illinois Creditors Bar Association Chicago Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association
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