What is the Illinois Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA")?
Answer: This act was created as a matter of public policy to protect consumers from debt collection abuse. The Illinois Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (225 ILCS 425/1) applies to any "consumer credit transaction." The FDCPA defines any consumer credit transaction as: "a transaction between a person and another person in which property, service or money is acquired on credit by that natural person from such other person primarily for personal, family or household purposes." 225 ILCS 425/1 § 2. This act applies to third-parties who are attempting to collect on a consumer debt on behalf of someone else, namely collection agencies. There are some entities that are excluded from the Act; it does not apply to persons whose collection activities are confined to and are directly related to the operation of a business, such as a bank, an abstract company, licensed attorneys, credit unions, etc. The FDCPA requires collection agencies to register as such and also has a list of requirements that they must follow to legally attempt to collect a debt on behalf of someone else. The FDCPA limits those who are attempting to collect a debt on behalf of someone else from engaging in conduct considered harassing to the debtor, from calling at certain times that are considered unreasonable, and from communication with various third-parties, i.e. at the debtor's place of employment, if the collection agency has reason to know that the employer prohibits the debtor from receiving such communication. This is a short summary of the Illinois Fair Debt Collection Act and there are many more facets to the act that should be discussed in detail with a creditors rights attorney before attempting to collect a debt on behalf of a third-party