On Wednesday, July 22, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law The Debtors’ Rights Act of 2012 (HB 5434). State Attorney General Lisa Madigan initiated the introduction of the legislation and was instrumental in its passage.
The Illinois Collectors Association met with Attorney General Madigan’s staff to provide suggested revisions and did not oppose the bill. ICA worked with ACA’s State Government Affairs and Public Affairs teams on outreach strategies, which included meetings with lawmakers and media relations by the Unit. ACA’s Interstate Committee developed a position paper on the concept of “debtors’ prisons,” which became the Unit’s basis for both legislative and media outreach efforts.
The purpose of the legislation was to codify and clarify best practices for the post-judgment collection of debts. The new law amends the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure to provide a supplementary proceeding to discover assets and income from a judgment debtor. It provides that a judgment debtor who is a natural person shall be served with a citation, citation notice, and a newly created Income and Asset Form by personal or abode service.
The new law also requires that “No order of body attachment or other civil order for the incarceration or detention of a natural person respondent to answer for a charge of indirect civil contempt shall issue unless the respondent has first had an opportunity, after personal service or abode service of notice… to appear in court to show cause why the respondent should not be held in contempt.”
The new law takes effect immediately.