Illinois Enacts New Filing Requirements For Credit Card Lawsuits

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted new pleading requirements for credit card debt collection cases, requiring those filing suits against individuals to include more information at the outset of a case.

The new requirements were enacted in June and are scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1.

Among the changes are the inclusion of a new affidavit, called the Credit Card or Debt Buyer Collection Affidavit, which required the plaintiff to include details about the original debt, a copy of the original contract or the statement in which the charge-off balance is reflected, the most recent activity on the account prior to it being charged off, and a list of the owners of the debt since it has been charged off.

As well, continuances will no longer be granted if made on the date that the trial is scheduled to start.

The changes are intended to provide consumers with additional protections when sued for unpaid credit card debt, while also enacting regulations that ensure creditors and debt buyers are able to substantiate the claims they make when filing lawsuits against individuals for unpaid debts. A default judgment can not be obtained without the affidavit.

“I think to some extent these changes may have the potential to lengthen the time period to go to judgment,” said Paul Orenic, an attorney with Weltman, Weinbert & Reis in Chicago, in a published report.

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