Sheffield, IL – April 12, 2011 – Apparently, an individual repossession agency owner is changing the repossession industry in the state of Illinois. After 9 years of research and lobbying, Rick Constantine, Owner of R&R Recovery of Sheffield, IL seems to be close having accomplished what many associations in many states have been unable to do. Create meaningful repossession regulations.
The Illinois State Legislature is apparently prepared to approve the states “Collateral Recovery Act” which is modeled in an effort to regulate all repossession activity in the state. Rick Constantine began drafting this legislation, now titled SB 1306, in 2002 by researching then existing repossession regulations in California, Nevada, Louisiana and Florida.
In the past similar legislation had been introduced but had never been able to make it past the licensing committee because it lacked funding to pay for it. The new legislation includes a licensing fee, which is expected to add between $3.5 to $5 million to the state annually.
The Bill was introduced on February 8, 2011 by Senator Thomas Johnson (R) and has since moved to the House on Monday the 11th of April by Representative Frank Marino (D). The Bill seems to have bipartisan support and no opposition.
Under current Illinois law there is no repossession law except the statutory “breach of peace” requirements as in other states. The new legislation will require repossession agencies be licensed, bonded and insured. The law will require that all agents take a certification course and pass background checks just as in the studied states. The bill will reportedly also define what a repossession is, and according to Constantine, Illinois will become the only state to do that.
According to Constantine the new law will legitimize repossessions, and giving borrowers a place to go if something goes wrong with the repossession process. Constantine laments that some repossessors and agencies don’t pay any attention to existing laws regarding breaking into garages or locked gates and “Act like they do on Operation Repo’ on TV.”
Constantine claims “It cleans up the industry but also gives the debtor some protection.”
Under previous Illinois law, agencies had no requirements to provide repossessed borrowers any information regarding the disposition of their vehicles or personal belongings. Under the new law, personal property of borrowers will be addressed as well as notifications of repossession will be required to both borrowers and law enforcement alike. Under current law, repossessors are under no requirement to notify law enforcement when collateral is recovered and this would cause problems when borrowers would report their vehicles a stolen. Reportedly, under the new law, agencies will be required to notify local law enforcement of a repossession both before and after the attempt.
Constantine, who had already helped the city of Chicago develop and implement it’s own repossession laws two years ago, believes the new law will completely change the repossession industry and that many agencies won’t want to adhere to the new regulations but, it will be a change for the better.
Under the new law, agencies can be fined and vehicles seized for unregulated repossession activity.
See the Bill Here! SB1306_1
Three amendments to the original bill have been drafted. See the below links