IL Repo Companies Almost Ready to Comply with New Repo Law, but the State Isn’t

Springfield, IL – June 18, 2012 – Ok, everyone in the Illinois repossession industry is getting ready for the launch of the new Illinois Repossession Laws, but unfortunately, The Illinois Commerce Commission, who will be enforcing the regulations isn’t quite ready. Their lack of forms and information is creating some frustration.

The new law was created to regulate repossession companies in Illinois is supposed to go into effect July 1, but there are some Repo Company Owners who are a little concerned about the new requirements.

Especially since The Illinois Commerce Commission, in charge of watching over the enforcement of the new law, admits it still doesn’t have all of the needed paperwork ready for applicants. Despite their own inability to provide the necessary documents, they are reportedly undecided as to whether or not there will be a grace period before for applying companies to become compliant before they start enforcement.

The state website does contain two links to the new law and rules, but offers nothing for applicants except the brief statement “Please continue to check this website for news and updates concerning the Collateral Recovery Act. Application forms will be published on the ICC website when they become available.”

The ticking clock and looming deadline have many Repossession Company owners situation has left some repossession agents wondering what to do.

“We’ve been doing our best to educate everybody,” stated Al Janus, President of the Illinois Recovery Association.

“Because there are no application forms, I couldn’t comply if I wanted to,” reported Bruce Pedigo, owner of Joe’s Towing and Recovery in Bloomington to a reporter from the Lee Springfield Journal.

The new law requires repo companies and individuals involved in repossession to be licensed, bonded and insured. Out-of-state companies won’t be able to cross into Illinois for repossessions unless they also are licensed.

Repossession agents and their employees will have to undergo a certification course and pass background checks. It also sets out a fee schedule for companies and individuals involved in the industry, as well as outlines the rules for the layout of offices and tow yards.

Richard Constantine, a former police chief and owner of Sheffield-based R & R Recovery who helped draft the law stated, “The intent is to professionalize and legitimize the business.”

But the law has more than a few people concerned such as Wade Argo of Argo Management Group who is concerned the new law could be used to eliminate competition. He said the rules regarding where tow yards and offices can be located could cost some repossession companies large amounts of money to comply with.

“That provision really stuck in my craw. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never had any issues or problems whatsoever.”

Al Janus of the IRA as well has some concern that the law could weed out some repo men and companies. “It’s going to be costly for some guys to change their businesses. There are a lot of things that could result in smaller operators closing down.”

According to Pedigo he believes that some of the smaller companies will review the fee schedule and need to decide whether they do enough business to pay the money. “It makes it very difficult for some of the smaller companies (to) compete with some of the bigger companies. You would have to do a lot of repossessions to justify the expense.”

With this new law Illinois will become the fourth state in the country to have regulations in place specifically to regulate repossession activity. “If a repossessor gets out of line, people will now have an avenue to pursue it.”

Rick Constantine does not feel as though the fees are excessive and stated “Our fees are in line with what was charged in California 10 years ago.”

Scott Jackson, CEO of MVTRAC, has a much more conciliatory view of the situation.

“People are surprised there are no forms available, but we are fully aware there are reasons there are no forms or intentions to enforce the law until such time as the State of Illinois can responsibly say they’ve predominantly educated the marketplace. The Illinois Commerce Commission regulates utility companies in a big-business industry, they’re not about to cause intentional infliction of undue grief on an entire industry just because they’ve been tasked with the enforcement of this new law. The people the IRA have met with, are genuinely nice and well intentioned.”

Jackson and the IRA have taken the lead in incorporating a collaboration with the State of Illinois and Illinois Commerce Commission Police, whose chief responsibility will be enforcing the Collateral Recovery Act and managing all of its police officers into this years 11th Annual Illinois Recovery Association (IRA) Convention on July 17-18, 2012.

“Everyone should come to the IRA’s “Operation Collaboration” to learn more about the law, the rules, certification, enforcement and more. The ICC will be there, lenders, forwarders, associations, vendors, everyone will be there and it is an event including the field agents too; they can park their trucks on the side street of the hotel! So long as their clean and dressed presentably, everyone is welcomed” Said Jackson.

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