If you’re any sort of sports fan, you know that Chicago is the home of every possible major league team, including the Chicago Bears NFL team, the Chicago Bulls NBA team, the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and not one but two major league baseball teams – the White Sox and the Chicago Cubs.
What was originally the Sears Tower in Illinois but is now the Willis Tower was for many years North America’s tallest building with its 108 stories. It is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions as more than one million people visit its observation deck every year.
Illinois is the home of two of our most popular presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. While our current president, Barak Obama was not born there; he was a Chicago resident and one of Illinois’ two Senators before being elected president.
With its 57,918 square miles Illinois is our 25th largest state. Its population is estimated to be 12,882,135 making it America’s 5th most populous and exceeded only by California, Texas, Florida and New York. Its name comes from the word Illini, a confederation of the Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Cahokia, Peoria, Moingwena, and Tamaroa Indian tribes.
Home ownership in Illinois is 69.7% and its median household income is $51,738 – both indicators of a stable and mature state. Another positive sign is the state’s average credit score of 726. If the state were a person it would be seen as having a “very good or excellent” credit score. However, its average credit card debt per borrower is $5166, which puts it about $300 higher than the average U.S. credit card debt per borrower of $4879.
Illinois’ overall unemployment rate as of November of 2013 was 8.7% ranking it 48th among the 50 states behind only Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island. Its total work force is estimated to be 5,654,000 with 1,160,000 employed in Trade, Transportation and Utilities. The second largest sector is Professional and Business Services with 883,000 employees and third is Education and Health with 882,000 workers.
The three largest cities in Illinois are Chicago (no surprise), Aurora and Rockford. As of the last census, Chicago’s population was 2,850,502. Aurora’s was 180,569 and Rockford had a population of 158,834.
Chicago had an unemployment rate of 10.09% making it the 74th worst city in the U.S. The city of Aurora was better at 8.4% but Rockford was the worst with an unemployment rate of 12.6%, meaning that about one out of every eight workers in Rockford are unemployed.
Debt Settlement and Debt Arbitration in Illinois
Illinois Credit Card Debt Settlement Laws
One way to reduce your debt in Illinois is with debt settlement. Credit card debt settlement is a way to reduce your debts with the creditor or collection agency to only pay back a fraction of the original amount owed. This method works because you pay less yet the creditor still recovers some of their loss.
However, you may not have to even apply for credit card debt settlement if the statute of limitations is up in your state and the debt no longer appears on your credit report. Legally, credit companies must recover the debt in a period of time specified by the state or the debt is no longer recoverable after this time period. Read on to find out if the statute of limitations is up for you.
(This is intended to be a helpful and informational debt resource for Illinois consumers and does not constitute legal advice.)
Illinois follows the set of laws dealing with collection agencies (and law firms that collect debts) that are collectively known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Debt collector cannot:
- Threaten to contact or contact a debtor’s employer unless the debt is more than 30 days past due.
- Threaten to disseminate or disseminate information regarding the debt to any third party other than a person who has a business need for the information.
- Attempt to collect a collection agency’s fee unless authorized to do so in the original agreement
- Take actions with intention of inflicting mental or physical illness to debtor or debtor’s family.
- At least 5 days prior to contacting the debtor’s employer, the debt collector must notify the debtor in writing of his or her plans to do so.
Maximum Interest Rate a Collection Agency Can Charge in Illinois: 5%
Illinois Wage Protection: 85% of net weekly income or 45 times the federal minimum wage
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. For debt, the statutes of limitation apply to the maximum period of time after a consumer has become delinquent on their payments. The key point to remember is that you are considered delinquent not from the date of your last payment, but rather the day after you have gone past due. In other words, if you made your last payment on 3/3/03 and your next payment was due the same day of the next month, the statute of limitations on the debt would not start running until 4/4/04. The statutes of limitations vary from state to state and depend on the type of debt and where the original transaction took place (i.e. if you took the loan out in Texas but currently live in Illinois, the applicable statutes of limitations would be Texas’).
Oral Agreements: 5 years
Written Contracts: 10 years
Promissory Notes: 10 years
Open Accounts (credit cards): 10 years
Whether you have unsecured credit cards, medical bills, personal loans or collection accounts, there’s hope for you. Take the time to understand debt laws and then you’ll be ready to tackle any debt.