Debt Collection Chicago | Cedar Financial

Your Chicago Claims, Collected

Debts in The Windy City? Don’t let your money blow away!

Chicago has one of the highest rates of bankruptcy in the US. To avoid lost revenue, it’s essential to have an effective local Chicago debt collection strategy in place.

With 30 years of experience, Cedar Financial can help you succeed with:

  • Licensed Chicago debt collection experts
  • Fast, effective dispute resolution for your industry
  • Experienced creditor’s rights attorneys in Chicago

Whether your balances are large or small, consumer or commercial, our “People-First” approach recovers more funds in Chicago and the Chicagoland area.

See why Fortune 500 companies trust us with their accounts.

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Top Challenges in Chicago Debt Collection

High Levels of Debt, Bankruptcy Increase Risk of Nonpayment

According to the Heartland Alliance, one in three Illinois residents currently have debts in collections.

It’s no wonder then that Illinois has the fifth-worst bankruptcy rate per capita in the U.S., with almost 50,000 Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy filings per year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute’s 2019 Bankruptcy Statistics.

Time is of the essence!

Industry research has shown that the longer you wait to place an account for collection, the less likely it is that you will be able to collect. With levels of debt already high in Chicago, creditors will need to act fast to recover their funds, or risk having them discharged in bankruptcy.

Cedar Financial doesn’t just collect your debts – we also help you optimize your collections process for the best chance of success. We can help you identify inefficiencies in your credit policy to reduce Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), mitigate risks, and maximize revenue.

Request a free consultation today to see how we can help you.

Compliance to the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA)

In addition to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), consumers in Chicago have extended protections under the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA).

The ICAA requires debt collectors and debt buyers (not including original creditors, financial institutions, real estate agents, attorneys, homeowner’s associations and billing companies) to obtain a license in Illinois state and supplements laws under the FDCPA, detailing prohibited practices, restrictions and requirements for validating disputed debts, with special rules for child support collectors. The ICAA is administered and enforced by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

To protect your reputation, it’s important to hire only a licensed Illinois debt collection agency to recover your funds in Chicago.

Cedar Financial is licensed and accredited in all 50 U.S. states, including Illinois. Our national coverage and extensive knowledge of state and federal regulations allows you confidently pursue your claims in Chicago, even if your debtor moves out of state.

Request a quote to get started today.

Unfair Practices Prohibited by the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act

Unfair or deceptive collections attempts, in addition to violating the FDCPA and ICAA, may result in additional consequences for Chicago debt collectors and creditors under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, enforced by the Consumer Fraud Bureau.

The Act protects consumers, borrowers and businessmen against fraud, unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. It allows debtors to recover both compensatory and punitive damages and may include an award for attorney’s fees.

It can be hard to find a trustworthy Chicago collection agency to fairly pursue your accounts, with heavy consequences for violators.

A member of ACA International, the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Cedar Financial safeguards your business by adhering to some of the highest compliance standards in the industry.

Contact us to learn how our comprehensive Compliance Management System can help you optimize your Chicago recovery rates, while reducing risks.

Submitting claims is fast and easy.

Litigation in Chicago

While every effort is made to resolve accounts amicably, sometimes a firmer approach is needed. Here’s what you need to know about legal process in Chicago.

Filing a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Chicago

To begin a debt collection lawsuit in Chicago, the creditor or debt collector files a complaint with the Cook County clerk’s office, then serves the defendant with the Complaint and Summons. Once served, the defendant has 30 days to file an answer before they are in default.

Most Illinois debt collection lawsuits result in a default judgment when the judgment debtor fails to appear in court. Most of the remaining debtors choose to set up a payment plan or settle out of court, with only a very small number of cases going to trial.

If your debtor won’t pay, Cedar Financial offers access to vetted local debt collection attorneys in Chicago to pursue your claim in court. We manage your claim from start to finish, including skip tracing, asset location, filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment and enforcement, ensuring the best outcome for your case.

Consumer Fairness Act Restricts Judgment Interest, Timeframe

Illinois previously had one of the highest post-judgment interest rates at 9%; but, in an effort to provide relief to millions of Illinois families in debt, Governor JB Pritzker recently passed the Consumer Fairness Act, or HB 88.

As of January 1, 2020, the Act has lowered Chicago post-judgment interest rates to 5% for consumer debts under $25,000 to be more in line with other state interest rates.

It also reduces the timeframe to collect on a judgment from 27 to 17 years by limiting revival.

Previously, all Chicago judgments would expire after seven years, but could be revived within 20 years of entry for another seven years. This meant that, if timed right, judgments could last a maximum 27 years. Under the Consumer Fairness Act, the revival time for consumer debts is shortened to 10 years, so that the maximum length of a judgment is 17 years.

Keeping track of changing legal debt collection laws doesn’t need to be complicated.

Cedar Financial works with top debt collection law firms in Chicago who are familiar with the local laws and best practices for pursuing your claim. Plus, we carefully vet each file to ensure the best chance of recovery in court.

Contact us today to learn more about our legal vetting process.

Enforcement of Judgments in Chicago

Many creditors collecting debt in Chicago mistakenly believe that winning a judgment in Chicago court is all that is required to get paid. However, this is not always the case.

Often, enforcement proceedings are needed to recover your funds. In Illinois, there are three main tools for enforcing your Chicago judgment:

  1. Serving a Citation to Discover Assets – This is the most frequently utilized enforcement tool, as it can be used both to obtain info about the debtor’s assets and income and to request an order to pay.
  2. Wage Garnishment Proceedings – Orders debtor to deduct a portion of their wages from their paycheck to satisfy the debt. Illinois has even stricter limitations on garnishment than federal law, capping deductions at 15% of gross income.
  3. Non-Wage Garnishment Proceedings – Attaches the judgment debtor’s property (other than wages) which is in control of third parties, such as bank accounts or real estate.

As your dedicated Chicago debt collection partner, Cedar Financial follows through with judgments for the best chance of payment post-litigation.

If your judgment doesn’t result in immediate payment, our legal collections team will periodically review the debtor’s assets, credit, and overall ability to pay and continue to pursue your claim.

For more information about enforcing judgments in Chicago, contact our legal collection team.

Recover more with top debt collection attorneys in Chicago.

Quick Facts About Debt Collection in Chicago

Open Invoices

Unpaid Invoice Interest Rate 5% per year; 9% max. for written contracts.
Can Collection Fees be added? Yes, if included in contract.
Statute of Limitations/Prescription Verbal agreement: five years.
Written agreement: 10 years.


Post Judgment Interest Rate 5% for consumer balances under $25,000; 9% for other balances
Judgment Expiration 17 years for consumer debts; 27 years for others
Can judgment be renewed? Yes.

Local Experts in Collections

We offer on-the-ground representatives in Chicago who understand the debt collection practices that work to support full recovery of your funds.


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Licensed to collect in all 50 U.S. states and over 150 countries, with local offices in:

FAQs About Debt Collection in Chicago

Why should we ask you to collect our debts in Chicago?

We are licensed and accredited to collect your debts in Chicago. With over 30 years of debt collection experience, we adhere to all local, state and federal laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPCA) and Illinois debt collection regulations, using a fair, but firm approach for faster recovery of your funds.

What does it cost to hire you to recover the amount due to us?

For pre-legal services, we work on a “no collection – no fee” basis, so you will only pay when your funds are recovered. For legal services, we offer low-cost options.

What is the minimum amount or number of accounts you will accept?

We have no minimum value or volume that is required to place accounts.

What type of debt do you service?

We service consumer and commercial debts, large or small, across many industries.

How long will your amicable (non-legal) debt collection process take?

It varies. Factors such as the age of the account and the type of debt being collected must be taken into account, along with the specific circumstances of the claim. Because we know timely results are important to you, we guarantee an update on your claim within 30 days.

What is the typical debt collection process?

Once we receive your accounts and the proper documents to validate the claim, our representatives will begin by skip tracing the accounts to locate the debtor. We will then immediately start working the account via phone and mail and issue a written demand notice allowing 30 days for debt validation as required by the FDCPA.

What is the statute of limitations in Chicago, for older debts?

The statute of limitations in Chicago is five years for oral agreements and 10 years for written contracts.

Do you provide field services?

If your debtor is unresponsive to letters and phone calls, we provide on-the-ground field services for investigation, skip tracing, in-person visits at your debtor’s residence, asset searches, and more.

Do I need to provide documentation?

Yes, we must be able to validate the debt before we can begin the collection process. Validation documents include, but are not limited to, contractual agreements between you and the consumer, a bill or invoices for exchanged goods or services or legal court judgment documents.

Do you offer litigation services if you exhaust all amicable collection efforts without recovery?

Yes. In the event all amicable efforts are exhausted, our in-house legal team will conduct a thorough review of the file to determine collectability in litigation. If the file qualifies and you approve, we will work with the local attorney in Chicago to file suit and pursue the claim, including asset location, arbitration, trial representation, obtainment of a judgment and post-judgment enforcement.

Are collection fees legal to be added to the balance owed?

Yes, if they are included in the contract signed by the debtor.

* The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.

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