With the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago having approached its next phases of reopening, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended and reissued various Executive Orders in response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. These extensions are set forth in Executive Order 2020-44
and took immediate effect on June 26, 2020. The current extensions are set to expire one month from their issuance on July 26, 2020. Governor Pritzker has continued to declare the State of Illinois as a disaster area since March 9, 2020, citing an expectation that COVID-19 will continue to spread among Illinois communities
One of the most notable provisions set forth in Executive Order 2020-44 is the extension of the prohibition on the service of garnishment summonses, wage deduction summonses, and citations to discover assets on consumer debtors and consumer garnishees. The second provision of importance is the extension of the prohibition on the commencement of residential eviction actions, unless the resident in question poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants. The third notable provision extends the prohibition on repossessing motor vehicles.
The Governor’s extensions come as many Illinois courts have reopened, either through electronic platforms such as Zoom or CourtCall or for in-person appearances in less densely populated regions. The underlying rationale behind passing the initial Executive Orders was premised on the contention that “involuntary debt collection undermines the ability of debtors to obtain and preserve necessities including, but not limited to, food, medicine, housing and transportation, and to protect themselves from COVID-19 by maximizing social distancing.”
While there have been challenges to the enforceability of the various Executive Orders over the last several months, creditors should continue to follow the Governor’s dictates to avoid dismissal of any citation pertaining to consumer debt, residential eviction, or replevin action by the Court. WWR will continue to monitor the State of Illinois’ response to the coronavirus pandemic as it pertains to the financial services industry and will provide an update accordingly.
This blog is not a solicitation for business and it is not intended to constitute legal advice on specific matters, create an attorney-client relationship or be legally binding in any way.