Protecting the Rights of Consumers
For Over 25 Years
Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin LLC
Effective January 1, 2024, the Illinois Consumer Contract Reciprocal Attorney’s Fees Act provides that if a consumer contract allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees in an action brought by a commercial party to enforce the consumer contract for not more than $10,000, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the defendant if the defendant prevails in the action. A defendant prevails in an action if: (1) judgment is entered by the court in favor of the defendant; (2) a motion to dismiss the case is filed by the defendant under Section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure and is granted by the court; or (3) the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses the pending case after a trial date has been set and after the claim has previously been filed and voluntarily dismissed. A consumer contract is any contract in which the money, property, or service that is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. The statute applies to any action filed after January 1, 2024 on a consumer contract entered into after January 1, 2024 or where the action is filed by a debt buyer, regardless of when the contract was entered into. There are exceptions if the plaintiff waives its right to attorney’s fees or if both parties were represented by counsel in negotiating the contract. This is additional to any other right to fees.