State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is supporting a bill that would protect immigrant communities from predatory notaries attempting to steal from them.

House Bill 2176 amends the Illinois Notary Public Act and would require notaries who are not licensed attorneys to clearly inform clients that they cannot accept fees for legal work, both verbally and by openly-displayed notices written in both English and Spanish, according to a news release from Connor’s office.

“All Illinoisans deserve protection from criminals who try to exploit them for money,” Connor said. “Notaries have been damaging our immigrant communities for personal gain by performing legal tasks they have no authority to do, or even by accepting thousands of dollars in fees and giving no services.”

Notaries who do not follow these procedures can be fined up to $1,500, up from the previous $1,000 fine, and possibly lose their licenses.

“Financial opportunists take advantage of the difference between what notaries can do in other countries versus their more limited roll in the U.S.,” Connor said. “We cannot allow immigrant families to face attempts at exploitation alone. Notaries swindling vulnerable people … should be held accountable.”

The bill passed the Illinois House unanimously earlier this month and now goes to the Senate. State Rep. Celina Villanueva filed the bill.

Before becoming a state legislator, Connor worked for about 20 years in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.


City: Joliet,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs,Opinion

via The Herald-News

April 22, 2019 at 11:15PM