I joined Treasurer Michael Frerichs to express our disappointment in Governor Rauner's veto of House Bill 302, which would require life insurance companies to search their electronic records for any unpaid death benefits dating back to 2000 that should have been paid to grieving families. When people pay into these insurance plans, they reasonably expect their loved ones to collect that investment. This would ensure that beneficiaries receive what they are due. I'm committed to standing at the forefront of efforts to override this veto. Listen to audio of my comments at a recent press conference calling for that override below.


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Springfield ─ For many Americans who’ve lost family members, the bereavement process has profound effects on their lives. As a Senator of the 16th District, I have endured personal lost and know the challenges my constituents face in times of mourning.  Losing a friend or family member is devastating and the complications that derive from the lost are multifaceted.

Financial turmoil is the last thing mourning relatives need to focus on. Insurance companies utilize discretion when disclosing information about unclaimed life insurance policies. In turn, the family of the deceased is often uninformed regarding the financial coverage of their loved one.

These practices fuel a troublesome burden for many families unable to fully cover the funeral arrangements and medical bills. Treasurer Frerichs has created a task force to investigate unclaimed life insurance policies. I am proud to be on that task force. The findings of this task force has shed light on the difficulties countless people encounter while attempting to uncover the existence of unclaimed insurance policies. There are also relatives that paid funeral costs out of pocket and are unaware of pre-existing life insurance policies.

Unclaimed insurance has the ability to reduce or prevent debt, after someone passes away. Life insurance policies are crucial for relatives of the deceased. It is my hope that the exertions of this task force will create legislature which alleviate the fiscal uncertainty of those able to receive unclaimed life insurance.

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99thGALogo web





April 29, 2015

SPRINGFIELD – In the wake of revelations that at least one con artist used a risky financial product called a reverse mortgage to scam dozens of senior citizens, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured Senate passage today of legislation that would help protect consumers from such fraudulent schemes.

“A reverse mortgage is a complicated financial product that can leave homeowners and their families vulnerable to scams and unable to pay when the loan comes due,” Collins said. “This legislation requires lenders to provide potential borrowers with accurate information about the product, a list of counselors they can contact if they need help and the opportunity to reconsider within three days of signing the paperwork.”

For almost 30 years, a lawsuit filed by the state alleges, Chicago remodeler Mark Diamond tricked senior citizens into taking out reverse mortgages – which pay out cash advances based on a homeowner’s equity – and then use the loan proceeds to pay his company to make home improvements. Instead, Diamond took the money while the repairs remained unfinished or poorly done. Many of his victims and their families faced losing cherished homes they’d owned for decades when the homeowner died or moved into long-term care and the loan (the cash paid out, plus interest) came due. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a court to put Diamond, who kept his scheme going by conducting it under the auspices of different companies, out of business for good. Diamond’s practices are also under federal investigation.

Collins worked with Madigan, Housing Action Illinois and other advocates on Senate Bill 1281, which would ensure potential borrowers are informed about the risks of reverse mortgages and also prohibit someone who facilitates a reverse mortgage from accepting any of the proceeds in exchange for services, as Diamond did. Finally, the legislation would prevent conflicts of interest by banning lenders from receiving compensation in exchange for trying to sell borrowers on other financial products, such as life insurance policies and investments.

“The senior citizens I represent take great pride in their homes; many have worked hard their whole lives to pay off their mortgages,” Collins said. “Strong consumer protections can help them avoid unscrupulous schemes so they can live out their later years in peace and dignity and not worry about whether the family home will be there for their children and grandchildren.”

Next, the House will consider Collins’ legislation.


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These two gifted young people, Jinan Chehade (left) and Ismaeel Jarad (right) were my "pages for the day" on Illinois Muslim Action Day. I was pleased to welcome so many of my Muslim-American constituents to the Capitol.

Muslim Action Day web

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ed funding petition

Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607


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