CHICAGO (STMW) – Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday released her list of the top 10 consumer complaints for Illinois residents last year. At the top of the list? Consumer debt.

It’s the fourth consecutive year that consumer debt complaints ranked No. 1 in the annual top 10 list of complaints, a release from Madigan’s office said.

Of the nearly 5,900 debt-related complaints, more than 1,100 were filed against debt collectors who illegally threatened and harassed consumers.

Madigan said the complaints and calls to her office demonstrate the extent to which consumers are struggling to pay off debt and are being targeted by abusive, aggressive debt collectors, the release said.

Abusive debt collection is a growing problem nationally, Madigan noted, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting in 2010 its top complaint was abusive debt-collection practices, the release said.

In 2011, more than 200,000 consumers contacted Madigan’s office for assistance and a total of 24,516 formal complaints were filed.

The following are the top 10 consumer complaints for 2011:

1) Consumer debt, 5,878 complaints

2) Identity theft, 3,207

3) Construction home improvement, 2,263

4) Telecommunciations, 1,903

5) Motor vehicles/used auto sales, 1,160

6) Promotions and schemes, 953

7) Mail order, 944

8) Fraud against business, 843

9) Motor vehicle/non-warranty repair, 737

10) Utilites, 574

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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