It's not unusual to take a loan out from a bank or sign a promissory note. In fact it happens thousands of times a day.
When you fail to pay or are late in paying, it's not unusual to pay a penalty to catch up. In the alternative, the bank or money lender could sue you.
Imagine a third option though. Instead of the bank suing you, they hire a lawyer to go to court for you (they choose the lawyer), they don't tell you that they are doing this and in court the lawyer agrees on your behalf that a judgment should be entered against you for double the amount that you owe. Often the judgment against you happens the same day the case is filed.
You find out about this when you learn that your bank account has been frozen and your assets have been garnished.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well it happens in Illinois. It's a clause called a "confession of judgment" that banks sneak in to loan documents all of the time. If you don't know to look for it, you won't know to ask them to remove it.
I've heard about one bank in Chicago who is now refusing some loans unless you agree to this clause.
Once the bank does this it can be challenged, but usually your life is turned upside down before then.
This actually happened to a friend of mine. I had never heard of this law and neither had anyone else that I know of. The guess is that some Illinois politician probably owned a bank and wanted to help himself ease the process of getting money that was owed to him.
Otherwise, it seems highly unethical for a bank to hire lawyer that is supposedly going to court for you, but doesn't tell you about it and acts against your best interests. It's not as if banks don't have a remedy if someone doesn't pay. This is just a way for them to try to put the screws to you. And it's really slimy.