Illinois Collection Laws

I live in Illinois. What are my rights in debt collection?

A debt collector is threatening to garnish my wages, but I live in Illinois and I did not think that was allowed. What are my rights?

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Highlights


  • Illinois allows wage garnishment and account levies.
  • The Illinois statute of limitations on credit card debt is five years.
  • Consult with an attorney to learn more about your rights and liabilities.

A collection agent or law firm that owns a collection account is a creditor. A creditor has several legal means of collecting a debt. But before the creditor can start, the creditor must go to court to receive a judgment. See the Bills.com resource Served Summons and Complaint to learn more about this process.

The court may decide to grant a judgment to the creditor. A judgment is a declaration by a court that the creditor has the legal right to demand a wage garnishment, a levy on the debtor's bank accounts, and a lien on the debtor's property. A creditor that is granted a judgment is called a "judgment-creditor." Which of these tools the creditor will use depends on the circumstances. We discuss each of these remedies below.

Illinois Compiled Statutes are available online.

Illinois Wage Garnishment

The most common method used by judgment-creditors to enforce judgments is wage garnishment, in which a judgment creditor contacts your employer and require the employer to deduct a certain portion of your wages each pay period and send the money to the creditor.

n most states, creditors may garnish between 10% and 25% of your wages, with the percentage allowed determined by state law. Garnishment of Social Security benefits or pensions for consumer debt is not allowed under federal law, but may be allowed for child support. See the Bills.com Wage Garnishment article to learn more.

Illinois garnishment rules are complex, and are found in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, Article XII, Chapter 7: Garnishment and Part 8. Wage Deductions. The maximum wages, salary, commissions and bonuses subject to collection under a deduction order, for any work-week shall not exceed the lesser of (1) 15% of the gross amount paid for the week or (2) the amount by which disposable earnings exceed 45 times the federal minimum wage hourly wage or, under a wage deduction summons served on or after January 1, 2006, the minimum hourly wage prescribed by Sec. 4 of the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, whichever is greater, in effect at the time the amounts are payable (735 ILCS 5/12-803 and S. 1752, L. 2005).

In Illinois, Spouse A's earnings are free from the interference of Spouse B's creditors (750 ILCS 65/7). Child support garnishment limits are higher. Support of a spouse or dependent children have priority over all others (735 ILCS 5/12-808(c) and S. 1752, L. 2005).

In Illinois, 401(K) or other retirement funds are exempt from garnishment (735 ILCS 5/12-704 and 5/12-804).

Illinois Levy

A levy means that the creditor has the right to take whatever money in a debtor's account and apply the funds to the balance of the judgment. Again, the procedure for levying bank accounts, as well as what amount, if any, a debtor can claim as exempt from the levy, is governed by state law. Many states exempt certain amounts and certain types of funds from bank levies, so a debtor should review his or her state's laws to find if a bank account can be levied. In some states levy is called attachment or account garnishment. The names may vary but the concepts are the same.

In Illinois, a levy is called non-wage garnishment, and is allowed under 735 ILCS 5/12-701 et seq. Non-wage garnishment is allowed if the plaintiff possesses a legal instrument such as a notice commanding the financial institution of a claim against the account. Illinois 735 ILCS, 5/12-1001(b) exempts debtor's interest in $4,000 worth of personal property, including cash.

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Account Levy resource to learn more about the general rules for this remedy.

Illinois Lien

A lien is an encumbrance — a claim — on a property. For example, if the debtor owns a home, a creditor with a judgment has the right to place a lien on the home, meaning that if the debtor sells or refinance the home, the debtor will be required to pay the judgment out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance. If the amount of the judgment is more than the amount of equity in your home, then the lien may prevent the debtor from selling or refinancing until the debtor can pay off the judgment.

Under Illinois law, an outstanding judgment can become a lien on real estate in Illinois owned by the judgment debtor. A judgment lien gives the judgment-creditor the right, under certain circumstances, to have the property sold in order to satisfy the judgment (735 ILCS 5/12-101 et seq). The Illinois homestead exemption makes it difficult to sell the residence of the judgment debtor, however (735 ILCS 5/12-901 et seq).

If you reside in another state, see the Bills.com Liens & How to Resolve Them article to learn more.

Illinois Statutes of Limitations

Under Illinois law, the statute of limitations is governed by Article XIII 735 ILCS 5/ Limitations on an open account (i.e., credit card) is 5 years, and written contracts have a 10-year statute of limitations.

ollection agents violate the FDCPA if they file a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Unscrupulous collection agents sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

Illinois Foreclosure

Illinois foreclosure laws are found in 735 ILCS 5/Art XV. Review Illinois laws to learn more about the rules surrounding foreclosure in this state, including deficiency balances. Illinois has no anti-deficiency rule. See also the Bills.com resource Mortgage Foreclosure Illinois to learn more about Illinois foreclosures.

Illinois Payday Loan Collection

See the Bills.com resource Illinois Payday Loan to learn how Illinois law protects Illinois payday loan borrowers.

Illinois Collection Agency Act

Debt collectors must obtain a license in Illinois. The Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA) mirrors the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but unlike other states, does not include original creditors. Violation of ICAA is not a criminal offense. If you have been victimized by a collection agency, file complaints with the:

  • Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
  • Illinois Attorney General
  • Federal Trade Commission

Consult with a lawyer to discuss filing an ICAA-based civil lawsuit against the collection agent. Some lawyers take these cases on a contingency basis, which means no out-of-pocket costs to you. ICAA's limits and prohibitions can be found in Illinois Chapter 225, Act 425.

Recommendation

Consult with a Illinois attorney experienced in civil litigation to get precise answers to your questions about liens, levies, and garnishment in Illinois.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

101 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Oct, 2012
    Judy
    Our corp. bank account was "raided" by the bank because of a balance due on an old corp. credit card from 4 1/2 years ago. The credit card office is in Illinois - our corporation is in California. Does the bank have the right to raid a bank account to satisfy a credit card debt of over 4 years old? This raid was done without notice or correspondence from the bank. We just woke up one morning last week, check our account, and all of our money was gone. We had a -0- balance! Don't we have any rights left when dealing with big banks? JR
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      Take all of the information you have to a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience. He or she will ask you the following questions to learn more facts about the event you described:
      • Did the credit card issuer or its collection agent have a judgment against your business?
      • Was this event an account levy?
      • Is the credit card issuer in the same corporate family as your bank? (I am wondering if there is a right of offset issue here.)
      • Is the bank nationally chartered?
      • How is your business organized? (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
      • Who signed the credit card agreement for the card in question?
      • Did the signer of the credit card do so as a corporate officer (assuming your company was a corporation), or sign it in a manner to give him or herself personal liability for the debt?

      With these questions answered, the lawyer will determine if the bank's seizing of the funds was in accordance with state and federal laws and the contract you signed when you opened the account. To the point, your lawyer will advise you if you can unwind the account levy, offset, or freeze.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2012
    jay
    I live in Illinois. I owe the State of California approx. $3000 in back taxes from when I lived there in 2008. They have levied my checking account and taken $325, which was all the money in the account. I have a US Bank checking account that was opened in California but never changed when I moved to Illinois because there is US Bank less than a mile away. Are my collection rights governed by Illinois or California? I assume the judgment was entered in a California court, but I haven't been served a Notice of Levy yet as this just happened today (I don't think a State agency has to send a summons or Notice to Appear). I'm pretty sure that Illinois law allows $2000 of a bank account or $4000 "wild card" to be exempted from judgment or attachment, but California law doesn't allow any of a bank account to be exempt. I couldn't find anything in 735 ILCS that exempts tax debt from being exempted (sorry that's so poorly-worded)
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2012
      Bill
      The CA FTB has administrative powers which allow them to issue a Writ of Garnishment. Therefore they do not need a court judgment. They can cross state lines and garnish bank accounts in places other than California. If you feel that the debt is not legitimate then you can file an appeal with the CA FTB.

      Although Illinois law has collection exemptions for court judgments, tax levies are different. If you need legal advice, I recommend you speak to a lawyer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2012
    B.
    i am being summoned for an old credit card, but the law firm that bought the old debt does not know where i work. i called and tried to settle but couldnt come to an agreement, but they kept trying to get me to give out my checking account and also asked where i worked which i told them neither. can they garnish my wages if they cant find who my employer is?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      You are not obligated to share any personal information with a collection agent or its lawyer, including your bank account number or your employer's name. However, if a court orders you to disclose personal information, then you must do so.

      You mentioned a summons. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law or civil litigation experience to learn how to answer a summons and complaint effectively.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Dee
    Back in Sept 2011 a court ordered wage garishment was granted against me by the courts. Since Oct 2011 the garnishment has been coming out of my pay check. Today mine and my new wifes' bank accounts have been frozen for discovery of assets by the same company/attonry and case number. How is this posible when the courts have already be granted the wage granishment on this case? Not to mention the fact that all the monies that are in the accounts are not soly from be and there are not assets money goes in and money goes out for cost of living - rent payments, car payments, insurance food and monies that my wife pays to her ex for their childrens expences.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      I do not have good news to report to you. Wage garnishment, account levy, and liens are not either/or remedies available to judgment-creditors. An aggressive judgment-creditor can use all three remedies to recover funds awarded in a judgment. My advice? Consult with a lawyer in your state immediately about filing for a waiver on the account freeze.

      I realize what I am about to write does not help you in your situation, but it may help someone who is about to face your situation. Avoid joint accounts for the reason Dee explains vividly in her comment above. Instead, spouses should open separate (not joint!) accounts at the same bank or credit union. When you need to move money from one account to the other, use the bank or credit union's online balance transfer option to move funds as needed.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      D
      Hello Bill and thank you for responding. I wanted to let you know and those out there in Illinois that may be facing this very same issue...this was the action that we took on our own to remedy this unforcen situation. We went to down to the court house the next morning as soon as they were open and filled for an Emergency Motion so that we could be heard by a judge that next day to have the freeze removed from accounts. We had some forms had to be completed. This was a little intimidating as we had no idea what we were doing but the clerk was very helpful with assisting us in completing the forms and the good news was that there was no cost to us to have this motion filed. Once we completed the forms the clerk logged them and then instructed us to walk a copy of the papers over to the attorney that put this into motion. Basically we served them with the papers advising them of the court date. We appeared in court the next morning at 8:45 for a 9:30 am court call as we were advised to by the clerk so that we were one of the first to check in with the court room clerk. We spoke briefly with and advocacy group and we were told that we should ask for a “wild card exemption" because we had less than $4000.00 in our joint accounts and the monies/propertied be returned to us within 24 hours. My wife was instructed to inform the judge for all her wages to be returned to her as she was never part of the original case only if she was asked by the judge why she was present. The motion was granted and all we had to do was wait for the judge to sign the order and bring it to our bank. We did get a great piece of advice from the advocacy law firm which was, do not change your back accounts! By leaving the accounts alone, they, meaning the same case/plaintiff cannot do this again and if they do, they will be sanctioned and fined by the courts. If you open new accounts they can go after those new accounts. To those out there that may be facing the same set of circumstances we truly hope that this helps.
      3 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Excellent news, and thank you for explaining the process you followed.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      william
      The joint bank account I hold with my wife was frozen last week due to a judgement from a credit card issuer. The original judgment was that they would automatically deduct $50 from my checking account every month. Apparently I wasn't aware they had sent me a renew for this deduction several months ago. I was under the assumption this deduction would take place automatically from my bank account until the debt was paid. The attorneys froze my bank account I hold with my wife. My bank account had $2,600 dollars in it, which consisted of my wife's wages and one of my wages that had already been garnished.I also would like to mention I also have a wage garnishment from another credit card collection agency.

      My question is are my wife's wages exempt from garnishment if she was not part of the original case, and if so how do I present that to the judge? Also what about the wages that have already been garnished. Can I claim a wild-card exemption?

      I don't know if it matters but we have 4 boys, 1 that is 18 and 3 still in grade school. I was at the courthouse today to get an emergency motion to release my bank account but they gave me forms that are very overwhelming and told me that it would cost us $175 to file. I appreciate any insight into my predicament. Please let me know my options if any.

      The previous replier DB is in my area ,so I was surprised that there was a fee to file this motion at the DuPage County courthouse in Wheaton. They also told me that it would take a week.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2012
      Bill
      You mentioned an Illinois county, so I will assume you reside in Illinois. As far as family law is concerned, Illinois is a common law state, and not a community property state. Therefore, a judgment against one Illinois spouse has no legal effect on the other spouse. Here, your spouse's wages are not subject to garnishment due to a judgment filed against you.

      The judgment-creditor has the right to levy (sometimes called an account garnishment) an account owned by the judgment debtor. This includes joint accounts. That is why I recommend spouses never share accounts, but instead open separate accounts at the same bank or credit union.

      You asked about a wild-card exemption and an emergency release from the account seizure. Consult with a lawyer in your state about these matters. I realize you do not have the funds to pay for much right now. Call the DuPage County Bar Association and ask for the names of the organizations that provide no-cost legal services to people with low or no income in your area. Make an appointment with one of the organizations, and bring all of the documents and letters you have regarding the debt to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Steve
    What are the proper steps in Illinois regarding collecting judgment against a successor in a contracts case? If a judgment has been issued against a previous owner, how can I collect that judgment from the business' successor (successor purchased the business and expressly agreed to assume all liabilities, debts, etc.) Should I proceed with collection actions, should I litigate? What are the proper steps?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      I assume you are the judgment-creditor. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience. The laws of remedies are precise, and it is easy to miss a step in the collections process and scuttle all of the work that went into obtaining the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Steve
    I incurred $250k in legal fees (10x more than estimated) in Illinois and paid $125k. The balance has been unpaid for 3+ years but I still receive monthly invoices. I offered to review a payment plan 3+ years ago but none was sent.
    1. Do I still owe this?
    2. Will it expire?
    3. How should it be settled?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      1. Yes. In most states, a debt is owed even after the state statute of limitations has run its course.
      2. If you are an Illinois resident, no.
      3. You can negotiate a settlement, ignore the debt and hope the creditor gives up, or file for bankruptcy to discharge the debt if it qualifies for discharge.

      You may not wish to read these words, but an Illinois lawyer can explain your rights and liabilities in detail.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    James
    I own a small business in central Illinois. We had an issue with a shipping company that we were using last year and are still fighting about the amount owed for shipping services (so I thought). Long story short, we were contacted today by a private investigator. He said that he'd be coming out tomorrow to go over our bank records, obtain a list of our vendors, etc...when pressed, he stated that he worked for Ken Gxxxxxx and couldn't answer more questions. He came up with a "docket number", which he provided along with Ken Gxxxxxx's phone number. I called the number, of course, and Ken Gxxxxxx says he's a lawyer and that they are investigating us for various things, most of which was operating a business under false pretenses or something to that effect. This all finally got back to the shipping company and that's apparently who has hired him, although they really haven't even contacted me in the past couple of months regarding this. I assume that most of this is harassment and little more. I'm not stupid, so I told Mr. Gxxxxxx that under no circumstances would we provide so much as a cup of water for his private investigator and that if he stated his intents, it really defeats the meaning of the word, "private". I'll proceed to contact a lawyer and won't do anything without them, of course, but what exactly are these people doing? I don't have a judgment against me and I haven't been summoned to court. Is there anything more to this than simple bluffing, and how should I be handling it?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with your lawyer about this matter. Provide confidential business information to a third party under court order or the recommendation of your lawyer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Hazel
    Can an individual after winning a wage assignment in court put a lien on your bank account while the judgment is going through.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      It is not clear to me what you mean by "while the judgment is going through." If a judgment was obtained against you, which must be the case if a wage assignment was won, then your bank account is vulnerable for a levy that is enforced consistent with Illinois state law. My understanding is that $2,000 in your bank account is exempt from attachment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2012
    Paul
    I was given wage garnishment paperwork by my employer a couple of weeks ago. The debt was for a credit card I don't remember using. I tried calling the legal office to where my debt resided and they told me that they can't help me at all either I pay the entire amount that's due or they will proceed with the garnishment. Prior to the judgement, I received no letters from the collector or the law firm in charge of the debt, nor was a issued a summons to appear in court. Is there a way for me to overcome this situation?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      Yes — file a motion to vacate the judgment. A cornerstone of civil procedure law is the idea that both parties to a lawsuit must be given notice of the other side's actions. It is unfair and a miscarriage of justice for a plaintiff to file an action against a defendant, and never give the defendant notice of the action. That is just not fair. A court will probably agree with me if the plaintiff cannot prove it gave you adequate notice of the summons and complaint. Consult with a lawyer in your state who has civil litigation experience. He or she will help you draft a pleading to vacate the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Diana
    Today I was phoned by the legal department of a payday loan company...they didn't tell me the name of the company or time of the loan being taken out. They told me if I didn't pay them $1800 today they would have me arrested tomorrow for 3 different criminal charges including deceptive practice, internet fraud and something else. I ended up making a payment of $400 to get them to back off for a couple of days. They want me to pay the balance in 2 more installments within the next 10 days. Can they have me arrested? Or is there a way to make smaller payments to them? Any help would be appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Illinois residents are not subject to criminal prosecution for delinquent payday loans, despite the wishful thinking of unscrupulous collection agents. Please see the Bills.com resource Illinois Payday Loans to learn more about your rights as an Illinois resident.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Pam
    I received a summons for a credit card debt. I am unemployed and I only receie public assistance. Can they garnish my public assistance (TANF) benefits
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Your Illinois Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) aid can't be garnished for a credit card debt. To be certain that I am correct, please contact the Illinois Department of Human Services directly. You can contact the DHS Help Line at 1 800 843-6154.

      Separately, I strongly recommend that you respond to the summons.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Angela
    My judgement is paid in full and I was told that I have to file it. What does that mean?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Consult with an Illinois paralegal or lawyer who has experience in civil procedure to learn the requirements, if any, for notifying a court of a satisfied judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Adrienne
    I was recently served papers on a credit card from years ago that I maxed out and have been unable to fully pay off. As far as a payment plan, what are the Illinois States laws that keep them from forcing me to try and pay past a specific percentage?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      I believe you ask about usury law. See Illinois 720 ILCS 5/17-59 for details.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Mark
    When i was 18 (9 years ago) i was evicted from an apartment after loosing my job. The amount that was unpaid was later entered as a judgment which appeared on my credit report. Im looking into making a large purchase soon and was just wondering if its worth paying this large debt or if once the judgement reaches its 10 year mark if it will just drop off my report...
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      With the understanding that I know nothing about the judgment-creditor, the only circumstances I would consider entering into negotiations with the judgment-creditor is if he, she, or it is aggressive and eager to renew the judgment and if you were about to buy a house and needed a clean credit report. Otherwise, let sleeping dogs lie. If the judgment-creditor renews the judgment, then negotiate a pay for delete contract to remove the derogatory from your credit report.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Jasmine
    we live in Missouri but owe a doctor in Illinois an they sent papers to take money out of my husbands pay check but never took any of it out they just keep taking us to court and now they said they can issue an arrest warrant for him I just don't understand this. He can be arrested for a bill when they messed up and didn't take it out of his check.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      A person may not be arrested for a delinquent debt. That practice, along with debtors' prisons, stopped in the US during the Civil War. However, a person may be jailed for failing to follow a court order.

      A creditor or a collection agency, has the right to file a lawsuit against a delinquent debtor. If successful, it can ask the court for a judgment that it can use to take action against the judgment-debtor. These action can include garnishing wages, placing a levy on the judgment-debtor's accounts, and placing a lien on the debtor's property.

      Here, the creditor's or collection agency's statements are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The first course of action is to validate the debt. If you are dealing with a collection agency then read more on Bills.com page about being harassed by collectors.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2011
    Jason
    Does Illinois allow out-of-state garnishment of wages for a civil judgement of damages made in a different state (in this case, Wisconsin)? The plaintiff is incorporated in Wisconsin alone and has no offices in Illinois, though they do have customers based in Illinois. Thanks!!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2011
      Bill
      Speak to a lawyer about domesticating a judgment. See if the expense is worth it and also whether the lawyer feels your judgment-debtor's customers would be bound by an order to pay you. If he has repeat customers who issue him 1099s, I think your chances are greater than if his end-user customers are unique and pay him in cash or check.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    J.D.
    Does an employee need to make a certain amount of money before his or her wages can be garnished in Illinois? In other words, does an employee have to pass a threshold amount before he or she is subject to the Illinois wage garnishment law? If so, what is the amount and where is the statute?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      See the Bills.com resource Illinois Wage Garnishment Rules for a link to the Illinois Legal Aid page that discusses Illinois Wage Assignments in depth.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    chris
    My wages started to be garnished about 4 weeks ago and from last week to this week they added over another $1,000. This is after i received a letter of exact amount to be garnished. Is that legal?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Interest and fees can continue to grow, after the judgment is issued specifying the debt. Check with an attorney in your area to see if the additional amount you are being charged is consistent with the law. If you can't afford an attorney, see if you can get a free answer through a legal aid organization in your area.

      Another option is to check with the court clerk for the court that issued the judgment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Jo
    I need to serve a Writ of Garnishment on Allstate Life Insurance Company for a debtor's non-retirement Annuity. Their Headquarters are in Illinois, but I live in Texas. Must I file in Illinois, and if not,where? Thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Insurance companies are litigation machines with legal departments the size of small armies. Do not attempt to file an action against an insurance company without legal representation. Consult with an Illinois lawyer who has civil litigation experience to get the help you need in filing your case properly in the right court.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    John
    In Illinois, 401(K) or other retirement funds are exempt from garnishment (735 ILCS 5/12-704 and 5/12-804). Does this include disbursements from a 401(k) or a 457 plan. In other words, if I (judgement debtor) liquidate my 401(k) or 457 plan and deposit that money into my bank account, will said money be exempt from levy from judgement creditors? With the exception of the IRS of course.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      I can't give you legal advice, but will share my opinion.

      Once the money is in your bank account, I believe it is subject to a bank levy. I see nothing in the statutes you listed that covers the money taken out from your retirement account and placed in your bank. Consult with an attorney in Illinois if you want an authoritative answer.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    John
    A family member bought us a car recently, and we owe them in full for it. If our family member has a lien on the title, can an unsecured creditor (after getting a judgment) seize the vehicle without paying the person first? Would we need documentation of the amount owed, or would the lien be sufficient? How would that work. I appreciate any help.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      The present lienholder stands first in line for any claims against the title of the vehicle. Subsequent lienholders may also have a claim, but they must stand second in line behind the first. In other words, subsequent lienholders make a claim or take possession of the vehicle subject to the first's claim.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Mike
    My 21 yr old son had gotten behind on bills and was unable to pay on his credit card account. He made the mistake of ignoring it in the beginning. Finally he set a payment plan with a debt collector. He agreed to let them take money out of his personal checking account. There has been times he called and they agreed on the phone to not make a withdraw from his account due to not working that week. The company then proceeded to attempt the withdraw anyway not once, but twice each time. This has cost him almost $300.00 in overdraft fees. without these attempts he would have already had the balance paid off. He has now closed the account to stop the overdrafts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      It is wise to get any agreement in writing, to protect oneself from violations of the agreement. Collection agencies are not to be trusted; at the very least healthy skepticism should be exercised. A debtor is well advised to not make an agreement hat he or she can't fulfill each and every month, unless exceptions are duly noted in writing.

      At this point, he should try to re-establish a payment plan, seeking to send in payments by money order, explaining that his bank account was closed due to the overdrafts.

      If you have the means to pay his debt and have him re-pay you, that is one way to put his relationship with the collection agency behind him.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    John
    Hi we had a property foreclose in Arizona. We live in Illinois and have since open an S-corp. Can they seize the business account for a deficiency judgement? It is a retail store not yet making us a lot of money. Thanks.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Arizona has broad anti-deficiency protections. You may not even be subject to collection for the debt.

      It may be very hard for any debt collector to 'pierce the corporate veil' and come after assets of your S-Corp. If a judgment exists against you (or you are worried one could), speak to an attorney to find out if you fall under the Arizona protections and what the potential risks are to your personal and business assets.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    joe
    I own 2 properties in Illinois. I live in one & rent the other. If the rental goes into foreclosure, which is underwater, can the bank who has the mortgage for the rental go after the bank who has the mortgage on my primary residence which is current in payments?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      The rental lender has no recourse against your primary residence lender. The debt that results from a foreclosure on your rental property could lead to collection efforts against you, which could affect your primary residence, such as a lien or a wage levy that made paying your mortgage problematic. Try to work out a short sale on the rental, to avoid foreclosure, and see if you can get the lender to forgive the deficiency balance. Consult with an attorney, unless you are extremely confident that you can negotiate with the lender and represent your own interests better than an experienced professional.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    taty
    I have a contractor stating that he lost check from us for work done 7 years ago and he wants us to give another check. The problem is i don't remember this contractor and we had closed the account at that bank because they had closed the branch near us. I called the bank and they have no records, because the account has been closed for so long. What are my options? I do not want to pay something I might have paid already and I have no way of knowing if this guy is pulling a scam.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      I would not pay on this debt, without first consulting a lawyer. Even the contractor is claiming that you gave a check to him, but that he lost it.

      While I can't give you legal advice, I strongly believe that a judge would not find the seven year wait to contact you reasonable and would deem this debt not collectible, were the contractor to sue you.

      Consult with an attorney if you want to be sure, but I believe you can tell the contractor to take a hike.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2011
    daron
    i owe a school 90 dollars and now they have a collection agency sending me mail. it hasnt even been a year yet, i dont owe much and i plan to pay it but i want to kno is there anything i should be worried about? or any surprises they can pull on me? please and thank you!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jul, 2011
      Bill
      If you really owe the debt, pay it as soon as possible before there is significant damage to your credit score, and before the collection agent starts adding interest. In general, it is a good idea to stay current with an alma mater because it is inevitable that at some point in your future you will need to prove you attended that school, college, or university, and you do not want a hold on your transcript.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Brenda
      The Il state law is that they can not charge interest. Please people, look up the laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    John
    I am a former corporate executive who put 500,000 in savings, 401(k) into a business out of the state of IL and am a 50% partner in. While the business is very close to becoming successful, I've racked up $100K in credit card debt, gotten divorced and have $6K a month due in child support/alimony, 10% mortgage on a $500K house, and saw my income spiral to unemployment checks of $3k/week. My company has been re-capitalized and the universe willing will be profitable within 6 months. However, I've reached critical mass and have to slash my expenses. So my strategy is to stop paying my credit cards and mortgage...maybe make one mortgage payment in 3 months to forestall foreclosure. Negotiate down as much as possible on the credit cards, stall, make a payment, make them send intent to sue letters then re-negotiate to reasonable levels/payments. I am willing to pay them back but I just need relief without bankruptcy. Any thoughts around this? How quickly could they try to come after my company partnership? Any other questions I think I will refer to a corporate attorney :)
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      There is nothing wrong with the tactics you outlined. However, you must be prepared to lose the property if you pay your mortgage intermittently. Regarding the credit card debt, you are almost describing debt settlement. Complete this form to receive a no-cost, no-obligation, no-gimmick consultation from a pre-screened Bills.com debt resolution partner.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jun, 2011
    Lisa
    I have won a judgement against my debtee in St. Louis, MO. He resides in Illinois, and as near as I can tell is self-employed. The only address I have for him is his home address and his SSN. Is it useless to have him served at his home address? Are there any actions I can take to proceed with garnishment?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jun, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with a lawyer in your state who has experience in a part of the law known as "remedies." Most state laws of remedies are very exacting, and an error in the collections process can scuttle the judgment. Another reason to consult with a lawyer is that you may need to domesticate the judgment in another state. Both of the actions I described a lay person without legal training can accomplish, but there are pitfalls and I do not recommend a do-it-yourself solution.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Kate
    I have a garnishment in Illinois. Originally, when my employer was informed I was getting a garnish it showed debt of 1800+200+ in court fees = 2000+. This started in October. in 2010 YTD is 468.78 + 1061.04 that i had paid so far. i figure i'm close to paying it off. my question is.. when i checked why does it show that i still owe 1600 more? do they add interest on the balance even after garnishment??? i'm trying to budget my year $ since i am a single mother. where can i get copies of the court order? (i never received one to begin with. i just noticed a garnishment on my credit report and got the notice from my employer shortly after) any advice given will be much appreciated.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      It is legal for judgment-creditors to charge interest on judgments in most states, including Illinois. The order is a public document. Call the court clerk in the court where the garnishment was filed to learn how to get a copy of the order.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Kanha
    Hello, I had a free checking National City account which was then bought out by PNC bank. My account was in the positive, and only used for Ebay transactions. Anyways, PNC sent me a letter stating that my account was charged-off and that I owed some 140 to them. Previous to this I had no idea my account terms had changed, as the only thing PNC sent to me after the merger/buy out was a new debit card. I hadn't received any new statements, and figured it was because my account had no activity. In hindsight I should have called and checked. Anyways I don't want to pay this charge-off amount, I'm annoyed that they zeroed out my account to begin with. I don't think I have any recourse for my lost funds as I have no proof they never sent me a new term or agreement, however, is the charge-off amount something that will appear on my credit report?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Go up the chain of command at PNC. Ask if this is how they want to treat a prospective customer. If so, then bite the bullet, pay the fees, and ask if as a gesture of goodwill this will be erased from your credit report. If you are unsuccessful, raise a stink on online complaint sites and the BBB in the city where PNC is headquartered.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Hi Bill, I've been having my wages garnished for the past couple years for a car loan. Around 7,000 was the judgement amount. This past December my employer told me my debt was paid. After this I still had my wages garnished and my employer informed me they were charging me 9% interest. It's April now and I've paid almost $2000 since January. My employer says they have no idea how much more I owe. I feel like I'm being ripped off and left in the dark. What should I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Judgment-creditors are allowed to add interest to the debt that is being collected after a judgment is issued against you. The amount of interest they can charge varies from state-to-state and is set by state law.

      I recommend, as a first step, that you contact the judgment-creditor, to find out your remaining balance. If you get nowhere, seek a free consultation with Consult with an Illinois attorney experienced in civil litigation, so you can get precise answers to your questions about garnishment in Illinois.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2011
    Dexx
    I'm primary on an account I don't use anymore but have my sister on I have two accounts of my own that I do use i fell into credit debt and its on my report as charged off,a collection agency put a freeze on all the accounts how can my sister get the freeze off the acct. that she uses? I may have deposited 1 or 2 checks less than 150.00 in the past year and a half
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2011
      Bill
      Joint accounts create more problems than they solve, as your anecdote illustrates painfully. Accordingly, I advise readers to avoid joint accounts of all types. If two (or more) people need to exchange money, I suggest they open separate accounts at the same credit union or bank and set up that institution's mechanism for making transfers between accounts.

      Regarding your question, I do not see any legal recourse for your sister to claim the money in the seized account. Write a letter to the judgment creditor and explain the circumstances, but do not expect a sympathetic response.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Anthony
      Bill, Im am getting my wages garnished and am going to court about it in two weeks. I was told I may be able to use 735ILCS 5/12-1001(b) or wildcard excemption and maybe I can get out of it. Im lost.. Dont know why this would work and what I need to know when using it
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Review the "Wage Garnishment" section in the original answer above to learn the basics of Illinois wage garnishment law. We include hyperlinks to relevant Illinois statutes as a research aid. Consult with an Illinois lawyer who can help you understand the specifics of Illinois law and how its exemptions apply to your situation.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Danielle
    I reside in IL and I currently have a wage garnishment against me for almost $10,000 (car repossession). My employer has been sending the payments to the indicated law firm since the beginning of March. Today my employer received a certification of judgment balance letter from the law office handing the case. The balance they showed was different that what my HR department showed. The HR department called and spoke to the law firm and was told that there is 9% interest being charged also. Can there be interest charged in the state of IL and if so, how is it figured up?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    I live in Hobart Indiana, I just had my bank account garnished for some debt that I own the city. Mind you, there has been a judgment on me since 2004 but I was never aware of this until recently this law firm took me to court. I only make minimum wage and the lawyer explained that I was eligible for hardship repayment. I was sent a letter about this in Nov 2010 and I got in touch with the lawyer explained and I had to get back with him. I called him back in Dec 2010 and he never returned my call. Now its Feb I have to go to court and the put a garnish on my checking account that has $1798. I recently was payed last week and received my federal income tax. Can they take all my money from my checking account? Can you please give me any recommendations of a lawyer? Thank you, Michelle
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2011
    Pamela
    I am out on work comp as a dental assistant. I had a credit on my account at work I ask my boss if I could have this refunded for Christmas. He went in and alter my account charged me for work done in house free. From 2003, 2004, 2006 now he says I owe him $1,800 which is not even on the print out he sent me. He says I had cerec crowns done which he changed the material he used not me. All of this is because he is mad about me being out. What do you recommend
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2011
      Bill
      If you feel you are being punished for asserting your legitimate rights to a workers' compensation claim, I suggest that you speak with the state labor board in your home state. I don't know your home state, but in California, you would contact the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Workers' Compensation. You left your comment on a page about Illinois. In Illinois, contact the Illinois Workers' Compensation Committee. While their website says they cannot answer specific legal questions, I think they should be able to direct you to the most effective place to raise a claim, if you decide to do so.

      I think that you are in a tough position, as raising your claim may jeopardize your employment. I think you may have grounds for a wrongful termination suit, if you pursue actions against your boss for what he is doing, although you will need to speak with an attorney to hear his or her opinion. Still, you will need to weigh the benefits of getting justice against the potential costs of losing your job if your boss retaliates against you.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Lisa
    I reside in Illinois and my student loan has defaulted and they said they put in in wage garnishment. I explained to them that I have attempted to contact them and left several messages for several months to set a repayment plan. They claim this never happened. I have my phone records to prove this but how can I stop them with wage garnishment? I can make payments and told them this but they refure to listen. What can I do?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Consult with an Illinois attorney, and ask if you have a legal reason to ask for the judgment against you to be vacated, or the garnishment order quashed. The fact that the judgment-creditor does not have any phone records of you attempting to contact them to set up a payment plan may or may not give you the legal right to ask for removal of the garnishment order. However, there may be other reasons, perhaps you never were served with a notice of the garnishment, that give you a good reason to have the garnishment removed.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Siobhan
      I am interested in talking with others who are being harassed by the Il Student Asst Commission for defaulted loans. My loan was improperly put into default status and I am scheduling a hearing with ISAC. On what basis can I get my loan out of default? How do I find out? ISAC counselors are merciless and I think it's really terrible when they are telling people who are unemployed like myself they will suspend my license? What's next, debtor's prison?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      Think like a scientist or lawyer:
      1. Gather the evidence you have to establish your conclusion, which you said is "My loan was improperly put into default status..."
      2. Learn what ISAC considers a "default status."
      3. Using your facts, and the ISAC rules, create an argument that leads to your conclusion, which is, "ISAC made a mistake when it classified my loan as a default."
      4. Read the ISAC default rules to learn more about default.
      5. Read your student loan contract to better understand your rights and liabilities. Your contract is the authority you should depend on, and not ISAC, me, or anything you read elsewhere online.
      6. Attend your hearing, state your case, and if you have the facts and rules on your side, you will prevail.

      I agree the Illinois legislature and governor were misguided when they created the law allowing ISAC to pull a person's professional license for delinquent student loan payments. Taking a debtor's livelihood and impoverishing them is not likely to result in the debtor making their student loan payments.

      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Siobhan
      Thanks for the response. I talked to the ISAC person and threatened legal action. When I called back first the ISAC person (a higher up this time) told me I was not eligible for rehabilitation because I had done that before. The written documentation said otherwise, then he changed his story while on the phone. THEN he told me I could consolidate my loan through the DOE. This only applies to certain loans. Unfortunately ISAC like collection agencies lies, misleads, and stalls. This is not my first brush with ISAC and these are not baseless comments. I am truly disturbed that IL does business like this-with anyone. On the positive side I guess they figured that it was easier to push me into another system than deal with possible legal bills.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2011
    Jeff
    A deputy attempted to serve me a summons that will likely end in default judgement for debt in Illinois. I am unemployed and have no income and maybe $2,000 in total assets right now. I am a signator on a small partnership account with a brokerage that has $1200 in it of which only $350 is mine. If they get the judgment, can they seize that account? I am not even living in Illinois but am living 2000 miles away. How can they even serve me there if I live here?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2011
      Bill
      Like other professions, lawyers give what are otherwise common words special and precise meaning. The issue you raise in your question deals with jurisdiction. A court can hear a case if it has personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. A court has personal jurisdiction if the parties are residents in the court's state (among other reasons). You mentioned in your message that you live in a state 2,000 miles from Illinois, but you do not say whether you are a resident in that distant state. College students, traveling nurses, and retirees living in RVs may live away from their home states for years without becoming residents in the states where they sleep at night. The first question an attorney will ask in analyzing your question is your state of residence.

      The second question an attorney will ask is if you own property in Illinois, which will probably give the Illinois court personal jurisdiction over you regardless of your state of residence. If the "partnership account" you mentioned is based in Illinois, that may be enough to give the Illinois court personal jurisdiction.

      Third, an attorney will want to know about the circumstances that caused the plaintiff to believe it had a cause of action (a legal reason to file a lawsuit) against you. Was it a personal injury? A contract breach? Delinquent child support? Tax liability? If you signed a contract in Illinois with an Illinois party where the contract included language stating any contract disputes will be litigated in Illinois state, then you agreed to appear in an Illinois court regardless of your later residence.

      Finally, there be other circumstances in your case that for reasons of fairness make it such that hearing the case outside of Illinois will be unfair to the parties. This is a very brief discussion of your first question, and only a discussion with a lawyer who can analyze your situation will result in a precise and useful answer.

      Regarding your "partnership account," it will be at risk if the plaintiff wins a judgment against you. Consult with an attorney in your state of residence to learn more and strategies for shielding this account.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Dec, 2010
    Lisa
    My husband and I live in IL, he was served with papers to appear, he did, he signed a document saying he owed the money. We tried to work out a payment plan, they didn't like it. Today we got a wage garnishment notice. The problem is we work in MO and live in IL and all the court documents are filed in IL. How will they collect from a MO employer?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Bill
      I am not licensed to practice law in Illinois, and my understanding of Illinois law is based on reading relatively few statutes. Therefore, I am not competent to give you any legal advice about your situation. You question the Illinois court's personal jurisdiction over a Missouri employer. I too wonder why the employer didn't reject or otherwise ignore the order, unless the employer is based in Illinois. Consult with an Illinois or Missouri attorney who has experience in consumer law. I realize an attorney's time is not cheap, but not as expensive as an extended wage garnishment.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2010
    Erin
    I thought I had paid a bill off, however I received notice that I still owe $250. Then I received a notice that they had a non wage garnishment notice sent to my former bank. I no longer have an account there, so there was nothing to take. I do, however, have a bank account with another bank. Can they freeze all my funds if they find my bank account or can they only take what I owe? How long do you think it will take them to find my new bank account? The judgement for the $250 was entered in June and they just did the non wage garnishment. I live in Illinois. Thanks
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2010
      Bill
      It is impossible for me to answer your questions without learning more about the debt and seeing the notice. Consult with an Illinois attorney, and bring all of your documents relating to your debt and the notice you received to your meeting. If you cannot afford an attorney, call your county bar association, and ask for the name of the organization that provides legal advice to people with low or no income in your area. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents I mentioned to that meeting.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      james
      hELLO.Ive got a civil judgement on me from a car accident years ago for 14,788 dollars.(long story). I just received a work comp settlement. I kno they cant go after that. But my question is this, if i buy a car can they come after it? Meaning come repo it or make me sell it? I live in illinois. Ive tried to work with this company tha has the judgement on me and they have been very hard to deal with. Thanks in advance.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Dec, 2010
      Bill
      I am not certain your statement about your workman's compensation settlement being immune from the judgment is correct. Regarding a vehicle, the judgment creditor can place a lien on the vehicle, and in some states the laws permit a judgment-creditor to ask for the sheriff to seize the vehicle. Consult with an Illinois attorney who has experience in consumer law or bankruptcy to learn more about your rights and liabilities in your circumstances. An attorney's time is not cheap, but in your case, not knowing your rights could be very expensive.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2010
    john
    i had a judgment put against for a work comp bill. But i was never served any papers to appear in court. Do they have to serve me with papers before a judgment before can me granted? I live in IL.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2010
      Bill
      It is impossible to answer your question without reading the judgment. Was it a civil judgment? Or was it administrative? Is the judgment a garnishment order, or just a garden-variety civil judgment? Who or what is the "they" you referred to? Take all of the documents you have regarding this situation to an attorney in your state who has experience in civil litigation. If you cannot afford an attorney, call your county bar association and ask for the name of the local organization that provides legal advice to people with no or low income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents relating to this judgment and the workman's compensation benefits you received to that meeting.
      1 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2010
    Twanna
    I have a gas bill from Peoples Gas In Il. for $2,000. from 1997. Do I still have to pay it to get new service or is there a way I can contest it?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2010
      Bill
      I am not aware of any law in Illinois -- or any other state for that matter -- that sets a statute of limitations on the amount of time a utility has to collect a bill from a customer. Contact the Illinois Commerce Commission Bureau of Public Utilities to learn if there is any such rule.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    Julie: Illinois lawmakers did not foresee debtors paying a judgment-debt separately once a garnishment order was in place. The situation you described in not handled in Illinois law. The problem is your employer is bound by the court order to pay the judgment-creditor until the order is satisfied, you quit your job or are fired, the employer goes out of business, you declare bankruptcy, or die. Therefore, you need to consult with an attorney in Illinois to file a motion with the court that ordered the garnishment so that it will lift the wage garnishment order. You mentioned you cannot afford an attorney. Contact your county bar association and ask for the name of the organization in your area that provides legal services for people with no or low income. Make an appointment with that organization, and bring all of the documents related to the debt and wage garnishment to that meeting.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    Brian: Different states have different levels at which they cap a garnishment. Reread the Illinois statutes I mentioned in the original answer above to gain a better understanding of Illinois law. If one creditor is collecting on a debt by having a garnishment enforced to the maximum level, then the other creditors form a line. As one debt is paid off, then the next creditor in line will start to collect, until it is paid off, and so on. It is possible that a lien could be filed against you. Also, be aware that in some states a judgment to collect can lead to a bank account being levied.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Julie
    I reside in IL. I am worried about when they are going to report it to the credit bureaus also. If I cannot speak to them, how do I get this info. I thought they were supposed to send me something in a certain amt of days after I paid it off to let me know they reported my payment to the credit bureaus. But I'm not sure about the law and what it states they have to do.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Brian
    I live in IL and tried a debt management company to get my cc debt resolved..so I stopped paying the cc company when I started to work with the debt comany 6 months ago (stupid mistake). So I do have enough that 1 of the cards is paid off but I still have 3 to go, 1 just set the court date and the other 2 will soon. If my wages get garnished by one creditor by 15% the other companies can do the same thing can they? They would have to do a lien on the property correct?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Bill
    Julie: In what state do you reside?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2010
    Julie
    I have a judgment against me from 7 years ago. They are now garnishing my wages. I have talked with the collection agency 7 times in a 3 week period. I paid off what I owe with a cashiers check and sent it certified mail. They told me that by law, they have to notify my employer as soon as they receive the check. It is now Thursday and they received the check on Tuesday morning. When I called them they were extremely rude to me and told me that they were not able to speak to me since I at one time had a lawyer. Which is not even true. Funny how they talked to me for the last 3 weeks when I called about what I owed and paying it off, but now that I gave them their money they will no longer speak with me. They have still yet to notify my employer AND if my next paycheck is garnished, how will I get that money back if they refuse to speak to me when I call??? I cannot afford a lawyer to handle this for me and I have no idea what the law states about what is going on in my situation. Any info???
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Bill
    I read 735 ILCS 5/12‑1001 to exempt the first $4,000 from attachment. However, consult with an attorney licensed in Illinois to see if the plain language of 735 ILCS 5/12‑1001 means what it says. Regarding VA or retirement benefits, those should be deposited into an account that contains only funds from exempt sources. Ask your bank or credit union to place a notation on the account indicating it contains funds from the VA, Social Security, pension, etc. Do not mingle non-exempt funds with exempt funds. Depositing even a dime of non-exempt funds into an exempt account will taint the entire account.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2010
    Clara
    Do I understand correctly...? In IL, a bank account with less than $4,000 in it cannot be levied? What about an account containing income that is exempt from garnishment, such as veterans' benefits? Thanks, Clara
    0 Votes