The most common mistake I keep on hearing about are Defendants getting their bank accounts frozen and their money taking after a judgment takes place. A judgment is essentially a ruling by the Circuit Court of Cook County at the Richard J. Daley Center that a Plaintiff is entitled to a certain amount of money as a measurement of damages.
I got two phone calls today with a similar story. This story is Plaintiffs catching a Defendant by surprise within 30 to 60 days after a judgment. After a judgment is recorded, a Plaintiff files paperwork called a Citation to Discover Assets. A Citation to Discover Assets are a deposition under oath with the purpose of finding your money and assets to collect on money that is owed to you. A common tactic is fear because Defendants are likely to pay a Plaintiff if they fear something such as a lien against their home or losing their home. The problem is most Defendant's attorneys do not properly explain the Post-Judgment proceedings because most Defendant attorneys do not practice a lot in the Post-Judgment proceedings. Defendants must expect that a Plaintiff will issue a Wage Garnishment Order to their bank and freeze their accounts. This will cause NSF fees, bounced checks, and Plaintiff to get money that Defendant is legally entitled to. Most Defendants fail to anticipate this and know how to properly prepare for this. In Illinois, a Defendant has certain exemptions under the law. The most common exemption is $4,000 personal property wildcard exemption. This wildcard exemption is to allow a Defendant to protect their bank account or cars (i.e. personal property) from a Plaintiff. However, most Defendants do not know how to properly file the paperwork claiming their wildcard exemption. This means Defendants lose their money and are caught off guard during already difficult and trying financial circumstances. An experienced attorney that anticipates a Plaintiff's attorneys' responses prior to them, can inform and educate a Client on what to expect. A prepared and educated a Defendant is a Defendant that is more financially secure.
Sean Robertson is an attorney that assists Defendants in Cook County at the Circuit Court of Cook County with post-judgment and post-trial litigation. Sean Robertson can be reached at (312) 498-6080 or Sean@RobertsonLawGroup.com.