Bank Garnishment and What Can I Do?

Creditors can only garnish your bank account after they obtain a judgment.

Types of Bank Garnishments

  • Bank Garnishment. Takes your money on hand up to the judgment amount;
  • Citation to Discover Assets of a 3rd Party (Your bank). Not only takes money on hand but any deposits thereafter. So if you get paid through direct deposit they can grab that too.

Amount Your Bank Will Freeze

The law requires that the bank freezes double the amount of the judgment. For example: judgment is $3,000 the bank will freeze $6,000.

Joint Accounts

The law presumes all funds are yours. The joint account owner has the obligation to file a motion and proof the funds are his or hers.


Illinois allows an exemption of $4,000. However, the burden is on you. You should appear on the return date to claim the exemption. If the return date is far off you can file a motion and when heard claim your exemption.

Limitations: CAN’T TAKE. The following is for funds deposited within the last 60 days

  • Public Aid/Link/Snap benefits
  • Social security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Worker’s Compensation and Black Lung payments
  • Support and alimony
  • Pensions
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Funds from the sale of a home or a personal injury settlement (subject to allowable exemption limits)


Filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 should stop the garnishment.


Articles are not to be regarded as legal advice; only general information. If you are considering filing Bankruptcy you should consult a lawyer. Hopefully you will Robert J. Adams & Associates.

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