Wage Garnishments – The Law In Illinois

How did my wages get garnished?

  1. First, a creditor filed a lawsuit;
  2. Then the creditor got a judgment;
  3. Finally, since they know where you work, they sent the Wage Garnishment.

“I didn’t know I was sued.” That is not uncommon. But, the Clerk of the Court will show a judgment against you.

A Wage Garnishment demands that your employer pays them 15% of your gross income: not net income. For example, gross income is $600 per week the deduction is $90.

What Are Your Options?

In Illinois, lawmakers have left you with few choices when you get a brick on your check. You can pay the full judgment (not likely);

  1. Offer a repayment plan to the creditor (rarely works);
  2. Quit your job (not a good idea);
  3. Grin and bear it (thinking it ends soon ,but that may not be true);
  4. File a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and stop the Garnishment now so you can get your finances in order.

What is the fastest way to stop the Garnishment? Immediately call a lawyer who concentrates in Bankruptcy law.

The Law Firm of Robert J Adams can file a Bankruptcy in one day. No money but a good job? We can file your case "NO MONEY DOWN."

Call us at (312) 872-8443. A lawyer is available 7 AM to 7 PM every day, including Saturday and Sunday.

The Law On Wage Garnishments In Illinois

A creditor obtains a money judgment against you. Then they serve your employer with a) a Wage Deduction Order, or: b) a Citation to Discover Assets on a 3rd party. The 3rd party is your employer.

Most collection lawyers use the Citation. Why? They get a treasure trove of information about you. Such as:

  1. Your bank account; (Many employers now pay by direct deposit.)
  2. Your home address and phone number; and,
  3. If you recently left that place of employment your new employer, if known.

When the creditor sends the garnishment they add:

  1. Court costs ($85 to $145 and sometimes more);
  2. Accrued interest from the date of the judgment;
  3. The deductions continue until paid in full.

Your employer must honor the garnishment. If they don’t they will become liable for the entire amount of the judgment. Don’t wait to contact a wage garnishment attorney in Chicago.

Limitations On A Wage Garnish Order

Do you pay child support? That amount will be deducted from the 15%. An example wage-$600; 15% is $90; child support order is $40, the wage deduction is $50.

Illinois law has an exemption of 45 times the state of Illinois weekly minimum wages. Currently, the State of Illinois’ minimum wage is $11 per hour. You should be able to take home $495 of your disposable income.

Additional Matters

  1. A Wage Garnishment does not stop a creditor from pursuing other collection tactics:
    • Garnishing bank accounts and/or credit union accounts;
    • Filing judgment liens.
  2. Employers can charge a service fee for each pay period;
  3. Overtime pay and bonuses are subject to garnishment. So even if you earn extra money, your creditors benefit.
  4. The law prohibits an employer from firing an employee for the first garnishment. There is no protection from a second garnishment. Employers can look for other reasons to fire an employee.
  5. A Bankruptcy filing only protects further wages. Any amount already deducted is lost to the creditor.
  6. Can you appeal to the court that the Wage Garnishment is an undue hardship?  It will not work.

Others Who Can Attach Your Paycheck Without A Judgment

  1. The IRS can levy your paycheck;
  2. The government for back child support;
  3. The federal government for student loans.
  4. The State of Illinois for certain debts.

Recent Posts