Commercial Collections: Enforcing Your Judgment

If you have filed suit and the court has entered a commercial collections judgment in your favor, it is doubtful that the defendant has whipped out their check book and paid you on the spot. Many times post-judgment or supplemental proceedings must take place for you to enforce and collect on your judgment. Several options to collect the judgment are available to you under Illinois law.

Issue a Citation to Discover Assets

The first step usually is to issue a Citation to Discover Assets. A citation requires a debtor to appear in court and produce documents such as tax returns, bank records, vehicle titles, and pay stubs. The citation also allows you to take an examination of the debtor under oath. The examination may reveal additional assets the debtor may have that you can use to collect your judgment.

The documents obtained from the citation to discover assets allows you to determine three important facts: 1) is the debtor employed; 2) Do they have bank accounts; and 3) Does the debtor own real estate? With this information, you can use additional commercial collections tools.

Issue a Wage Deduction

First, if the debtor is employed, you can issue a wage deduction against the debtor’s employer. Notwithstanding some exceptions, a wage deduction allows you to collect 15% of the debtor’s gross wages.

Issue a Third-Party Citation

Next, if a bank account is found, a third-party citation can be issued against the debtor’s bank. A third-party citation requires the bank to “freeze” the debtor’s account. A court order then may be obtained to turn over the funds to you to satisfy the judgment.

Record a Memorandum of Judgment

Lastly, if the debtor owns real estate, a Memorandum of Judgment can be recorded against their property. A Memorandum of Judgment places a lien on the debtor’s property which interferes with the debtor’s attempt to sell. In certain circumstances you can file suit to foreclose the lien and force a sale of the property to help satisfy the judgment.

Consult the Commercial Collections Experts

As you can see, there are many ways to collect and enforce a judgment which you have obtained. However, there are many exceptions, exemptions, and nuances to the above which require an understanding of the law. Allow an experienced commercial collections attorney at Sullivan Hincks & Conway to help you collect and enforce your judgment.