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Being Thorough with Citation to Discover Assets

Posted on in Debt Collection

Being Thorough with Citation to Discover AssetsAfter a judge rules that a debtor must repay a creditor, the two parties will often find themselves back in court as part of the debt collection process. The creditor has several tools at its disposal, such as wage garnishment and seizing collateral property. However, the process must start with determining what resources the debtor has available. In Illinois, a creditor can file a Citation to Discover Assets, which compels the debtor to appear in court and answer questions under oath. With this opportunity, it is important for the creditor to ask questions that will help it uncover the debtor’s true asset values.

Leading Up to Court Appearance

The process starts with filing the Citation to Discover Assets with the local court and serving notice to the debtor. As part of the notice, the creditor can request that the debtor prepares specified financial documents for the hearing. Illinois law requires creditors to include an Income and Asset Form as part of the citation. Debtors must respond to a series of written questions meant to determine:

  • Their income and employee benefits;
  • Other benefits they receive if unemployed;
  • Real estate and land interests that they own;
  • Checking and savings account values; and
  • Valuable properties they own.

A court may hold a debtor in contempt for not appearing at the scheduled hearing or cooperating with the questioning. However, the debtor may be able to stop the citation by filing for bankruptcy, as long as the debt is eligible for discharge.

Day in Court

The court hearing for the Citation to Discover Assets is an important chance for the creditor to directly question the debtor. Written answers and supplied documents may not provide all of the information that the creditor needs to know or may create further questions. The debtor may be trying to hide assets or mislead the creditor about his or her true income. The creditor can request a continuance if the debtor comes to the hearing unprepared, at which point the court may order the debtor to provide specified documents. The creditor can also file a Citation to Discover Assets with a third party, such as the debtor’s bank or employer.

Citation Results

Upon discovering the debtor’s available assets, the creditor may proceed with efforts to garnish wages or force the debtor to turn over his or her collateral property. The debtor also has the right to claim exemptions on certain properties. A Chicago debt collection attorney at Walinski & Associates, P.C., helps creditors with discovering and collecting debtor assets. To schedule a consultation, call 312-704-0771.


Illinois Creditors Bar Association Chicago Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association
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