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Enforcing a Judgment Through a Citation to Discover Assets to Debtor

Posted on in Debt Collection

chicago judgment enforcement lawyerThere are numerous situations where creditors may need to take legal action to collect debts, including by filing a lawsuit against a debtor and obtaining a legal judgment. After receiving a judgment, a creditor will then need to enforce the judgment, and they may be able to collect what is owed by seizing a debtor's assets or garnishing their wages. However, before doing so, a creditor may need to use a citation to discover assets to determine the financial resources available to the debtor that may be used to pay the amount owed. 

While citations can be served on multiple parties, including a financial institution or a debtor's employer, a Citation to Discover Assets to Debtor may be served to the debtor themselves, and it will require them to appear in court and answer questions about their assets and income. By understanding the procedures followed in these types of citations, creditors can ensure that they will be able to uncover the necessary information and compel a debtor to make payments or turn over assets.

Step 1: File the Citation in Court 

A creditor will first need to file a Citation to Discover Assets to Debtor form in the circuit court of the county where the judgment was entered. This form will include the debtor's name and address and information about what is owed. This information may include the date the judgment was entered, the amount of the judgment, and the remaining amount that needs to be paid, including the creditor's court costs and any interest that has been applied after the judgment was entered. 

Step 2: Serve the Citation to the Debtor

A sheriff or process server may be used to deliver the form to the debtor and ensure that they know when they will be required to appear in court. The documents provided to the debtor will inform them of the information they will be required to bring to court, as well as the exemptions that will apply to them. After the documents are served to the debtor, the creditor will receive an Affidavit of Service, which must be filed with the circuit court clerk. The debtor will also be provided with an Income and Asset Form that they must fill out and bring to court.

Step 3: Appear in Court

At the court date, the creditor will be able to ask the debtor questions about their income and assets and review the information provided on the Income and Asset Form. The creditor may reach an agreement with the debtor to create a payment plan or make other arrangements for paying what is owed, such as turning over certain assets. If an agreement cannot be reached, the creditor may present information about the debtor's income and assets to the judge and ask them to make decisions about how the judgment will be collected. The judge may order the debtor to turn over certain non-exempt assets, or they may allow the creditor to garnish the debtor's wages to collect the judgment. 

If necessary, additional action may need to be taken to collect assets that are held by a third party, such as a bank or the debtor's employer. If the debtor fails to show up at the scheduled court date, the judge may issue a Rule to Show Cause that will require the debtor to appear at a future date, and if necessary, the debtor may be held in contempt of court and arrested.

Contact Our Chicago Judgment Enforcement Lawyers

Enforcing a judgment through the citation process can be complicated and time-consuming, but it can ultimately ensure that a creditor will be able to recover what is owed to them. Creditors should take care to ensure that all steps are followed precisely during this process, which will help them avoid any delays or complications that could affect their ability to collect money or assets from a debtor. At Dimand Walinski Law Offices, P.C., our Illinois debt collection attorneys can help creditors follow the correct procedures in these cases, and we will advocate for their rights and interests throughout the judgment enforcement process. Call 312-704-0771 to set up a consultation and learn how we can assist with debt-related issues.


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