If you were sued on a consumer debt and a judgment is entered against you, Illinois law still provides you with rights to make sure that judgment is being collected fairly. One method a judgment creditor will use to try and collect from you is called a “Citation to Discover Assets.”
If you are served with a Citation, it is best to speak with an attorney first. Organizations such as CARPLS https://www.carpls.org/ and Illinois Legal Aid Online http://www.illinoislegalaidonline.org/ have resources available that may assist you. But here are some general tips.
If you receive a citation, you will be asked to appear in court on a particular date and discuss your assets. You may be asked to bring certain documents with you (such as pay stubs or tax returns). You will be asked questions such as: Do you own a home? A car? Do you work full-time? Do you have checking and savings accounts?
You must answer these questions honestly but if you feel like the collector is badgering you or going on a true “fishing expedition,” and asking irrelevant questions that do not have to do with your ability to pay the judgment, ask the Judge for help.
Also, if any of your income comes from Social Security, disability or child/spousal support, make sure to let the collector know right away. Unemployment compensation, public assistance benefits, veteran’s benefits, pensions, and other retirement benefits are some of the types of income and property that may be exempt from collection.
Remember – collectors cannot take more from you than the law allows so don’t be intimidated from exercising your rights to claim exemptions.