What happens if the defendant does not pay the judgment?

If the defendant refuses to pay you the money you were awarded in the judgment, you must begin collection proceedings against him or her. Neither the Court nor the Clerk will collect the money for you.

If you know where the defendant is employed, collection proceedings may be done with a wage deduction summons. If you know where the defendant has bank accounts, collection may be done with a non-wage garnishment summons. The parties to whom you direct the Wage Deduction Summons or Non-Wage Garnishment Summons must file a sworn answer with the Circuit Clerk's Office. After that document has been filed, you must appear in court and the Court will then enter a Judgment against the garnishee (defendant) for the amount shown in the sworn return and give you a turn over order. A certified copy of this order should be sent to the garnishee. You may use this step as often as necessary for the collection of the total judgment awarded plus the additional costs.

If you do not know where the defendant works, has bank accounts, or owns property, you may have the Clerk issue a citation to discover assets. This requires the defendant to appear in court where he/she will be placed under oath and must answer questions from you concerning employment, locations of banking accounts and other sources of income, as well as property he or she may own.

The Circuit Clerk's Office is able to provide you with the necessary forms for the collection of a judgment. Post judgement collection forms can be found at Illinois Courts website. Any additional costs of collection can be added to the amount recoverable from the defendant, but if the defendant is truly without assets, you may end up wasting additional money. Make sure that the person you are suing has assets, income or property before you file your complaint.

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1. Can corporations sue, or be sued, and how do they defend themselves?
2. How do you file a Small Claims Complaint?
3. How do you respond to a small claims complaint?
4. What court date should I set?
5. What do I do before the trial?
6. What happens after the judgment is collected?
7. What happens after the trial?
8. What happens at the trial?
9. What happens if the case is settled before the court date?
10. What happens if the defendant does not pay the judgment?
11. What if the defendant (the person you are suing) is a corporation?
12. What is Small Claims Court?
13. Where do I file the complaint?
14. Where do I get the forms I need to file a Small Claims Complaint?
15. Where is it located?
16. Who can use Small Claims Court?