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What is 'non-wage garnishment' in Illinois?

The use of credit cards has been rising in the United States for decades. The result of a cost of living, including medical costs and other sometimes unexpected necessities, that has tended to outstrip real wage gains for the working class, has been that many people are thousands of dollars in debt. Add in the prevalence of high-interest rate cards being available for people with less satisfactory credit, and the pushing by the popular media of a consumer mindset, and you have the makings of a debt crisis in Illinois and across the country.

When someone is deep in debt, he or she may end up facing the prospect of debt collection and even a lawsuit. The point of a lawsuit is often to reduce the debt to a judgement which can be enforced by certain judicial actions. These can include liens placed on property, like a house, garnishment of the wages paid by a worker's employer, and another action known as 'non-wage garnishment' in Illinois.

While wage garnishment takes money before it gets to the debtor, non-wage garnishment is similar to what may be called a 'levy' in other places, and it can be applied to money that has already been received. With a certain type of legal notice to a financial institution, a creditor may be able to actually take money right out of a debtor's account. In Illinois, the law does allow a debtor to exempt up to $4,000 in personal property from such non-wage garnishment.

Being subject to the legal processes of debt collectors can be incredibly stressful. Worrying about things that may or may not happen is usually not productive, but seeking possible solutions might be. Filing bankruptcy might be one of these solutions, as well as asserting any potential rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but situations will vary. Those who wonder what they might do about their unpayable credit card debt may wish to consider consulting an experienced Illinois attorney.

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