I see all kinds of potential clients each week who are struggling financially. I know that as an Alsip bankruptcy attorney, approximately seventy-five percent of the people that come to see me are in need of a fresh start. Those people are struggling with medical bills and credit card bills, typically. They are working, they are living paycheck to paycheck, they are struggling to make ends meet, and they are being harassed by creditors. Sometimes the harassment is simply a phone call or a letter. In other cases, the harassment leads to a lawsuit, a garnishment, or a bank citation. When someone has a lawsuit against them in the state of Illinois and it goes to a judgment, the judgment accrues interest at the rate of nine percent per year. If the person does not make any headway to pay off the debt, the interest alone starts to add significantly to the total amount due. This is the time that someone should try to find a bankruptcy lawyer. If not, the creditor who had a judgment can then file a wage garnishment and deduct 15 percent of the person’s wages per pay period. The creditor who has a judgment may also file a bank citation if the creditor knows where you bank.
Creditors are very savvy, and there are programs out there and sources out there that will allow them to find out if you’re working and where you bank. The bank citation will effectively freeze your bank account for up to two times the judgment amount. Anything over two times the judgment amount, you would be free to use in your bank account. However, usually people struggling with debt do not have a lot of money in the bank account, but they do have some money in the bank account to pay their monthly bills out of. In the case of a bank citation, that account is going to be frozen, and a future court date is going to be set where the creditor is going to ask for a turnover of those funds being held up to the judgment amount. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can avoid this turnover order, provided the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed prior to the date of the turnover order. So timing is very important in these types of cases. If you wait to file a bankruptcy, you might have lost your right to get those funds back to you.
For detailed information about debt relief and about finding the right attorney to handle your case, contact your local bar association who can help your find a local bankruptcy lawyer.