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How Long Does a Judgement Last in Illinois

How Long Does a Judgement Last in Illinois?

A judgment is a legal decision made by a court that determines the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a lawsuit. In Illinois, a judgment can have significant consequences for both the party who obtained the judgment (the “judgment creditor”) and the party against whom the judgment was entered (the “judgment debtor”). One common question that arises in this context is, “How long does a judgment last in Illinois?” In this article, we will explore the duration of judgments in Illinois and answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Duration of Judgments in Illinois:
In Illinois, a judgment is valid for a period of 20 years from the date it is entered. This means that the judgment creditor has 20 years to attempt to collect the debt owed to them by the judgment debtor. However, it is important to note that this does not mean the judgment automatically expires after 20 years. Instead, it simply means that the judgment creditor has 20 years to enforce the judgment through various legal means.

Methods of Enforcing Judgments:
There are several methods available to a judgment creditor to enforce a judgment in Illinois. Some common methods include:

1. Wage garnishment: A judgment creditor may request the court to garnish the judgment debtor’s wages, allowing them to collect a portion of the debtor’s earnings each pay period until the judgment is satisfied.

2. Bank account levy: A judgment creditor can seek a court order to freeze the judgment debtor’s bank account and seize funds to satisfy the judgment.

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3. Property lien: A judgment creditor can place a lien on the judgment debtor’s real property, preventing them from selling or refinancing the property until the judgment is paid.

4. Asset seizure: In certain circumstances, a judgment creditor may be able to seize and sell the judgment debtor’s assets to satisfy the judgment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can a judgment be renewed in Illinois?
A: Yes, a judgment in Illinois can be renewed for an additional 20-year period. To renew a judgment, the judgment creditor must file a renewal application with the court before the expiration of the initial 20-year period.

Q: Can a judgment be discharged in bankruptcy?
A: Yes, a judgment can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, certain types of debts, such as those arising from fraud or intentional misconduct, may not be dischargeable. It is advisable to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the specific implications of bankruptcy on a judgment.

Q: Can a judgment be removed from my credit report?
A: Generally, a judgment will remain on your credit report for seven years from the date it was entered. However, if the judgment is paid in full, it may be possible to have it removed from your credit report sooner. You can contact the credit reporting agencies to inquire about the process for removing a satisfied judgment from your credit report.

Q: Can a judgment affect my ability to obtain credit?
A: Yes, a judgment can have a negative impact on your creditworthiness and make it more difficult to obtain credit. Lenders and creditors may view a judgment as a red flag indicating a higher risk of defaulting on future debts.

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Q: Can a judgment be settled for a lesser amount?
A: It is possible to negotiate a settlement with the judgment creditor for a lesser amount than the original judgment. This can be done through direct negotiation or with the assistance of a debt settlement attorney.

In conclusion, a judgment in Illinois lasts for a period of 20 years, during which the judgment creditor has the right to enforce the judgment through various legal means. Understanding the duration of judgments and the available methods of enforcement is crucial for both judgment creditors and debtors. If you find yourself involved in a judgment situation, seeking professional legal advice is highly recommended to navigate the complexities of the legal system.

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