If you are an Illinois resident living in Joliet or Will County, Illinois and are currently having, or expect to have your wages garnished, filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy may stop the garnishment. Wage garnishment happens when a creditor gets a money judgment against a debtor in court. The judgment will then be sent to the sheriff who will contact the employer who will withhold a portion of the paycheck.

When an Illinois resident files for chapter 7 bankruptcy, they are immediately protected from creditors. After filing chapter 7, there is an automatic stay imposed. This stay stops creditors from taking any collection action against the Joliet or Will County resident who has filed for chapter 7, including wage garnishment. There are a few exceptions to this stay.
Child support actions will not be prohibited or stayed during a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. A creditor can also go to court and ask a judge to lift the stay, but that rarely, if ever, happens. After a person in Illinois has filed chapter 7, the court will send a letter to all creditors notifying them of the bankruptcy. The creditors then have a duty to contact the employer and suspend the wage garnishment.

The wage garnishment can and will continue after the bankruptcy proceeding unless the debt is discharged, which most of the time it will be. The stay ends when the bankruptcy is over. However, if a Joliet or Will County resident has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and it was dismissed within one year of the current filing, the stay will only last 30 days. If you have filed for bankruptcy twice within the last year the automatic stay will not kick in. In this situation a person can ask the court to impose the stay.

If you are an Illinois resident living in Will County or Joliet and are having your wages garnished, filing chapter 7 could prove beneficial. To determine what is best for you contact Hamilton & Antonsen at 815.729.9220 to set up a complimentary consultation with an experience bankruptcy attorney.