If you have a monetary judgment, you can garnish the defendant’s earnings or bank account on your own.
- Garnishor – the person or company holding the judgment and entitled to garnish
- Garnishee – the employer or bank to which the garnishment will be sent
- Debtor – the defendant who owes money under the judgment
You can find garnishment forms and instructions on the 13th Judicial Circuit’s website:
- Garnishment Collection Procedures
- Garnishment Application and Order Form
- Interrogatories to Garnishee Form
- Statement of Judgment Balance Remaining Due Form
- Instructions for Statement of Judgment Balance Remaining Due Form
Garnishment Period and Limitation
The minimum garnishment period is 30 days – this is the period you would usually select to garnish a bank account.
For wage garnishments, you can have the garnishment issued for 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 or 180 days, or you can specify that it will be continuous. If you specify a continuous wage garnishment, you must file with the court a Statement of Judgment Balance Remaining Due every six months.
Wage garnishment limitation: Wage garnishments are limited to 25% of the debtor’s after-tax income if the debtor has no dependents, or 10% of after-tax income if the debtor has one or more dependents. A dependent is defined in the law as a person who is wholly or partially dependent on the debtor for financial support and the necessities of life.
- Compute the amount due using our garnishment computation worksheet and write the amounts on the Garnishment Application and Order. Use our days-of-year chart to determine the number of days for interest computation.
- Complete the remainder of the Garnishment Application and Order. It is recommended that you specify that garnishment proceeds be sent directly to you rather than the court clerk.
- Complete the necessary blanks on the Interrogatories to Garnishee form.
- Take the Garnishment Application and Order and Interrogatories to Garnishee to the garnishments clerk at the Boone County Courthouse along with the filing fee. The fee is $40 for a garnishment to be served on a bank or employer in Boone County. If the garnishment will be served in another county, a separate business check or money order for $10 payable to that county must be submitted. Be prepared to pay the basic $40 fee by business check, money order or cash because personal checks are not accepted. Check here to make sure these fee amounts are still correct at the time you file.
- The court clerk will transmit the garnishment order and interrogatories to the sheriff for service on the garnishee. The garnishment order will specify a return date.
- The garnishee is required by law to respond to the garnishment interrogatories within 10 days of the specified return date, or, in the case of a continuous wage garnishment, within 20 days after being served with the garnishment.
- The answers to the garnishment interrogatories should tell you if there is money in the debtor’s bank account or if the debtor’s wages are subject to garnishment. If so, the garnishee is required by law to send you the money, subject to the wage garnishment limitations mentioned above. In the case of wage garnishments, you may receive multiple checks during the time the garnishment is active.
- When the judgment has been paid in full, you are required by law to file a “Satisfaction of Judgment” with the court. You can also terminate the garnishment at the same time using this form.
- If you receive more money from the garnishment than you are entitled to, you are required by law to refund the excess payment to the debtor.
Besides the wage garnishment limitation mentioned above, there are other possible statutory garnishment exemptions. The debtor is required to file a document with the court claiming these exemptions. If you believe the debtor is not entitled to a claimed exemption, you can file a request with the court to review the claim.
If the garnishee fails to answer the garnishment interrogatories, a motion can be filed with the court to order the garnishee to answer the interrogatories by a specified date. If the garnishee still fails to answer the interrogatories after the specified date, a motion can be filed with the court to enter judgment against the garnishee for the amount that should have been garnished under the judgment.
In both of the situations above, you may need the assistance of a collection lawyer. This is a service we do not provide.
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