Enforcing a Student Loan Judgment

April 16, 2015

Losing a student loan lawsuit brought by your lender may seem like the end of the road, but know that you can still protect your income and assets from seizure with the help of a student loan attorney.  JRQ & Associates will fight to protect your wages, government benefits and property, even after a lawsuit judgment has been entered against you.

 

Private lenders (and occasionally the Federal government) can bring a lawsuit against you if you have defaulted on your student loan.  Fortunately, winning the student loan lawsuit is only the first step.  The lender has to then enforce the judgment against you, and must do so within the legal confines of Federal and state law.

 

Federal and Illinois law limit collection efforts, which may mean that you could be partially or completely judgment-proof.  Continue reading to find out if your wages and property are exempt from collection.

 

The list of exemptions below is not exhaustive, which is why it is important to contact a student loan attorney at JRQ & Associates in order to make sure all of your available exemptions are properly claimed and protected from a judgment.

 

General Exemptions

 

  • Clothing, family pictures, other personal property
  • Up to $2,400.00 of value in any vehicle
  • Up to $4,000.00 of value in any property.  Can be added to the vehicle exemption or used to cover other property
  • Up to $1,500.00 of value in any professional books or tools for a trade
  • Money from the sale of exempt property
  • Up to $15,000.00 of a personal injury settlement to you or a dependent
  • Proceeds from a wrongful death settlement, and occasionally from life insurance

 

Homestead Exemption

 

  • Up to $15.000 of equity in a home or condo.
  • This exemption can be combined into $30,000 for spouses
  • If the equity in your home is higher than this amount, the creditor can force a sale and you will only be allowed to keep up to $15,000 (or $30,000 for a married couple) of the proceeds of the sale.  However, the creditor may also be content placing a lien on your property and the equity in your home will be protected as long as you do not sell the property.

 

Income Exemptions

 

  • If your take-home pay is more than $371.25 per week, the most that can be garnished is 15% of your weekly gross pay
  • Pension payments, spousal support (alimony or maintenance) are exempt only to the extent needed for personal support and the support of dependents
  • Social Security, public aid, veterans benefits and workers compensation are generally exempt

 

Claiming Exemptions

 

  • If the garnishment process has already started and you have received a notice or citation, you should contact a student loan attorney at JRQ & Associates for help immediately
  • You may have to go to court to enforce your exemption rights and you may have to request a hearing where you or an attorney on your behalf proves your exemption rights.

 

If you are facing, or have lost, a student loan lawsuit, you should immediately contact an experienced student loan attorney at JRQ & Associates for help protecting your remaining income and assets.  You may qualify for exemptions that could prevent creditors from going after your property, even after a judgment is obtained. Find out how to prove and preserve these exemptions by setting up a consultation with a student loan lawyer at JRQ & Associates today.

 

 

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The photographs on the homepage slideshow are attributed and used under the following:  Chicago River © flickr user Mindfrieze under licence CC BY-SA 2.0

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