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*Wage Garnishment Question*

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What is the name of your state? Illinois

In the state of Illinois, they state that wages can be garnished up to 15%.

-Lets say the person's monthly gross income is $4000.00
-15% of this is $600.00
-Person is paid every 2 weeks (bi-weekly)

Would the $600.00 per month be divided between the two monthly pay checks ($300.00 bi-weekly) or is the $600.00 deducted once a month in a lump sum (say at the end of the month)?

Also, am I correct in my thinking of how the 15% is calculated? It would not be $600.00 every two weeks that is deducted would it? That would make for then 30% monthly.

I am trying to help someone out after a devorce situation. This person is a single mother with 3 kids.

Thank you kindly in advance for your responses!


Senior Member
You might want to read this and explore the site itself

Illinois Law Help


"How Much Money Can Be Taken From Your Wages?
When the employer receives the summons, only a portion of your wages can be deducted and withheld from you. The employer is not allowed to deduct from any of your weekly take-home pay (i.e., after taxes and Social Security are deducted) that is 45 times the federal minimum wage, or less. Right now, the federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. This means that you are always entitled to take home at least $231.75 of your wages per week. If you make less than this amount, no wages can be deducted. If you make more than this amount per week, the employer can deduct the lesser of the following two amounts:

(1) 15% of your weekly gross wages, or
(2) the amount of your take-home pay over and above $231.75. "
Thank you kindly for your response.

I am trying to help my fiance with this situation. She has received a judgement for the amount due, and has been told that they are going to proceed with wage deducton.

I am trying my best to help her with this.

Is it possible at this point to negotiate a settlement with the collection agency that has filed the wage deduction notice?

I called them today and they indicated that the creditor would accept a payment of 85% of the amount due.

The way I see it, is that if she ends up filing BK, they won't get anything. With this in mind, is this the best I can hope for trying to get a settlement with them at this point?

Am I able to contact the original creditor vs. the collection agency to discuss this with them?

Thank you again in advance for your assistance and knowledge.


Senior Member
Yes, you most certainly can still negotiate. 85% is pretty high, but with a judgment in hand, knowing they can probably get 100% thru garnishment, they may not budge. On the other hand, depending on the amount, they may be willing to settle to get paid faster, even at a lesser amount.

Make a settelment offer, in writing, and try for 50% to start. Don't agree to anything unless you get a written agreement. They may balk at 50%, so keep negotiating. The threat of bankruptcy, if its a real consideration for her, may induce them to take less than what they demand, but they also hear that threat daily.

Whether or not you can negotiate with the OC depends on whether or not they still owned the debt. Most, once a debt is charged-off, won't talk to you any more.
Thank you.

Is it true that even if you settle with them for say 50% or so, that they can still come after her for the remainder in a different mannor?

Thank you again.


Senior Member
That depends, it does happen. If they agree to a settlement, get a letter of satisfaction for the judgment. That goes to the courthouse and the judgment is updated and basically closed out. It will still be on her report for a while, but it may be disputable down the road.

They should NOT be able to sell any remainder at that point. If this were a simple collection, then yes, its typical for them to re-sell the remainder and you fight someone else later. That's why its imperitive to get the settlement agreement in writing and keep that puppy for..well.. forever. If anyone comes sniffing around later, you shove the settlement agreement at them and tell 'em to kiss off.
I also have a joint account with her, in which we have less than $2000 in to pay bills, mortgage etc... on a monthly basis.

1) Can they do anything with our joint checking account, and/or how would they even know where the accout is at if this was the case. We have/would never disclose this information to them or anyone else for that matter.

2) If they follow through with a wage deduction, would they try to get other monies elseware (checking account with less than $2000 monthly) if they are already getting it through a wage deduction from her employer?

3) Again, if they follow through with a wage deduction (15% in Illinois) I know she will get a letter from her employer stating such approx. 15 days prior to the deduction starting. After this notification is recieved from the employer, what if anything can she do to reduce the amount they want to deduct?

She is a single mother with 3 kids and files as Head of Household if this makes any difference.

Thanks again for your knowledge and assistance.


Senior Member
1 - Yes, if her name is on that checking account, they can go after it. You'd then have to prove what part of that money was YOURS and it takes a while to get it back once taken.

If they don't know about it now, they may find out later. If garnishment isn't enough, they can pull her into court for a debtor's examination in which she must reveal her entire financial picture and disclose everything. Refusing to do so could land her in jail for contempt of court. If they don't actually have her appear in court, they may just send interrogatories, which amounts to the same thing - she has to answer and reveal it all.

2 - Its possible they could also go for the bank accounts and non-exempt assets. A lot depends on how much she owes and how fast they want their money.

3 - She should get some notification and also get instructions on how to appeal the garnishment. It IS possible she could make a case for hardship and get the judge to reduce the garnishment amount. I don't think head of household has any bearing in IL, I'd have to check.
They are coming after her for $8000 and her monthly gross is about $4000 so they would get approx $600 per month figuring the 15% here in Illinois. Would this be "enough" for them?

(This is through a collection agency, from a Capitol One account)

Should I have her name taken off of this account and have her open her own account, or just open another account for myself to use for paying our monthly bills?

(This joint account is used for paying our monthly bills and only has between $300 and $1500 depending on time of month and bills being due)

Thanks again!
Last edited:


Senior Member
Dealing with Crap1 - definitely get her her own account, keep her name OFF of any bank account. Crap1 is a nasty customer.

There's no way to say if $600 a month will be enough to keep them from attempting to seize other assets, I just wouldn't take any chances.
Bank accounts were already taken care of, and it looks as though she'll be filing BK. She is going to talk to another BK attny on Saturday.

Anyone know what the costs are for CH13?

Thanks again for your knowledge. I know myself as well as MANY others appreciate your assistance!


Senior Member
Any particular reasons for a Ch 13 instead of a 7 ?
Does she have assets over and above the exemptions to protect ?? Does she have a lot of disposable income ?

If she has none of those things, then Ch 7 is not only quicker, its also cheaper. Ch 13 costs a LOT more money 'cause you're paying a lawyer for 3-5 years !!
LadynRed, just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your assistance with my questions.

-I just recieved a call from the CA who stated that the OC will accept payment of 50% and will give me 30 days to pay this.

They indicated that payment needed to be in the form of Money Order or Cashiers Check, and that the judgement would be listed as paid in full.

They are going to send this to me in writing.

Anything I should check/watch out for with this settlement?

Thank you.


Senior Member
Make sure you get a signed agreement from them.

Make sure it also includes that they will file a satisfaction of the judgement with the court and get a copy of that letter of satisfaction. Then make sure she keeps it for a long, long time.
This is what they told me they were going to send to me. I will check it to make sure that everything is what is says it should be.

Thank you again for your assistance/guidence.

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