On April 14, 2020, by executive order, Governor Pritzker temporarily suspended all consumer creditor judgment collection practices. The suspension is for the duration of the shelter- at-home order which is currently running through April 30, 2020, but we expect that it will be extended into May.
We applaud the Governor for taking this action to benefit consumer Debtors. What does this mean for you? If you have had a creditor lawsuit filed against you, even if the creditor obtains a judgment in the lawsuit, the creditor will be temporarily unable to collect the judgment. While we are under this order, your bank account is safe, and your wages are safe. If you own real estate, however, the creditor can still obtain a lien against the property, provided the creditor has obtained a judgment.
The effect of this executive order for those of you considering filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is that right now, you don’t need to rush. We can take our time preparing your petition and schedules and make sure that everything is accurate and all information is correct. We can ensure that we do the appropriate planning. Rushing into bankruptcy on an emergency basis is never ideal.
We can expect that when this executive order is lifted, creditors will be running to the courthouse to file their post-judgment motions, citations, and wage deductions. Don’t get caught in this maelstrom. If you feel that bankruptcy may be in your near future, let’s talk about it now before it becomes an emergency later. We can, at the minimum, advise you on how to prepare for filing to make the process go much more smoothly for you when it is time to file the case.