I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
A Summons is a Notice to Appear. When a person who is being sued does not appear, they automatically lose the case. That also means, you'd be forfeiting the right to defend yourself. Now, if you admit that you owe the amount of money they're asking for, you can make the decision to save the time of going to court. But if you dispute either owning them ANYTHING or owing the amount they're currently seeking, you'll have to go to court to defend yourself. You can't appeal a judgment if you've been served with notice of the suit and not appeared in court.
Illinois law allows a creditor to use a judgment to garnish up to 15% of your wages, as long as your weekly earnings exceed $371.25. They can also use it to take funds in any bank account with your name on it, including joint accounts. They could also use it to put a lien on your home, if you own it. The first $15,000 in equity is exempt ($30,000 if you own it with a spouse), but the lien will stay for 7 years.
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