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Back to Basics: How to Revive A Judgment

I often tell my clients that a judgment is merely a piece of paper.You may have won the case, but the next step, collection, is actually just as hard, if not harder.Sometimes it takes a while.Judgments only are good for seven years.However you can revive the judgment for additional time. This article is a brief summary of how to revive a judgment.

A judgment may be revived by filing a petition to revive it in the seventh year after its entry, or in the seventh year after its last revival, or in the twentieth year after its entry, or at any other time within 20 years after its entry if the judgment becomes dormant. The Illinois statute which provides for revival is 735 ILCS 5/2-1602.

Previously, you had to wait for the judgement to go dormant before you were able to revive it.However, that is no longer the case.You can start and complete the revival before your judgment goes dormant so you do not lose your place in line.

To revive, you have to file a petition.A petition to revive a judgment should be filed in the original case in which the judgment was entered. The petition should include a statement as to the original date and amount of the judgment, court costs expended, accrued interest, and credits to the judgment, if any.You do not have to file a new action.This is great for the creditor, since its less work, and easier on the accounting.It is also good for the debtor, since he or she will not have another collection lawsuit on their credit report.

The creditor has to serve the notice of petition to revive a judgment in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 106. The order in the revival petition shall be for the original amount of the judgment. The plaintiff may recover interest and court costs from the date of the original judgment. Credits to the judgment shall be reflected by the plaintiff in supplemental proceedings or execution.

If there is more than one Defendant, you do not have to revive against all of the defendants.As a creditor, you can choose the Defendant you want to revive the judgment against.This is helpful because sometimes one of the Defendants cannot be found, is insolvent or has discharged the debt in bankruptcy.

There are limited defenses that a defendant can assert in a revival petition. The defendant cannot re-litigate his or her case. He can show he made payment of the judgment, or that the judgment was discharged in bankruptcy. He can also attack the validity of the original judgment for lack of personal jurisdiction. But that is it.

This revival section does not apply to a child support judgment or to a judgment recovered in an action for damages for an injury described in Section 13-214.1, which need not be revived as provided in this Section and which may be enforced at any time as provided in Section 12-108.

Revival of judgments are likely on the upswing, since so many debtors were out of work or otherwise uncollectable in the recent recession. Those debtors may now have jobs, and wage garnishments are now possible. The revival process is simple and straightforward. So take out those dusty old judgments that were located in your Jansport Backpacks that were entered at Y2K and revive them today.

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