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Can Joint Account Be Seized to Pay a Judgment?

Question: I have a judgment against me, alone. I have a joint account with my daughter. Can the money in the account be taken to pay the judgment?

Answer: Under Illinois law, if an account is in the name of 2 or more people, it is presumptively the property of the judgment debtor. The judgment debtor or the other account holder is entitled to file a motion with the court and prove that the money does not belong to the judgment debtor. The proof should include account statements and affidavits showing where the money came from and why there are multiple names on the account. For example, if the money belongs to an elderly relative and a child’s name was added to the account so that they can pay their bills, an affidavit to that effect should be submitted, along with statements showing the transfer of funds into the account.

There is also a $4,000 “wildcard” exemption that any person can claim for any asset, including a bank account.