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Garnishment of Joint Bank Account.

Question: Can a joint account be garnished? The issues that resulted in the judgment were my responsibility. However, the money in the account is my girlfriend’s.

Answer: A joint account in Illinois is presumptively 100% owned by each account holder. Each account holder has the right to file a motion to show the actual ownership of the funds. You need to support it with documents showing the source of the funds.

Also note that there is a $4,000 “wildcard” exemption (735 ILCS 5/2-1001) applicable to a bank account, which must be claimed in writing. I suggest that you file a motion to release $4,000.

There are also exemptions based on the source of the funds, e.g., social security, pension benefits, etc.

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