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Collection Professionals Inc. v. Logan

June 05, 1998

COLLECTION PROFESSIONALS, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ROBERT LOGAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, (MARY LOGAN, DEFENDANT, PUTNAM COUNTY BANK, GARNISHEE.)



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Homer

Appeal from the Circuit Court for the 10th Judicial Circuit Putnam County, Illinois

No. 96--LM--5

Honorable Robert J. Cashen, Judge Presiding

Judgment-debtor, Robert Logan, appeals the trial court's decision to permit execution of a nonwage garnishment against his accounts with Putnam County Bank in favor of judgment-creditor, Collection Professionals, Inc. Robert contends that an agreed order executed by Collection Professionals and his cojudgment-debtor constituted an accord and satisfaction of the entire judgment which precluded the garnishment of his accounts. He also challenges the constitutionality of the nonwage garnishment statute (735 ILCS 5/12--701 et seq. (West 1996)). Following our review, we affirm.

FACTS.

Collection Professionals sued Robert Logan and his former wife, Mary Logan, to collect on various outstanding medical bills incurred during their marriage. When Robert and Mary divorced in 1996, they agreed that Mary would assume responsibility for paying those bills as a part of the settlement; although, Robert acknowledges that he remained jointly and severally liable for the debt pursuant to section 15 of the Rights of Married Persons Act (750 ILCS 65/15 (West 1996)).

On June 6, 1996, Collection Professionals obtained judgment in the amount of $4,756.30 plus costs against Robert and Mary. Judgment against Robert was entered by default. Judgment against Mary was entered by consent in a separate order which established Mary's monthly payment schedule for the satisfaction of the judgment, costs, and statutory interest. The order provided that if Mary failed to make payments as scheduled, Collection Professionals would file other postjudgment enforcement action, including garnishment.

Because Mary failed to meet the payment schedule in July 1996, Collection Professionals commenced nonwage garnishment proceedings against her naming Putnam County Bank (the Bank) as garnishee. Collection Professionals discovered that the Bank held no garnishable assets of Mary because her only account with the Bank was an overdrawn checking account. Despite Mary's default, it appears from the record that Mary subsequently made an indeterminate number of payments toward the judgment.

In March 1997, Collection Professionals instigated the instant nonwage garnishment action against Robert's accounts to collect $3,575.70, the amount remaining due on judgment including costs and interest. The Bank, again named as garnishee, declared that it held deposit accounts totaling $15,572.86 belonging to Robert.

Robert filed objections to the garnishment and a motion to quash arguing: (1) Collection Professionals was barred from enforcing the judgment against him because its agreement with Mary constituted an accord and satisfaction of the judgment, or alternatively, a compromise and settlement, and (2) the nonwage garnishment statute is unconstitutional because it failed to provide him with pre-seizure notice. After a hearing, the trial court denied Robert's objections and motion to quash. The court also denied Robert's subsequent motion to stay the garnishment pending appeal. The court ordered the Bank to turn over $3,084.00 from Robert's accounts which represented the judgment balance. Robert appeals.

ANALYSIS.

Propriety of the Nonwage Garnishment

The instant appeal arises out of a garnishment proceeding which is a purely statutory remedy for the enforcement of a judgment. In re Marriage of Schomburg, 269 Ill. App. 3d 13, 17, 645 N.E.2d 1005, 1007 (1995). To maintain a garnishment action, there must be a valid judgment and the garnishor must meet all of the requirements set forth in the garnishment statute. Seidmon v. Harris, 172 Ill. App. 3d 352, 356-57, 526 N.E.2d 543, 545 (1988).

Robert does not dispute that Collection Professionals obtained a valid default judgment against him. Nor does he dispute that Collection Professionals followed the procedures set forth in the nonwage garnishment statute (735 ILCS 5/12--701 et seq. (West 1996)). He contends, however, that the garnishment of his accounts was improper because the agreed order between Mary and Collection Professionals constituted an accord and satisfaction of the entire obligation. He argues that Collection Professionals was precluded from taking any ...


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