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Erik Swanson’s Answers

1,142 total


  • My office space is in dupage being sued in cook county il

    Question Save Share I signed a 3yr lease at a strip mall the day I came home from having a hysterectomy. It was not what we agreed on. I talked to the lawyer and told him I could not financially afford the space and moved out in April. I had...

    Erik’s Answer

    Not to be trite, but if you expect to defend yourself, you're going to need to find some money to pay an attorney. If you have good credit, you likely have credit cards, and many attorneys accept credit cards.

    Any attorney would need to analyze the facts of your situation and your lease to determine what, if any, defenses you may have.

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  • How many days after court will I have before I am evicted from my apartment? I fell behind on my rent payment

    how many days after court will I have before I am evicted from my apartment? I fell behind on my rent payment

    Erik’s Answer

    There's alot of variability.

    On the day of court, a "stay" day will be set. This can vary between 7 days (if you don't show up) to a couple of months (rarely though). If you don't contest that you owe and just need some extra time to move, it is a good idea to see if your landlord's attorney would be willing to give you some extra time in an agreed judgment (as opposed to going to trial). A landlord doesn't have to, but most reasonable ones will. If you have special circumstances (small children, a disability) the judge might be willing to give you more time to move, but it's rare to get more then 30 days or so from the day of judgment.

    Technically, you have until midnight on the stay day to voluntarily get out. If you don't, the landlord can place the order with the Sheriff who can come anytime to forcibly remove you, generally you (and anyone else living there) will be escorted from the property, all your possessions will be thrown on the lawn or sidewalk, and the locks will be changed. This is best avoided.

    In practice, how soon after the stay date ends the sheriff comes out depends on many things; I've seen them go in a couple days or a couple months (Cook Co. is especially slow), but the whole time until they do, you have to live with the uncertainty and the fact that you could come home and find your things in the street if you don't vacate.

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  • Business/Not receiving payment for performed services

    My husband owns a painting business (Inc.). He recently completed a project for a company and they owe him over $5,000. The initial agreement (verbal) was that he would be turning in invoices weekly for the prior week and be receiving payments on ...

    Erik’s Answer

    It's never to good idea to perform work without a written contract: you don't need a treatise, but even a basic contract outlining the scope of the work, payment arrangements, and a few other details can save you alot of grief and make getting your money easier.

    As to your specific question, getting a written commitment to pay is certainly a good idea, as is bringing suit (as a corporation, you must have an attorney bring the suit, corporations CANNOT bring claims pro se in Illinois); nothing can prevent him from going BK on you, but might at least get you some of your money back.

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  • My landlord is a slumlord and i refuse to pay until he atends to the issues,but has just gave me a 5day notice.what should i do?

    my landlord is a slumlord and i refuse to pay until he atends to the issues,but has just gave me a 5day notice.what should i do?

    Erik’s Answer

    You should certainly talk to an attorney as soon as possible to determine if the violations you claim are permissible grounds to withhold rent (it's not always as clear cut as tenants think).

    Moreover, if your unit is in Chicago and subject to the Chicago landlord-tenant ordinance, you may have powerful counter-claims that could mean the landlord owes you money, not the other way around.

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  • Retainer Fee

    How does lawyers give a retainer fee amount? Are all retainer fee the same? What are the basis? Experience? or the case itself? Was there ever a chance that you get over charged with retainer fee and if yes do they get refunded?

    Erik’s Answer

    There are different kinds of retainers, but it generally reflects how much work the attorney thinks the case might take - a complex case would likely need a higher retainer. If the latter part of your question asks if you can get part of your retainer back, the answer is yes, if the case resolves (or you dismiss the attorney) before that money is spent, absolutely. Personally, I've refunded retainers in situations where I've managed to resolve a case in less time than I originally thought. It's not being "overcharged," it's a good thing, since the attorney was able to do the job quicker and easier than originally planned.

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  • Can my landlord lock me out of my commerical space because village has not issued my business license

    The Landlord changed the locks on my space because rent was not paid. He is aware that we are waiting for Village to issue our business license. The Village stopped us from completing our buildout and told us to lock the doors until license was is...

    Erik’s Answer

    A landlord can't change the locks and refuse you access, even if you owe rent. He can get a judgment for eviction, but can't just self-help. Talk to an attorney.

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  • Debt Collection in IL

    I recently received a wage deduction notice in the mail from a creditor. The original debt was from 1992 in California I defaulted on a car loan. The car was reposed and I remember paying a collector the money owed. I do not have any record of thi...

    Erik’s Answer

    Mr. Hankins is basically correct. In Illinois, a judgment is good forever, but only enforceable for 27 years. Whether or not the garnishment would be proper would depend on Arizona laws re: enforceability; if it was still good there, it can certainly be enforced here in Illinois.

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  • Can i get my deposit back if i never moved in to the apartment and everything was done verbally?

    the landlord called me 2/16 and advised me my credit was okay i made appt to see it 2/20 with my boyfriend she advised me on top of sec.deposit and1st months rent she would need 2 months rent as well and a deposit to hold apt i gave her $400 cash...

    Erik’s Answer

    In theory, yes, however, it's a case that might be very difficult to prove, since it would largely be your word against hers.

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  • Is there a time limit on the collection of a financial note if no action to collect the money owed for several years?

    A note was issued for money lent, somewhere around ten years ago. The holder of the note died, but never bothered to try and collect on it before his death over those many years. The estate now wants to push for collection. Is the note enforceable?

    Erik’s Answer

    The statute of limitations on a written note is ten years.

    I suspect there would be some major problems successfully collecting upon this note (deadman's issues, laches, etc.) even if it's not SOL-blown. The estate should consult with an attorney to determine if it might be worth pursuing.

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  • Renting condo - owner trying to evict without notice?

    Ive been renting a condo for the last two months - both months' rent is paid, but I owe half of the security deposit. I never signed a lease. Owner and her fiance left voicemails for me saying I needed to be out by the 26th of this month (toda...

    Erik’s Answer

    No, it's not, however the rest of the information provided by the New York attorney is not quite right.

    Without a written lease, Illinois law creates a month-to-month tenancy. Either party has the right to terminate this lease, for any reason (or none what-so-ever) on 30 days' written notice.

    Had a proper notice been delivered to you on the 16th, you'd have to be out by the end of March. Oral notices and 10-days notice isn't going to cut it, however. You don't have to do anything until and unless you receive the proper notice.

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