Assuming that there is no payment plan, you can start collection right after the judge enters a judgment saying how much money the defendant owes you. However, it is important to know that either side has 30 days to ask a court to reconsider its judgment or to appeal from the judgment to the appellate court.
After these 30 days, if neither side asks for reconsideration or files an appeal, the judgment is final. Most creditors wait until the 30 days have passed to start collection action. This way, they will not push a debtor who was on the fence about appealing into a decision to file an appeal.
You can ask the judge to include a payment schedule as part of the judgment. This can be a good idea if you do not think that the defendant can pay you all at once, and the defendant either agrees to a payment plan or the judge is willing to make a reasonable payment plan.
A payment plan will not guarantee that the debtor will pay you, but it might encourage the debtor to pay you. It also could be helpful later if you decide to file a Rule to Show Cause against the debtor if the debtor does not make the payments.
Under Illinois law, interest on judgments accrues (adds up) at a rate of 9% annually. This rule applies to judgments entered on a decision of a judge; it does not necessarily apply to agreed settlements entered as part of a court order unless the order specifically mentions interest and says it accrues.
Nine percent is a very high rate of interest compared to the interest people receive on a bank account or to the interest that most people pay on a loan like a mortgage. When you collect the amount that the court says that the debtor owes to you – the judgment – you want to be sure that you collect the interest as well.