It’s always hard to explain the eviction process to a client. I put together this diagram that shows the flow of a forcible entry and detainer case, which is otherwise known as an eviction.
Landlords always refuse to accept the fact that it’s difficult to recover rent in an eviction case. My estimate is that rent is collected (after the case is filed and judgment is entered) in about 10% of eviction cases. The plaintiff will get a judgment for the rent that remains open for 7 years. Getting paid for the judgment is another story. A wage garnishment can be used, but this yields very little and expires every 90 days. The judgment for rent is reported to credit bureaus, but it seems that most tenants who are behind on rent are not concerned about this.
Generally, a landlord can get possession of the property back through the eviction case in about 60-90 days. The filing fees are about $400 and attorneys fees are anywhere from $300 to $700. As the diagram illustrates, it isn’t easy or fast.