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Getting Your Security Deposit Back — The ISBA Offers Options

Question: My friend and I put a deposit down on an apartment that we rented for a year. When our lease expired, we were supposed to get our deposit back, but the owner did not return it and will not respond to our emails and calls. Our financial situation prevents us from hiring a lawyer. What recourse do we have? Answer: Assuming that the amount owed is relatively small, you could file a lawsuit in small claims court. Defendants in small claims court often choose to pay up rather than spend time and money going through the process. Another option is to seek pro bono legal assistance from a local government or legal aid organization.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit