Writ of Garnishment Florida
How Can a Writ of Garnishment Help Florida Creditors?
A writ of garnishment is one of the legal avenues judgment creditors can use to collect the money or property a debtor owes to them. A writ of garnishment enables creditors to seize money from an employer or other third party that owes the debtor money. These debts could include checking and savings accounts, income front rental properties, and trusts.
The law considers a banking account a debt because it represents an “on-demand” account. The financial institution owes its client money on-demand after they deposit it into an account.
Florida Statutes Chapter 77 allow and regulate wage garnishment in Florida. Creditors must comply with all statutes, including properly completing and mailing correspondence within various deadline periods.
Debtors can dissolve a writ of garnishment in Florida when errors take place in prosecuting the writ. For this reason, it is crucial that creditors and their legal representation fully understand the state’s detailed garnishment procedures.
Florida Writ of Garnishment Procedures
Creditors can take legal action to intercept a portion of a debtor’s wages, funds in their bank accounts, and other assets by pursuing a writ of garnishment. Although wage garnishment isn’t legal in all 50 states, Florida allows it as a legal method of debt collection.
Wage garnishment can begin by a creditor filing a short motion with the Clerk of Court called a “Motion for Writ of Garnishment.” In most cases, they must pay any applicable fees or deposits to the court before issuing the writ.
Creditors can only impose wage garnishment with the backing of a judgment in a debt collections case. With this judgment, they do not need to obtain a judge’s permission or court order to obtain a writ of garnishment in Florida.
Once secured, the creditor can serve the writ upon a garnishee, the person or company that owes the debtor money. For example, this could be an employer, bank, stockbroker, etc.
Florida garnishment law additionally requires a creditor to provide the debtor with a certified copy of the writ and a Motion for Writ of Garnishment issued by the Clerk of Court, in addition to a Claim of Exemption form within five days of the clerk issuing the writ.
Florida law requires that a bank, employer, or another garnishee must respond to the writ of garnishment within 20 days. The creditor will contact the garnishee to deduct a specified amount of money from wages or other income every week or month, forwarded to the creditor to repay the judgment debt.
After issuing the writ to the garnishee, the creditor will then provide a debtor with a copy of the garnishee’s response to the writ, as well as a notice that the judgment debtor has 20 days to move for a dissolution of the garnishment.
Nonetheless, debtors must establish grounds to object to wage garnishment. Some of the arguments can include:
- Exceeding Garnishment Limits – Florida and Federal law impose limits on the percentage of salary or wages they may garnish. A creditor may not garnish wages in Florida if the income doesn’t exceed 30 times the Federal minimum wage.
- Head of Family Exemption – When a debtor is the head of their household, they can claim a writ of garnishment exemption if their weekly wages total less than $750.
- Not Following Proper Procedures – Creditors may attempt to obtain a garnishment without a judgment. A court will rule this action as void. Similarly, without proper service of the writ and written notice, a creditor can move to overrule the judgment.
- Other Creditors Garnishing Wages – When other lenders additionally garnish debtor wages, the second creditor will face limitations on the remaining Federal and State garnishment limits. In some scenarios, creditors cannot garnish wages at all.
Writ of Garnishment Florida | Debt Collection Lawyer | The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.
Wage garnishment is an essential resource for creditors and lenders in Florida, and all across the United States. Sometimes debtors simply cannot or will not pay their debt. This means creditors going without their rightful property.
Our firm at the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. works hard as a debt collection law firm to help creditors defend their rights and reclaim their rightful property. Our services include:
Our team has experience assisting large and small businesses and corporations obtain writs of garnishment and pursue the debt collection process. To learn more, call our firm today at (786) 373-3757.
- “Chapter 77 – 2018 Florida Statutes – The Florida Senate.” https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/Chapter77. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020.