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Florida Writ of Garnishment Attorneys

A Florida writ of garnishment is a creditor tool that seeks money owed to a judgment creditor. The writ of garnishment allows a creditor to seize assets owed to a debtor by third parties. These include wages and salary owed by an employer, checking or savings accounts, rental income, or money held in a trust account by the debtor’s attorney. Courts see checking accounts as debts due to their status as demand accounts. This means that the financial institution in question owes money on deposit to a debtor on demand.

Florida’s statute on garnishment includes numerous requirements and complicated procedures. To achieve a successful writ of garnishment, a judgment creditor files a motion with the courts, paying a fee. The clerk then issues a writ of garnishment, and the creditor serves the writ to a garnishee. This entity includes the debtor’s employer, bank, stockbroker, or other financial entity.

Florida Statutes also require that a creditor provide the debtor with a copy of the motion for a writ of garnishment. This copy is issued by the Clerk of Court, in addition to a Claim of exemption form, within five days from filing. This form provides the debtor notice of their right to the statutory exemption. This applies to the garnished assets. If the debtor believes this asset is exempt from garnishment, they can state this explanation on the form and then file it with the court.

The court then sets a hearing on the exemption claim. The debtor can expedite this process by scheduling a hearing with the judge’s office and the creditor’s legal representation.

Understanding Wage Bank Garnishment

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure where an employer withholds a portion of an individual’s earnings to pay off their debts. If a person, the ‘debtor,’ owes money to someone else, called the ‘creditor,’ and the debtor is unable or unwilling to repay the debt, the creditor can seek the help of the court system.

Through a lawsuit against the debtor, the court may issue a ‘judgment,’ establishing that the debtor is legally required to pay back the debt. In some cases, a ‘writ of garnishment’ is issued, which results in a portion of the debtor’s earnings being directly sent to the creditor to satisfy the debt. This means the debtor’s employer will be mandated to withhold a certain amount from the debtor’s paycheck and forward it to the creditor.

However, there are limits and protections for the debtor. For instance, federal regulations cap the percentage of an individual’s income that can be garnished, and sometimes, certain types of income might be exempt or not subject to garnishment at all. Typically, wage garnishment is a last resort for creditors. Before resorting to this measure, they usually attempt to collect the debt through other means, such as sending letters and making phone calls, or they may propose a payment plan for the debtor.

Florida Laws About Writs Of Garnishment

A ‘writ of garnishment’ is essentially a court order in Florida. This order instructs a third party (often called the ‘garnishee’), who happens to have money that belongs to a debtor, to ‘garnish,’ meaning hold onto, the said money. In most cases, this ‘third party’ or ‘garnishee’ is a bank where the debtor maintains a bank account. 

This process occurs when a creditor, or the individual to whom money is owed, wins a case against the debtor. The debtor then transforms into the ‘judgment debtor,’ courtesy of the court ruling. Next, the court hands out a ‘writ’ or an order to the garnishee. This order is to withhold the judgment debtor’s funds, which may exist in a bank account, until further directions. However, not all types of funds can be garnished or held back.

According to the Florida Rule of Civil Procedure, specific sources of income or personal property may be ‘exempt from garnishment.’ The term’ Civil Procedure’ refers to the guidelines courts adhere to when dealing with civil cases, including debt-related lawsuits.

This principle applies to funds in a bank account as well. For example, it remains untouched if the money comes from an exempt source, such as social security benefits. The judgment debtor must inform the court that the money is ‘exempt’ by filing a claim of exemption. Once the court agrees, it will ‘deposit’ the funds back to the judgment debtor’s account, effectively stalling the garnishment process.

Claim Of Exemption For A Debtor

When a debtor claims exemption from garnishment, the creditor wields three days to contest the exemption. This period begins when the debtor serves the claim by hand delivery or fax. The contest period increases to eight days if they serve the suit by mail.

A garnishee must file an answer to the garnishment within 20 days. Their response contains information on whether or not the garnishee possesses any property, money, or other assets belonging to the debtor.

Within five days of the garnishee’s notice, the creditor must provide the debtor with a copy of this answer. The debtor now possesses 20 days to move for the garnishment dissolution.

Sometimes, the judgment creditor does not believe the garnishee’s response. Though an answer states that the garnishee does not have a debtor’s property, the creditor could think otherwise.

When this occurs, the creditor can challenge the garnishee’s response to the writer. This is done through filing a reply denying the answer from the garnishee. The court sends this matter for a hearing to determine the answer’s validity.

A debtor can file a motion to dissolve for numerous reasons. These include procedural defects regarding the writ’s administration or assertion of exemption.

Financial Implications For A Creditor

A creditor’s garnishment can still result in the freezing of an account. This is due to creditors garnishing a bank, not the specific version. Creditors can serve a writ of garnishment on any bank where a debtor maintains their account.

To serve this writ, the bank may or may not contain all of the debtor’s accounts with or without exemption. The debtor then must convince the creditor to free the exempt account or achieve a court order to uphold their exemption. When an exemption is maintained, this dissolves the garnishment.

An exemption is not an automatic outcome. If an exemption applies to a debtor, they must assert it properly by filing the claim or motion to dissolve in a timely. Eventually, this individual may need evidence that they qualify for the exemption.

Has a creditor garnished your bank account or wages through a Florida writ of garnishment? You can get the garnishment dissolved. The law sets strict regulations for garnishment. You can dissolve the garnishment if the creditor disobeys the law.

Writ of Garnishment Lawyer in Miami from the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.

We help individuals and businesses cultivate plants to implement an asset protection plan. This assists them to protect their assets from credit collections. We also assist creditors in filing writs of garnishment against debtors.

In a situation regarding wage garnishment? You must work swiftly to claim your exemption and file a motion to dissolve the writ. Information concerning exemptions is located within Florida Statutes.

It is a good idea to work towards settling the judgment debt while you work to defeat your writ of garnishment.

A writ of garnishment case is often fact-intensive and technical. For this reason, a qualified writ of garnishment lawyer in Miami is necessary for an optimal outcome. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. wield experience and education to help your case.

A writ of garnishment lawyer in Miami from our firm maintains focus on your needs and represents your best interests in South Florida court. When the pressure is on, our team shows their true colors at the peak of their skills.

We achieve optimal success for our clients at the litigation table and inside the courtroom. We quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Furthermore, we will assess the viability of your matter.

For more information on a writ of garnishment lawyer in Miami from our firm, contact the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. today!

Contact Info

  9655 South Dixie HighwaySuite 119Miami, FL 33156

  (844) 448-6237 | (844) 4-HUMBERT

  1 (786) 373-3757

  1 (305) 513-5153




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