Writs of Garnishment in Florida

Understanding Writs of Garnishment in Florida and How It Affects Your Bank Account

When a debtor falls behind on their bills, it isn’t uncommon for creditors to take the next steps to recover these funds. One of the ways creditors can accomplish reclaiming what the debtor owes is by initiating a writ of garnishment. A writ of garnishment in Florida is also known as a creditor levy, execution on personal property, or sequestration. This is a legal process where a creditor takes money directly from the debtor’s wages, bank account, or other assets.

Writs of garnishment are documents that authorize a creditor to place a lien on any assets a debtor owns, transferring funds directly from a bank or financial institution, and in the case of a wage garnishment, directly from a debtor’s wages to repay what the debtor owes.

Creditors and debtors alike may wonder exactly what this means and how the process proceeds. Read on to learn more about how writs of garnishment work in Florida.

Filing a Writ of Garnishment in Florida

Creditors may initiate a garnishment action only after the court enters a judgment and a writ of execution. Florida garnishment statute section 77.041 provides procedural rules and deadlines for creditors, additionally enabling a judgment debtor to contest the garnishment.

The statute outlines that a creditor may begin the garnishment procedures by filing a short motion with the court called a Motion for the Writ of Garnishment. A judgment creditor does not need to seek a judge’s permission or a court order to garnish wages. They must pay fees and deposits to the Clerk of Court in the filing district. The clerk may then issue the writ.

A creditor can then serve the writ upon the garnishee. This garnishee is the person or entity that owes a judgment debtor money. To serve a writ, Florida law requires creditors to provide the debtor with a copy of the Motion for the Writ of Garnishment issued by the Clerk of the Court, as well as a Claim of Exemption form within five days of the clerk issuing the writ of garnishment, or within three days of serving the garnishee, whichever comes later.

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How Does the Writ of Garnishment Work?

In the state of Florida, creditors may garnish a maximum of 25%, or $500 per week from a debtor’s wages. The amount that they can garnish from a bank account may vary depending on the type of account.

For example, creditors may garnish a maximum of $1,000 from a debtor’s savings, $5,000 from a checking account, and $10,000 from a certificate of deposit.

A writ of garnishment in Florida remains limited to certain types of assets. This includes the aforementioned wages and bank accounts but can include stocks and other assets as well. Most types of debts can be garnished and can include:

  • Credit Cards
  • Medical Bills
  • Child Support
  • Student Loans

In some cases, creditors can garnish funds that are set aside for necessary expenses such as food, water, and housing. Debtors are often left with little recourse when losing a judgment to a creditor and garnishment begins.

When Can’t Creditors Use A Writ of Garnishment?

Creditors may file a writ of garnishment in Florida at almost any time. However, debtors may file for a stay of execution. This is a court order that states creditors cannot garnish the debtor’s wages and other assets.

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Writs of Garnishment in Florida | Creditor Defense and Debt Collection from the Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L.

Debt is a stressful, often overwhelming situation for every party involved. Unfortunately, when debtors fall behind on their bills, recovering the debt can prove a challenging circumstance. It remains important for creditors to understand and take action on their rights to recover the property that a debtor owes them.

The Law Offices of Paul A. Humbert, P.L. work hard to defend creditor rights while helping them reclaim their rightful property. We specialize in the enforcement of foreign judgments, and defending creditors in both negotiation and litigation.

Our firm strives to resolve debtor/creditor disputes while representing our clients’ best interests in reclaiming their property. Sometimes debtors may fall behind on their bills and simply cannot pay. In other situations, a debtor simply refuses to pay their debt entirely. We pursue justice, ensuring the best possible, swift resolution for clients ranging from large banks and companies, to small and medium-sized businesses.

To learn more about writs of garnishment and how our firm can assist you with a debt collection situation, reach out to our form today to schedule a consultation.

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