CREDIT DEFENSE AND DEBT SETTLEMENT ATTORNEY
How long is a judgment good for in Florida?
Judgments in Florida are good for 20 years. However, creditors may also be able to extend the original 20 years by filing a new action on the old judgment and obtaining a new judgment, thereby extending the life of the judgment another 20 years. This means that once a judgment has been entered it will be with you for a very long time unless you take steps to deal with the judgment before or after it is entered.
A judgment was just entered against me, what can the creditor do now?
First, a creditor will typically try to find out information regarding your finances by either having you fill out a fact information sheet or by taking your deposition. With that information the creditor can begin attempting to collect on any non-exempt assets you own. A creditor may be able to garnish a bank account or your wages, place a lien on property you own, and may be able to force the sale of property such as vehicles or investment properties.
I want to pay, but the total amount of my debt is too much, will my creditor take less than the full amount owed?
While each individual debt and creditor is different, many creditors routinely accept less than the full amount owed. Creditors may be not only willing to accept a lump sum less than the full amount owed, but they may be willing to accept a payment plan that will allow you to pay off your debt with monthly payments instead of a lump sum payment that may not be feasible. Our office has extensive experience in negotiating all types of debts, so please contact our office to set up a free consult to see how we can help you deal with your debt.
I was just served with a lawsuit from my creditor, what do I do now?
First, it is important that you don’t just ignore the lawsuit. Doing nothing will lead to a judgment being entered at the earliest possible point and collection activities including wage garnishment and bank garnishment may start very soon. If you are served with a lawsuit from a creditor contact our office and our experienced attorneys will walk you through the process and will advise you in an individualized strategy that best fits your situation.
I am behind on my homeowner’s association dues, can they sell my home?
Yes, if you get behind on your homeowner’s association dues, they can file a foreclosure lawsuit against you. These lawsuits typically move much faster than a regular mortgage foreclosure suit, so it is important that you address the issue as early as possible if you want to retain the home.
I am being sued or have received a letter from a creditor I have never heard of who is claiming I owe them money, am I responsible for the debt if I have never dealt with this new creditor?
Many debts are sold multiple times during the process of collections, so it is not uncommon for someone to receive correspondence from an entity they have never had contact with claiming to have purchased the debt or collecting the debt for another entity. If the new creditor files a lawsuit they will have to submit paperwork to show that they did purchase the debt or have the authority to file the suit, if they are not able to prove this then they will not be able to get a judgment.
A creditor is attempting to garnish my checking account or garnish my wages, is there anything I can do to stop this from happening?
The short answer to this question is maybe. Depending on an individual’s financial situation they may be able to stop a garnishment attempt from a creditor. This is generally done through the use of “claims of exemptions.” There are a number of different “claims of exemptions” that may apply depending on a given situation. However, these exemptions must be claimed within 20 days from the notification of garnishment so it is very important that you contact our office as soon as you are notified of a garnishment so as to not miss the 20 day window if you are eligible for an exemption.