You are a business owner in Florida, and you are eager to get the money owed to you by a debtor. Nothing you have tried thus far has been successful. Things have finally gone your way, however. You won a judgment in court against this debtor.
Now, the process can move forward. What happens next so you can finally collect what you deserve?
As a creditor, you can obtain a judgment lien to facilitate getting what you are owed. The Florida Division of Corporations states that a judgment lien “can be an important factor in recovering your debt.” A judgment lien can remain in effect for five years from the date you filed for it. That time frame can be extended for an additional five years if you choose to re-file for the judgment lien.
What is the sheriff’s department permitted to seize?
Some of a debtor’s property can be seized by the sheriff and subsequently auctioned off to pay what is owed to you. The sheriff can take belongings owned by a debtor that fall into two categories: real property and personal property.
Real property can include structures along with land (this does not include someone’s home). Personal property encompasses “movable” objects – items such as jewelry, boats and furniture, for example.
You may wonder what rules apply to debtors’ vehicles. A debtor can claim exemptions that are protected from seizure. They can retain a vehicle valued at $1,000 or less as well as “one additional personal property item worth $1,000 or less.”
You don’t have to do everything on your own
It might be wise to seek advice from someone knowledgeable who has experience in this field. That person can allay your concerns, describe your rights and guide you through this rather detailed process.