When someone owes you money and falls behind on payments, you can take them to court. If the judge agrees that you deserve that money, they will issue a judgment in your favor. A judgment can help you collect on a debt by garnishing someone’s wages or placing a lien against their property.
Unfortunately, some people will try to avoid court-ordered debt payments by leaving the state where they went to court. If you have a judgment from Georgia or Utah, you have to go to court to domesticate it if you want to collect on the debt in Florida.
Why would you do that instead of simply suing the debtor again in Florida?
Domestication is a straightforward process
There is some degree of uncertainty in any debt-related civil action, even if the documentation clearly supports your position. Although you have already secured a judgment in another state, bringing another debt lawsuit against the same person could result in a different outcome for some creditors. The person who owes you money could have learned from the first lawsuit. They may carefully avoid service for another lawsuit.
Even if you are successful again, the cost and delay involved can amplify the financial damage of the unpaid debt. Domestication, on the other hand, is a straightforward process. There are reciprocity agreements between states that make it relatively easy to go to court and domesticate an out-of-state judgment so that you can enforce it in Florida. You don’t have to serve the debtor because they aren’t responding to a lawsuit.
Learning more about the domestication and enforcement of judgments in Florida can help you decide the best way to collect from a debtor who has moved to the Sunshine State.