It can take a long time to go from early collection activity to a judgment against someone who defaults on a debt. You may have spent months sending written notices and making collection phone calls before you filed paperwork for a lawsuit. You may have waited many months for a hearing in civil court.
Having a judge rule in your favor means that you can potentially garnish someone’s wages, but they may want to avoid repaying you at any cost. If a debtor leaves the state where you sued them and moves to Florida, do you have to start the process of collecting on that debt all over again once you locate them in the sunshine state?
You can domesticate an existing judgment
If all someone had to do to avoid paying back their debts was across from one state to another, it would likely be much harder to secure lines of consumer credit. There would be too much risk involved in financing purchases or providing someone with a revolving line of credit if moving from Georgia to Florida would prevent collection activity or wage garnishment.
States across the country will typically recognize judgments secured in another state. Florida has a specific statute allowing for the domestication of a foreign judgment. In this context, foreign does not mean a different country but rather a different state within the country.
Creditors who have already successfully obtained a judgment can present the Florida civil courts with appropriate evidence and ask a judge to allow them to collect on the debt in accordance with the judgment granted in another state. Especially when someone is proven their willingness to completely disrupt their own life to avoid paying your business back, being assertive about how you attempt to collect on a debt could make a major difference.
Domesticating foreign judgments in Florida will help businesses struggling to collect on a specific debt.