Exemptions

Can a Judgment Creditor Garnish Your Stimulus Check?

Several people in the last week have asked whether a judgment creditor can garnish their stimulus check. The latest COVID relief bill provides some people with up to $1,400 per person, plus an additional amount for having dependents. Once deposited into your bank account, this money is not safe from garnishment. Prior COVID relief bills…

Asset Protection

How to Protect Assets Against Federal Agencies Like the FTC and SEC

Federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission often pursue individuals for violations of consumer and investor protection laws. The FTC frequently enforces laws regulating telephone or email marketing, and the SEC enforces rules concerning money solicitation for investment.  Federal agency statutes give the enforcement divisions enhanced collection tools not…

Fraudulent Transfers | Case Law Update

Creditor Attorney Fees in Fraudulent Transfer Action

Judgment debtors often discover that a creditor’s judgment includes substantial amounts of money accrued or incurred after the court issued the judgment. These post-judgment charges can include attorneys fees awarded to the creditor’s attorney. Florida law authorizes a court to award attorneys fees where either a Florida statute provides for attorneys fees in certain legal…

Asset Protection

Can a Land Trust Beneficiary Be Sued in Florida?

One of our clients is concerned about his personal liability as the beneficiary of a land trust. The client owns several rental properties in various Florida counties. The client wanted to protect confidentiality of his property ownership, and for that reason he took purchased each property in the name of a separate Florida land trust….

Estate Planning

Does an IRS Tax Lien Attach to Irrevocable Trust?

Irrevocable trusts provide excellent asset protection for trust beneficiaries. Protection is codified in Florida statutes. Florida statute protect a beneficiary’s interests in irrevocable trusts that are either spendthrift trusts or discretionary trust. Florida statutes states that a a creditor cannot reach or force assignment of a debtor’s beneficial interest in a spendthrift trust. A spendthrift…

Garnishment

Do You Have to Live in Florida to Claim Head of Household Wage Garnishment Exemption?

Florida Statute 222.11 prohibits a creditor from garnishing the earnings of a debtor who qualifies as head of household. Florida residents working in another state are unable to enforce this garnishment exemptions in foreign state courts because the law does not permit debtors to export Florida’s exemptions. But, is the reverse also true? Can the…

Tenants by Entireties

How to Open a Tenants by Entireties Account at a Florida Bank

In general, personal property acquired jointly by spouses in Florida is presumed to be owned as tenants by entireties. However, the rules can get tricky when it comes to opening a tenants by entireties bank account. There are many instances of people who incorrectly believed they had established exempt joint marital bank accounts and later…

Asset Protection

Asset Protection For Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is a primary factor leading to personal bankruptcy in Florida. Consumers facing job loss or medical bills often find themselves indebted to several credit card companies. These credit card creditors typically act aggressively to collect unpaid credit card bills. They may contract with professional debt collectors or file lawsuits against their credit…

Judgment Collection

Are Employee Benefits Subject To Wage Garnishment?

A client wanted to know if his employee benefits would be subject to a garnishment. Most judgment debtors do not qualify for a head of household exemption from continuing garnishment of salary and wages provided by Florida Statutes. This particular client asked about whether certain forms of compensation from his employer were outside the scope…

Asset Protection

Protecting Assets From Medical Bills in Florida

We had married clients recently who suffered from catastrophic medical debt. Several years ago the wife was admitted to a hospital to treat a rare medical condition. The husband and wife had an medical insurance policy offered under the Affordable Care Act. The wife eventually recovered, but the hospital bill was over $250,000. The clients…