Should Cars Be Owned Jointly?

The general mantra for married couples in Florida is “joint assets, separate liabilities.” Owning assets jointly takes advantage of tenants by entireties protection against either spouse’s separate debt. But does that mantra extend to a couple’s vehiciles? Generally no. Unlike most personal property, vehicles are a common source of joint liability. In Florida, a person …

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Florida Exemptions and Federal Civil Restitution Judgments

One of my new clients had been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for a violation of their statutes pertaining to telephone sales including alleged common law fraud against the victims. A federal court entered a judgment against my client for several millions of dollars damages including an award of over $1 million dollars of …

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Creditor May Enforce Debtor’s Written Waiver Of Exemptions

An attorney called me for help collecting several judgments against the same individual debtor. The debtor’s principal asset was his retirement account. Retirement accounts are exempt in Florida pursuant to Florida statutes. The attorney wanted to know if a the debtor’s signature to loan documents which included a general waiver of exemptions from judgment execution …

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Lender Foreclose Mortgage On Homestead When One Of Spouses Did Not Sign The Mortgage?

A married couple came to see me about a foreclosure on their homestead. The man bought a Florida homestead where he lives with his wife. There is a judgment against the husband. He paid cash for the homestead in order to protect the purchase proceeds. The husband used his own money and no marital funds …

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Employee Stock Purchase Plans Are Not Exempt Assets

A client asked me during a consultation whether his employee stock purchase plan was an exempt (“ESSP”)  asset.  The client’s ESSP was provided by his employer. The employer is a publically traded company. The ESSP plans provides employees the opportunity to purchase employer stock at a ten percent discount to current market value.  The employee …

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United States May Garnish Wages of Head of Household To Collect Criminal Restitution

A client entered into a criminal plea agreement three years ago stemming from his violation of federal securities laws. The plea agreement included restitution to the victims of his wrongdoing. There is a money judgment against the client for restitution. The client wants to know if the restitution judgment may be enforced against exempt assets, …

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May Receiver Deny Ponzi Recovery Distributions To Self-Directed IRA Investor?

A financial adviser client sold an investment opportunity to his own clients which, unknown to him at the time, was a ponzi scheme. A receiver was appointed over ponzi assets. In addition to promoting the investment scheme to his own clients, my client invested his own money from his self-directed IRA. The receiver does not …

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