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Can Independent Contractor With 1099 Claim Head of Household Wage Garnishment Exemption?

A client wanted to know whether his commissions would be exempt from garnishment as head of household income even though the commissions were paid on a 1099 and the client was considered an independent contractor. What is the Head of Household Exemption? Florida Statute 222.11 exempts from garnishment any earnings paid to a debtor that…

Can You Use Florida Exemptions in Another State?

The general rule is that Florida residents cannot export Florida asset exemptions to other states. Therefore, out of state, or “foreign” judgments pose unique risks to judgment debtors living in Florida. Even though the judgment debtor lives in Florida, the judgment creditor could start judgment collection proceedings in the foreign state’s court. Most other states…

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…

When Does New Florida Resident Qualify For Florida Asset Exemptions?

Florida law exempts many assets from execution by a judgment creditor including intangible personal property including life insurance and annuities. Section 222.14 of the Florida statutes exempts cash value life insurance, annuities and annuity proceeds that were issued to citizens or residents of Florida. Most other states do not exempt these assets from creditor garnishment….

Should Cars Be Owned Jointly in Florida?

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…