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Can Cryptocurrency Be Garnished?

Can creditors take your bitcoin? Many people believe cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, might be the holy grail of asset protection. They think that cryptocurrency cannot be garnished or seized by a judgment creditor, and they think that cryptocurrency holdings are confidential assets that debtors do not have to disclose bitcoin to creditors. Alas, cryptocurrency may…

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…

Garnishment of a Joint Account When Funds Belong to Non-Debtor Owner

Under tenants by entireties law, a joint account between married couples is protected from garnishment resulting from a separate judgment against just one of the spouses. But what if the joint account is not tenants by entireties? Or, what if the account is jointly owned between unmarried family members (such as parent and child)? When…

Head of Household Exemption Does Not Require Dependent Tax Designation

Florida law exempts from garnishment earning paid to a debtor who is head of household. Head of household means that the debtor provides most of the support for another person whom the debtor is legally obligated to support. Taxpayers claim as a tax dependent people whom they financially support. Usually, a head of household also…

Garnishment of Life Insurance Death Benefit Payable to Debtor

Our client is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy on her husband’s life. The husband owns the policy. The client has a large civil judgment. The husband died, and the wife filed a claim with the life insurance company. The insurance company delivered a check for the insurance proceeds to our client, and the…

Is Florida Debtor Subject To Wage Garnishment Served on Out of State Employer?

I have a client who lives in Florida where he works as a w-2 employee of a company located outside of Florida. The employer has no offices or retail locations in Florida. A creditor sued my client in a Florida court and obtained a Florida judgment. The creditor then domesticated the judgment in the foreign…

Florida Court’s Garnishment of Account At Extraterritorial Bank

Judgment debtors may want to open bank accounts at banks located exclusively outside of Florida in order to deter garnishment of their bank accounts after a judgment is entered. It is more expensive and time consuming for a creditor to transfer its Florida judgment to another state so that the foreign state’s court issue a…

Court Says Independent Contractor Can Assert Head of Household Exemption

Clients planning for asset protection sometimes debate whether they should work as an employee or as an independent contractor. Employee wages are subject to a continuing wage garnishment, but the Florida Statute 222.11 clearly exempts wages paid to one who is head of household. Payments to independent contractors may be garnished, but garnishment is more…