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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Garnishment of Malpractice or Injury Claim After Resolution

One of my clients has a claim against a physician for medical practice, but he also has money judgments against him arising out of commercial foreclosure during the real estate recession. He is considering settling his malpractice claim. He ask whether his judgment creditor can garnish the claims or the proceeds of a settlement. A …

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Fishermen Exempt From Wage Garnishment: Federal Law

Federal law wage garnishment rules are different than Florida’s rules and exemptions from wage garnishment. For instance, federal law permits garnishment of 15% of net wages without regard to any state exemptions. I just learned about a federal wage garnishment exemption I had never before encountered in asset protection work. Federal statute 46 USC 11109 …

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