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…

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…

Does Joint Bank Account Become Tenants by Entireties Property When Family Moves To Florida?

Suppose a husband and wife own personal property, a bank account for example, jointly with rights of survivorship in a state that does not recognize tenants by entireties ownership of personal property, and they intend to move to Florida. Florida recognizes tenants by entireties of personal property, and under Florida law all personal property owned by married…

Piercing the Corporate Veil in Florida

Piercing the corporate veil refers to the creditor tactic where a creditor with a judgment against a business pierces the corporation and transfers the judgment to the individual owners. Many business owners are worried that their creditors will pierce the corporate veil, putting their family’s assets at risk. One of the most important functions of a…

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….

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Does a Spouse Automatically Inherit Everything in Florida?

Some new clients have told me they have not made a will or a testamentary trust because they had assumed their spouse would automatically inherit all their individual property. These people misunderstand Florida law. Florida law entitles a surviving spouse rights in some, but not all, of a decedent’s property. A surviving spouse will inherit…

Fraudulent Transfers Can Diminish Homestead Protection

Existing Laws on Florida Homestead Protection and Fraudulent Conveyance It is well-settled Florida law that the purchase or improvement of a Florida homestead cannot be set aside as a fraudulent conveyance. The Florida Supreme Court in Havoco v. Hill said that a creditor cannot reverse a judgment debtor’s payments made toward a homestead property even…

Is a Single Member LLC in Florida Protected from Creditors?

Florida has enacted a statute specifically dealing with single member limited liability companies. The statute authorizes single member LLCs. The statute includes creditor remedies to collect a judgment from a debtor’s membership interest in the debtor’s single member LLC. Generally, a judgment creditor’s sole remedy against multi-member LLCs is limited to a charging order. The…

August 2020 Asset Protection Case Law Update

This case law update concerns transfers of exempt property after filing bankruptcy, the statute of limitations for fraudulent conveyance, and proper wage garnishment jurisdiction. Bankruptcy Debtors Can Sell or Transfer Exempt Property After Filing Date In re: Hampton, 2020 WL 3969247 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2020). Summary A bankruptcy court confirmed that bankruptcy exemptions are determined…