A Florida debtor emailed me a question about tenancy by entireties protection. He said that a collection agency was threatening wage garnishment and a judgment for old credit card debt. This debtor he lives with and supports his girlfriend and their three dependant children. He asks whether his joint bank accounts are protected as tenancy by entireties accounts where the debts are his only. I do not think this debtor can invoke tenancy by entireties protection because he is not legally married.
The case law is clear that tenancy by entireties applies to lawfully married couples. I do think that this debtor can defeat wage garnishment because his support of his children probably qualifies him as the head of a household. In most situations, Florida statutes prohibit a creditor from garnishing wages and other compensation paid to a Florida resident who is head of household .