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What Types of Property Can a Creditor Take to Satisfy A Debt?

If you owe a debt that you haven’t paid, the creditor to whom you owe money has the right to take legal action against you. If you do not defend yourself in such a lawsuit or lose the case, the judgment creditor has several available options to take money and property to satisfy the debt. If you have a judgment against you, learn more about the types of property you can protect and which property may be in danger.

Garnishments

A judgment creditor can seek a writ of execution which allows the creditor to seize money held in personal checking or savings account. The creditor can file such a writ with your bank, who will automatically take out enough money to pay off the debt. If you do not have enough money to pay the debt in full, the judgment creditor may be able to take all of the money held in your accounts. Additionally, the judgment creditor can ask the court to file a garnishment against your wages that will allow the creditor to take money out of your paycheck until the debt is paid.

Personal Property

A judgment creditor also has the right to ask the local sheriff’s department to seize your personal property. In Florida, every person can protect up to $4,000 in personal property from seizure for a debt. If you own more than $4,000 in personal property, any remaining property can be seized

If the debt or judgment revolves around a particular item of property, like furniture or a vehicle, then this property can be repossessed with or without a judgment, depending on the terms of the agreement.

Homestead Exemptions

One thing a judgment creditor cannot take is your home. If you own your home, you are covered by the state’s homestead exemption. This exemption states that a person’s home and real estate is protected from forced sale over a debt except if the debt is related to the property. For example, a person’s mortgage lender or landscaper could force the sale of the home over an unpaid debt because both the mortgage lender and landscaper extended credit in order to buy, improve, or repair the home. In contrast, a hospital could not force a person to sell his or her home to pay off medical debt, because that debt does not relate to that home.

Help Protecting Your Property

Even though judgment creditors have the ability to seize a wide variety of property to pay off a debt, their rights to seizures are not absolute. If you owe money to a judgment creditor, you can still protect much of your income and property if you act quickly.

At Loan Lawyers, our experienced Florida debt defense attorneys understand the rules and exemptions involved in debt collection. We can help you protect your income, your bank accounts, and your personal property from unlawful debt collection practices even after a judgment has been entered.

To learn more about how Loan Lawyers can help you, schedule your free, no-risk consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813) today.

  • ABC News
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
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