Once a case for an unpaid debt goes to trial, unless the creditor has insufficient evidence in the form of payment records or the alleged obligor has presented evidence of payment, the expiration of the statute of limitations, or some other defense, judgment for the creditor may be inevitable. Once it receives a favorable judgment, a creditor may execute or collect on it in a number of ways.
*Disposition of the case at trial
While most cases never make it to trial because both parties usually find it advantageous to reach some settlement before trial, the possibility exists that a case may proceed to trial. Any party defending an allegation that he or she is the obligor for an unpaid debt will have to testify at this trial. Unless represented by an attorney, the defendant will have to argue his or her case and question any witnesses.
*The creditor will collect the debt as permitted under Florida law
A judgment creditor may file a judgment lien on property, levy property, or garnish wages as allowed by Florida law. To file a judgment lien, there must be real property to which the lien may attach, and such real property must be non-exempt and subject to levy. If the judgment debtor’s property is homestead property or owned by the entirety, then it is not subject to levy and the judgment lien will not attach.
A judgment creditor may garnish wages or a bank account until it has received payment in full of the judgment. However, Florida law shields the head of a household from wage garnishment and treats his or her wages as exempt. Yet, if these wages total more than $750.00 per week and the head of household consents in writing, a creditor may collect up to 25% of wages per pay period. Some creditors may offer a payment plan in lieu of garnishment.
Additionally, a creditor may have a county sheriff seize or "levy" the judgment debtor's property. Once levied, the sheriff will sell the property and pay the proceeds to the judgment creditor.
At Loan Lawyers, our South Florida consumer rights and debt defense attorneys help individuals with problems related to the payment of debts. Contact our office today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813) and see how we can help.