Writ of Garnishment in Florida
A writ of garnishment in Florida is a tool that a creditor uses to seize money that a third party owes to you. This money owed can include, for example, wages, bank accounts, or rent. The reason that checks accounts is not your money, but rather money owed to you, is because these amounts represent money that the bank owes to you on demand.
Under Florida law, writ of garnishment procedures are very strict and detailed. The law includes specific time requirements that the creditor must follow in order to succesfully garnish your accounts. For example, the creditor must give you a copy of its Motion for Writ of Garnishment either within five days after issuing the writ, or within three days of serving the writ, whatever is later. It must also give you a Claim of Exemption and a copy of the Writ of Garnishment issued by the Clerk of Court.
Claim of Exemption
One of the documents that the creditor must give you is called the Claim of Exemption form. This form is very important, because it lets you assert a statutory exemption that applies to whatever is being garnished. For example, if you qualify for the head of household exemption, then you could use the Claim of Exemption to assert that exemption and dissolve the writ of garnishment. Once you file the claim of exemption, you’ll have a haering with the judge where you can explain why the exemption applies.
If you file a claim of exemption, watch the calender: the creditor only has three days from the time you give them a copy of the claim of exemption to contest it. And they have to contest it with a statement under oath. If they don’t strictly comply with the statutory requirements, you can include their failure to comply in your motion to dissolve the garnishment.
What Should You Do
If your bank account or wages have been garnished, you may be able to get the garnishment dissolved. The law sets many strict requirements for garnishment, and if the creditor does not strictly follow the law then the garnishment can be dissolved. If you’d like help fighting a garnishment and then settling your account, give me a call at (407) 476-6047 or contact me here.
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