Florida Vehicle Levy
Florida is known as a debtor state. When the collection of a debt is discussed among debt collectors, attorneys and collection agencies, from various states, the discussion always leads to the question of how can anybody make a living collecting debts in Florida.
There is no question that Florida, as compared to most of the other states, has laws which make it more difficult to collect a debt, especially from consumers. Florida has a homestead exemption in which the debtor’s home (with some minor exceptions or if the debt is secured by the debtor’s home) is exempt from levy. Further, wages of the head of house are exempt from garnishment. Bank garnishments may be limited for various reasons.
One avenue of collection that we, as Florida Debt Collection Attorneys, have been extremely successful is the levy process. Whether from a consumer or business debtor Florida Debt collection law permits the Plaintiff to collect its debt by levying on the defendant’s vehicles, boats and business assets. The plaintiff can levy on the defendant’s assets regardless of whether the defendant is a corporation or an individual.
The process of the levy is easy. If we are levying on a vehicle or boat, the process is similar. The sheriff is notified that the defendant owns property that is subject to levy. For example, on a vehicle levy, the sheriff is given instructions on what type of vehicle is to be levied, including information as to the make, model and VIN number. The sheriff will then proceed to the defendant’s place of business or home or marina and pick up the item to be levied. The sheriff will hold the vehicle until such time the sheriff sells the vehicle at public auction. The proceeds of the sale is then distributed to the Plaintiff up to the amount permitted by the judgment.
While the actual process of levy and sale is easy, the total levy process is very difficult. In completing the process, the plaintiff must, amount other things, file an execution, locate the vehicle, make sure the condition and value warrants a levy, check for vehicle liens and prior judgments or priority judgments and finally worry about the sheriff’s sale process to assure of a successful levy. Many of the car levies are not successful because the sheriff may be unable to locate the car. So good information is very important and hard to come by.
The costs of the levy is sometimes a prohibiting factor and must be considered in determining if a vehicle levy is worthwhile. The sheriff will demand an initial cost deposit which will range from an estimated amount of $710.00 (where you might expect other costs if you buy the vehicle) to $5000.00 (where you can expect to get about half the money back if all goes well).
This is not a complete dissertation of the Florida Vehicle Levy Process.
Further, a similar process can be used to levy on other assets including real estate, personal assets, and business assets such as inventory or furniture. If you have a judgment and believe this process might work, and you wish to discuss this matter give Marcadis Singer a call.