How to Collect on your judgment in Florida

There is a judgment pending for you in Florida, and it’s time to collect. Attaining the judgment is easier than retrieving payment. It doesn’t matter where the judgment was acquired whether it is by another law firm or a foreign judgment; the procedure is typically the same.
One of the first things that should be done is the collection of information about the defendant. As the attorneys who initiated the process, it is your responsibility to have various sources from which information is gathered. Information is essential to a successful case, judgment, and collection of payment.

Some information can be found quite easily with a bit of digging. Ask questions such as, “Is the person working for a business or corporation? Can we find his or her address? And if they are in a business, what are their assets?” Information regarding banking and past credit can be a large indicator of the defendant’s reliability. Data such as marriage, children, and whether or not the defendant has a job is essential to know because it can help indicate whether or not the defendant is in debt or has other responsibilities.
It is important to know whether or not the defendant has other judgments against them because those prior issues could impact whether or not you get paid. Being vigilant and aggressive in the pursuit of asset retrieval is a good way to get money owed, but there can be limitations due to past judgments. Those judgments first instilled will get paid first. Be sure to check any and all records to determine whether or not the defendant has past judgments!
Not all information is easy to obtain, and some may take a good amount of searching. If the defendant is well-versed in law they could potentially hide and remove many of their assets from prying eyes. Consider all avenues of finding out the information you need in order to acquire the funds owed.


Florida law can allow you to obtain information through a subpoena if there is difficulty obtaining information about a debtor through other means. Florida courts can allow the plaintiff to bring the debtor in for a deposition. Plaintiffs can request that a defendant or a defendant’s representation come in and answer questions regarding money including but not limited to; tax returns, bank statements, or any legal titles to vehicles. Subpoenas can also be used to acquire information about other creditors and family members.
In a perfect world, a subpoena would acquire all the information needed. Unfortunately, many defendants either fail to arrive at a deposition or fail to provide documentation should they come. In this circumstance, a plaintiff can file for a motion for contempt or motion to compel for example, to force the defendant to suffer legal repercussions or produce the necessary documentation. Courts have the ability to issue an arrest order if the defendant fails to comply or disobey other court orders to appear. Also, Depositions can be difficult if you are unaware of what questions to ask and if you do not follow up. You must be diligent, because the defendants are trying not to disclose any information.


After all of the appropriate information is retrieved then decisions must be made on future action. It would be important here to read the Florida statutes which refer to avenues of collection of a judgment. These statutes also highlight what the exclusions and exceptions are for the defendant. Despite any of these road blocks, it gives the creditor options to collect assets or vehicles and potentially garnish the defendant’s wages or bank accounts.


The good news about collection is that even if you fail to collect money, you have chances to do so down the road. Florida Statutes for collection are available for 20 years (Lien and execution must be renewed sooner as they have shorter periods.) If you fail to collect money from a singular case, you can always try again years down the road to collect.

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