Florida Laws for Consumers and Creditors

Our team of attorneys and legal professionals will assist you through your legal entanglements with care and professionalism!

We handle and defend collection matters and lawsuits in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties and in the Southern District of Florida.

Florida’s Court System

Collection matters in Florida courts are broken down into three jurisdictional levels, Small Claims, under $5,000.00, County Court, $5,000.00 to $15,000.00, and Circuit Court, over $15,000.00. The County and Circuit Courts generally look favorably upon motions for summary judgment in simple collection cases.

Executions can begin on judgments ten days after their entry provided the defendant does not file a motion for rehearing. Motions for rehearing are generally resolved without hearing. A supersedeas bond is required to prevent execution on a judgment pending appeal.

Interest on judgments is presently set at 4.97% effective January 1, 2017 and changes quarterly. The interest rate on judgments and on obligations without a specific rate of interest in Florida can be found at https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/AA/Vendors/JudgmentInterestRates.htm.

Exemptions

Exemptions from execution by creditors are governed by the Florida Constitution and Chapter 222, Florida Statutes. The general exemptions include the following:

  • homestead – unlimited
  • personal property – $1,000.00 per person if claiming a homestead
  • motor vehicle – $1,000.00 per individual on one vehicle
  • IRA’s, pension plans and Keogh plans – totally exempt
  • prepaid college tuition plans – totally exempt
  • life insurance benefits and cash value – totally exempt
  • proceeds of life insurance – totally exempt

Retaking Collateral

Florida law offers very limited self-help provisions. The holder of a recorded lien on a licensed motor vehicle can repossess the vehicle and apply for a new title without going to court. Most other forms of retaking collateral, including mortgage foreclosures, tenant evictions, and replevin of personal property require the filing of a lawsuit and the obtaining of a judgment.

Asset Searches

We can provide immediate asset searches on individuals and corporations, including statewide searches for real estate, automobiles, airplanes, boats and can determine whether the individual holds any state license or has any pending workers comp claims or criminal actions.