Clearwater, FL | December 17, 2010 3:42pm
A firm representing Dodge Enterprises (collection agency) is threating to garnish my wages. They have sent me a Writ of Garnishment. I requested from their attorney the dates that this debt took place. I did not receive a response. No wages have been taken as of this date (12/17). Dodge claims a judement was awarded to them in July 11, 2006. The money owed is from an old credit card debt. At the time, it was either pay the morgage or the credit card. Attempts on my part to arrange payments with the credit card company at the time failed. I have not tried to work out any arrangement with this collection agency because I simply do not make enough money. What are my legal rights in Florida regarding this?
Posted December 17, 2010 3:49pm
Florida Wage Garnishment
Florida Statutes, chapter 77 outlines very strict procedures for garnishment. Florida Statutes §222.11 offers a significant exemption to wage garnishment known as the "head of family" exemption. Effective July 1, 2001, the judgment creditor is required to serve a notice of rights to the defendant upon receipt of the employees answer with a form for the defendant to fill out to claim exemptions.
When you find out that a judgment has been entered against you, normally by discovering that your wages are being garnished or the bank account has been frozen, you still have a couple of options.
In most States the Courts allow you to reopen and challenge a “default judgment”. Most States will allow a year to accomplish this. If you did not get the paperwork for the lawsuit, or
you got the paperwork but never did anything, then the judgment was “entered” due to your default to file an Answer.
You have to bring a motion in the Court where the judgment is filed. That motion normally has to include a defense to the charges and a copy of your proposed Answer.
You should definitely get a local lawyer to help you with this, or seek the assistance of a Bankruptcy attorney to get rid of the liability. If you can’t afford a lawyer and you are being sued check out my website for a free form Answer.
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Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and the fact that he has worked as an Assistant District Attorney; State Supreme Court Clerk; Special Assistant United States Attorney (Hawaii); Assistant Cornell University Counsel or Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps should not be relied upon to assume that these statements reflect the policy of these organizations.