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How does Florida limit creditor garnishments for collections?

| Mar 23, 2021 | collections

Some people don’t repay their debts because they can’t, and others don’t make payments because they have other priorities. Individuals with income or bank accounts who don’t pay their debts can frustrate businesses that they owe money to. They may actively try to escape collection efforts and default on debts that they could repay.

As a creditor in Florida, you have certain rights when someone accrues a debt and then refuses to pay it back. You can, for example, file a lawsuit against a non-paying borrower and then ask the courts to garnish their wages if your lawsuit is successful.

Garnishments can mean that someone has no choice but to pay you back, but the state does protect people from unfair or aggressive garnishments. What limitations apply to your garnishment rights after a successful debt collection lawsuit in Florida?

Heads of household have protected income

The children in a family have no say in the irresponsible behavior of their parents. To make sure that families don’t experience hardship that affects the development and well-being of the children, Florida law limits garnishment against those who use the head of a household filing status for their income taxes.

These individuals can protect up to $750 in income each week from creditor claims. They will need to have income over that amount for the courts to approve a garnishment. Generally, they will also have to agree in writing to allow the garnishment because of the head of household protections. This rule is in addition to federal laws that already limit garnishments to 25% or less of someone’s net income.

Winning in court may only be part of the legal process necessary to get someone unwilling to repay their debts to make good on what they owe. Those needing to use the courts for debt collection will likely need legal assistance with this complicated process.