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Your rights when a non-paying debtor moves to Florida

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | collections

Financing has become a way of life in modern America. Plenty of consumers and sometimes even businesses need goods or services that they cannot pay for right away. Companies can close more sales by offering financing. If they keep that financing in-house, they may also be able to charge interest and other financing charges, providing the business with the secondary stream of revenue.

Unfortunately, anytime that you extend credit to others, there will be some people who will default on their obligations. If someone is gone for a long time without making an appropriate payment or if they have clearly stated they have no intention to pay you back, then you may need to take them to court.

Judgments can allow you to garnish a debtor’s wages or possibly even place a lien against someone’s personal property. Unfortunately, some people will take extreme measures to avoid the consequences of debt and a judgment. For example, they might flee to another state. What can you do when you have tracked down a non-paying borrower to somewhere in Florida? 

Florida allows businesses and individuals to domesticate foreign judgments

If you usually do business in Canada or South Carolina, your pre-existing judgments won’t immediately authorize collection activity in Florida. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to start over with a debt enforcement lawsuit against the non-paying debtor. Instead, you will need to domesticate the judgment.

Providing documentation to the courts about the validity of the debt and the judgment you received from a court in another jurisdiction allows the Florida civil courts to make that judgment enforceable in Florida. State law allows for this process to occur both for judgments from other states and even judgments from other countries.

Once a judge domesticates your judgment in Florida, you can then pursue the same kind of collection activity you would have elsewhere, such as asking for a garnishment of their wages. Domesticating a judgment can be a more expedient solution for those who have already gone months without repayment.

Those intent on avoiding their financial responsibilities may think that crossing state lines will protect them from your judgment. Learning more about Florida collection law can help you push to get repaid even if you usually do business in another state.