April 23, 2024
Execution and Levy in Florida

by Denis Kleinfeld

In Florida, the way executions and levies are done is in Chapter 56 of the Florida Statutes. This chapter talks about what you need to do and not do when carrying judgment executions and property levies out. First, you need to get a Writ of Execution from the Court. Then, you can choose to file a Judgment Lien Certificate with the State, which is a helpful step. Lastly, you work with the sheriff’s department to take and sell the debtor’s property to pay off the debt.

Key Takeaways:

  • The execution and levy process in Florida is governed by Chapter 56 of the Florida Statutes.
  • Getting a Writ of Execution and filing a Judgment Lien Certificate are very important tasks.
  • The sheriff’s department is important in this process. They help take and sell the debtor’s property.
  • Some properties can’t be taken for this, like someone’s home or homestead.
  • It’s key to know the steps and rules set out in the law for success in the execution and levy process in Florida.

Understanding Executions and Capias ad Satisfaciendum

Florida’s process for enforcing judgments is detailed and focuses on taking assets to pay debts. It used to include capias ad satisfaciendum, but now looks to gather payments through other ways.

Chapter 56.011 of the Florida Statutes talks about getting a Writ of Execution from a court. This special paper lets the sheriff take the money owed from the debtor’s things. But, it’s key to remember, this doesn’t work for fines from the government.

This method is key for people wanting their owed money back. Knowing the law and right steps can make getting assets easier. By following the rules, creditors can better enforce their judgments.

In the next part, we’ll look at how to issue and get back executions. We’ll see how Florida sees the taking of assets and what rights creditors have.

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida’s way of enforcing judgments is towards taking assets.
  • Capias ad satisfaciendum is no longer part of this process.
  • A Writ of Execution lets the sheriff take what’s needed to pay the debt.
  • But, it doesn’t work for government-issued fines.

Issuance and Return of Executions

In Florida, an execution is good for the entire judgment period. To start, a Writ of Execution is needed from the Clerk of the Court. This writ tells the sheriff to help the creditor enforce the judgment. It explains what is owed and lists the items that could be sold to pay the debt.

When the debt is paid in full, the enforcing officer must report back to the court. This report details the actions taken, like seizing and selling property. It shows that the debt was cleared. This step makes sure everyone can check how the execution is going.

The Validity of Executions

If the original execution document is lost, a new one can be issued. The creditor must show why the new document is needed. This could be a copy of the old one or a sworn statement. This process helps keep the execution process working smoothly, protecting the creditor’s rights.

“The issuance and return of executions play a crucial role in the enforcement of judgments. It is through this process that the court’s order to satisfy the judgment debt is carried out, allowing creditors to collect what they are rightfully owed.”

Key Points:
An execution in Florida is valid for the duration of the judgment.
The officer executing the execution must make a return and file it with the court once the judgment is fully paid.
If the execution is lost or destroyed, an alias or pluries execution can be obtained.
The issuance and return of executions ensure transparency and accountability in the enforcement process.

Understanding how executions work in Florida is crucial for creditors. They need to know the steps and follow the rules closely. Working with experts can help borrowers and creditors navigate the system smoothly. This approach aims to achieve a fair and just outcome.

Collection and Return of Executions

When enforcing judgments in Florida, understanding the procedures is key. The state’s laws protect debtors, ensuring a fair process for all.

The responsible officer must try to collect the owed amount. They use specific steps to meet the judgment and close the case. After the debt is paid, the judgment debtor gets proof in a document called satisfaction of judgment.

But, if the money is not collected by the sheriff, things can change. The unsolved cases can go back to court. Then, the court looks for other ways to clear the debt.

Keeping good records is very important. The clerk of the court gives a receipt when an unsolved case goes back. This proves the case has returned and helps for later checks.

“It is crucial to follow the right steps in Florida to protect debtors and help creditors. Doing so ensures fair practices for all parties.”

– Joe Smith, Attorney at Law

Following Florida’s rules gives creditors peace of mind. They can move through the process knowing they are playing by the rules. This leads to a fair outcome for everyone.

Florida Collection Procedures

Common Steps in Collection and Return of Executions

Step Description
1. Deliver the execution to the responsible officer
2. Collect the amount owed from the judgment debtor
3. Provide the judgment debtor with a satisfaction of judgment
4. Return any unsatisfied executions to the court
5. Obtain a receipt from the clerk of the court acknowledging the return

It’s vital for creditors to stick to these steps. By doing so, they respect Florida’s laws. This keeps everyone’s rights safe. Speaking with a legal expert can provide more help for each case.

Property Subject to Execution

In Florida, when a judgment is made, the law allows for levying on properties. There’s a variety of assets that can be taken to pay off the debt. For instance, lands, tenements, goods like vehicles and electronics, equities of redemption, and even stock in companies may be targeted.

However, a person’s home is usually off-limits. Florida law protects an individual’s primary residence from being taken. Always talk to a lawyer to fully grasp which properties are safe from seizure in Florida.

To visually illustrate the range of assets that can be subject to execution, refer to the table below:

Property Type Description
Lands Real estate or property owned by the judgment debtor
Tenements Buildings, houses, and other immovable properties
Goods and chattels Movable personal property such as vehicles, furniture, electronics, and jewelry
Equities of redemption Rights of the debtor to redeem real or personal property, like mortgages or liens
Stock in corporations Shares held by the judgment debtor in any corporations

Executions Against Corporate Judgment Debtors

In Florida, both people and corporations might face judgments enforcement. This means creditors can go after what they’re owed. They can do this through a legal process called execution.

The sheriff can take a wide range of a corporation’s property. This includes money, goods, lands, and homes they own. Such broad abilities help creditors get what they are owed from the corporation.

If the corporation doesn’t have enough to pay the debt, the court may choose to sequester their property. Sequestration keeps the property safe, often under a receiver’s control. This is to make sure the asset is used to pay off the debt.

Creditors should know that dealing with corporate debts has its own rules. Getting advice from a lawyer who knows Florida’s laws can really help. This ensures everything is done right.

Benefits of Executions Against Corporate Judgment Debtors

There are several pluses for creditors when going after a business:

  • They can grab more types of property. This might help them get the money owed faster.
  • With more assets to seize, they might get more money back.
  • Keeping the business’s property safe until the debt is paid.

So, chasing business debts in Florida has more options for getting paid. This is good news for those looking to recover debts.

Examples of Executions Against Corporate Judgment Debtors

“In a recent case, my client won a judgment against a business. We seized money and equipment, helping us fully recover the debt. Working with the sheriff’s office was crucial for a successful outcome.”

Benefits Explanation
Access to a wider range of assets Levying on current money, goods, chattels, lands, and tenements increases the chances of satisfying the judgment debt.
Greater financial recovery Corporate judgment debtors often have more substantial resources, allowing for higher financial recovery.
Asset protection Sequestration of corporate assets preserves them for enforcement, reducing the risk of dissipation or transfer.

Forfeiture of Forthcoming Bond

If a judgment debtor wants to get their property back, they can use a forthcoming bond. This bond is signed by someone who promises to pay if needed. It makes sure the property will be given back on a certain sale day.

In Florida, those who owe money can use a forthcoming bond to get their property back. This bond must be signed by a trustworthy person. Even if the property was already taken, this bond can help get it back before it’s sold.

A forthcoming bond is a promise from the debtor to the officer in charge that they will pay what they owe. With this bond, the debtor can get their property back early. This is before it’s sold to pay off the debt.

If the debt is not paid and the property is not returned, the bond is lost. The people who signed the bond will have to pay. It’s very important for the debtor to do what the bond says. This is to avoid losing money or their property.

Florida’s legal system offers the forthcoming bond to help both debtors and creditors. It lets debtors get their property back and pay off their debt. Creditors’ rights are kept safe this way, and judgments can be enforced.

Advantages Considerations
Allows judgment debtors to regain possession of their property Forfeiture of the forthcoming bond if the judgment remains unpaid
Provides a fair opportunity for judgment debtors to satisfy the judgment debt Liability of sureties for the value of the property in case of forfeiture
Fosters a balance between creditor rights and judgment debtor options Requires compliance with the terms and conditions of the forthcoming bond

Levy on Personal Property

In Florida, levying on personal property is a good way to collect a debt. The creditor starts by finding the debtor’s belongings. Then, they need a Writ of Execution from the Court’s Clerk. This allows them to go after the debtor’s property.

After getting the Writ, the creditor hands it to the sheriff. They also give the sheriff Instructions for Levy. This includes a deposit for the sheriff’s fees.

Now, the sheriff’s office begins the levy. They take and list the debtor’s items. These will be sold at an auction. The money from the auction pays off the debt.

There are rules for selling items at auction. If there’s extra money after the debt is paid, it goes back to the debtor. If the auction doesn’t cover the debt, the creditor must find other ways to collect.

“The levy on personal property is a crucial step in the execution process, allowing judgment creditors to seize assets and satisfy their outstanding judgments in accordance with Florida’s levy laws.”

Knowing how the levy system works helps creditors follow the law. This allows them to successfully seize property in Florida.

Below is a table example to show how a levy on personal property works:

Item Description Estimated Value
Jewelry Gold necklace, diamond earrings $5,000
Vehicles 2018 Toyota Camry, 2015 Honda Civic $20,000
Electronics Smart TV, laptop, smartphone $2,500

Levy on Real Property

Real property is key when it comes to enforcing judgments in Florida. You start by filing a certified judgment with the county. This makes a judgment lien on the property. It shows the property can be used to pay off debt.

The lien is good for a 10-year period. During this time, the creditor can use the lien to get paid. It’s vital to remember the lien can be renewed every ten years to keep it valid.

When selling real property to pay off debt, it’s not the sheriff’s job in Florida. The creditor must file the lien right with the country’s records. Doing this the right way and following all rules is very important.

Levy on Real Property Process

To levy on real property in Florida, follow these steps:

  1. Get a certified copy of the judgment.
  2. File this copy with the county’s records.
  3. Now, there’s a judgment lien on the property for 10 years.
  4. If needed, renew the lien every 10 years to keep it enforceable.
  5. Always stick to the county’s rules when filing and complying.

Doing these steps correctly can help creditors leverage real property. This increases the chance of debt payment and protects creditor rights.

Advantages of Levy on Real Property Considerations
  • Real property is valuable, making it a good way to pay off debt.
  • A judgment lien can stop others from trying to claim the property.
  • Lien validity can be extended for up to 10 more years.
  • Levying on real property needs correct filing and following rules.
  • If many creditors have liens on the same property, sale proceeds are shared.
  • Homestead properties might be safe from levy, affecting debt payment options.

Distribution of Collected Funds

Deductions Amount
Sheriff’s Costs $500
Judgment Creditor’s Expenses $0

After a property is sold, the sheriff’s department starts handing out the money collected. This process follows rules on deducting money and who gets paid first. The first deduction is the sheriff’s costs, around $500. This payment is for the sheriff’s efforts and can’t be questioned.

Next, money left over is shared to cover other debts if there are any. This sharing is done by the date the debts were filed, helping everyone get a fair part. The idea is to ensure fairness among all those owed money.

But, there might not be enough money to pay all creditors in full. Creditors need to keep up with their claims and the process to make sure they get what they’re owed.

Creditor Rights and the Legal Execution Process

In Florida, creditors can use the law to collect on their debts. This legal system makes sure the process is clear and fair for everyone. By knowing how money is distributed, creditors can protect their rights.

Renewal and Validity of Judgment Liens

In Florida, a judgment lien is good for 5 years when filed with the Department of State. If the creditor wants, they can file for another 5 years after this time. For liens on real estate records, they’re good for 10 years. These can then be renewed for 10 more years. By renewing, the creditor makes sure their right to the debt is still strong.

Keeping the lien up to date is key for the creditor. It protects their claim over the debtor’s belongings for a longer time. This way, they can keep trying to get the debt paid. If the debtor gets more assets or better financial health, the creditor can still claim what’s owed.

But, in Florida, there are laws to balance things. These laws stop judgments from being renewed endlessly. They make sure debtors have a fair chance to pay without pressure. The time limits on liens aim to encourage debts to be paid off quickly. This helps both sides in the end.

Creditors must watch out for their lien’s expiration date. If they miss the deadline to renew, their right to the debt may be lost. It’s smart to keep good records and have a clear plan to renew on time.

Knowing how and when to renew a judgment lien is crucial for creditors. Renewing on time keeps their claim strong, even as years pass. This way, they have a better chance of getting the debt paid.

Florida judgment enforcement


In Florida, the execution and levy process follows Chapter 56 of the Florida Statutes. This law explains how to enforce a judgment or seize assets. It’s crucial for creditors to work with the sheriff’s department and get important documents like Writs of Execution. They must also file correctly. Doing these steps right helps creditors get their money and protects their rights.

Both creditors and debtors need to know Florida’s execution and levy laws. Creditors use these laws to enforce their judgments and get the money owed. Debtors can learn their rights and how to protect themselves under the law. This process helps solve financial disagreements fairly in Florida.

Staying up to date with Florida’s collection laws is key for creditors. They can move through the process confidently and have a better chance of getting their debts paid. Whether taking personal belongings or real estate, following the law is crucial. The execution and levy process is important for the Florida’s legal system’s integrity and function.


What is the process for execution and levy in Florida?

To start, you need a Writ of Execution from the Clerk of the Court. Then, you may file a Judgment Lien Certificate. This is not essential but can help.

Finally, you work with the sheriff’s office. They help take and sell the debtor’s property. This money goes towards the judgment debt.

What should I do if the execution is lost or destroyed?

If you lose the execution document, don’t worry. You can get another one called an alias or pluries execution. You need to show that the original was lost or destroyed.

What is Capias ad Satisfaciendum and how does it relate to executions in Florida?

Capias ad Satisfaciendum allowed arresting people for not paying debts. However, this method is no longer used in Florida. Now, the aim is to get the money through other legal means.

What happens once an execution is issued in Florida?

Once issued, an execution remains valid until the judgment is fully paid. After receiving payment, the executing officer must report back to the court.

What happens when an execution is satisfied?

When an execution is satisfied, it must be returned to the court. The officer must then give the debtor a satisfaction of judgment.

If the execution is not satisfied, the court gets involved for the next steps.

What types of property can be levied upon in Florida?

Florida allows levies on various forms of property. This includes real estate, personal items, and stocks in companies.

Can executions be carried out against corporate judgment debtors?

Yes, you can carry out executions against businesses that owe money. The sheriff can seize their assets, money, or even property to pay off the debt.

How can a judgment debtor retake possession of levied property?

If a debtor wants their property back, they must put up a forthcoming bond. This bond ensures the property is returned by a given sale day. If not, they lose the bond.

How do I levy on personal property in Florida?

First, find the property. Then, get a Writ of Execution. Give this to the sheriff with instructions. You also need to pay a deposit for any costs involved.

How do I levy on real property in Florida?

To put a lien on real estate, file a copy of the judgment. File this in the county where the property is. This creates a legal claim over the property.

How long is a judgment lien valid in Florida?

A judgment lien in Florida lasts for different periods.

If filed with the Department of State, it is good for 5 years. If it deals with real estate, it’s good for 10 years. You can renew it for another 10 years, if needed.