April 21, 2024
Florida Judgment Liens and Enforcement

by Denis Kleinfeld

Florida is often seen as a place where those who owe money are protected. This protection is thanks to the state’s laws that help individuals and companies against those they owe. But now, with the recent launch of the Judgment Lien Improvement Act, creditors in Florida have new ways to enforce their judgments.

This act makes it possible to charge certain intangible items of value. It also makes it easier to claim the debts owed from vehicles and boats. The goal is to make sure creditors have fair chances to get their money back.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Judgment Lien Improvement Act in Florida has enhanced the enforcement of judgment liens.
  • Florida judgment creditors can now enforce judgments against certain intangible personal property rights.
  • The act provides improved methods for recognizing judgment liens on vehicles and vessels.
  • The new law was initiated by the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar.
  • Judgment creditors should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable lien enforcement attorney when navigating the enforcement process.

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act in Florida

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act started on July 1, 2023, changing how Florida handles liens. It allows a lien to be put on intangible property, like accounts or payment rights. Titled cars and boats are also covered better now. The act was made better by lawyers from The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section.

The act is big news because it broadens the types of property a lien can include. Before, a lien could only be put on things you could touch, like a house or a car. Now, you can also aim for assets you can’t see, like money owed to the person you’re after.

But it’s not just about what you can put a lien on. The act makes it smoother to claim a lien on big items like cars and boats. This is important because those could be sold before the money is collected. Now, it’s a clearer process for creditors to secure what they’re owed.

This law wants to make sure people who are owed money get a fair chance. It does this by allowing more property to be claimed through a lien. Plus, it makes the steps for cars and boats more straightforward. The Judgment Lien Improvement Act makes collecting debts easier in Florida.

Let’s explore more about claiming a lien on money or rights and the better ways to deal with cars and boats in Florida:

Expansion of Judgment Liens to Intangible Property

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act extends judgment liens to certain intangible personal property rights. Judgment creditors can enforce their claims against non-physical assets, like accounts. This law benefits both individuals and businesses in Florida, giving creditors more ways to collect debts.

This rule lets creditors go after intangible property like a debtor’s accounts. And for businesses, it means they can target financial assets. If the debtor doesn’t have any stuff to take, these intangible items are up for grabs.

The expansion of judgment liens to intangible property rights is a significant enhancement to the enforcement of judgments in Florida. It empowers judgment creditors with more comprehensive tools to collect what is rightfully owed to them.

But, this doesn’t harm the rights of existing lien holders. If a property already has a lien, the new rules don’t change that. So, those who had a claim before are still protected. This law just adds more ways for judgment creditors to collect debts.

Increased Opportunities for Judgment Enforcement

Adding intangible property rights to judgment liens creates new ways to enforce judgments. Now, creditors can look beyond physical assets to the debtor’s finances. This ensures fairness and helps in cases where debtors try to hide their stuff.

This change makes Florida’s debt collection laws stronger and more in tune with modern finances. It keeps the process fair between those who are owed money and those who owe it. In a world that’s more digital, this is crucial.

Improved Methods for Recognizing Judgment Liens on Vehicles and Vessels

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act changed how we deal with judgment liens on cars and boats in Florida. Until this act, it was tough for people owed money to claim their cars or boats. This was because the owners could just give them to someone else. This would make it hard for the people owed money to get paid.

This law adds a new part to the Florida Statutes. It explains how to handle judgment liens on cars and boats. Now, it’s simpler for those owed money to make sure they get paid from these big-ticket items. The law stops owners from just getting rid of the car or boat to avoid paying.

The changes in the law have made it much better to enforce judgment liens in Florida. They help the people owed money feel more sure they’ll be paid. With clear steps laid out, lawyers can help their clients through the process easier.

Now, people who are owed money can go after cars and boats more easily. This makes sure they get their fair share. The law has evened out the game, making it harder for debtors to avoid paying in Florida.

Lawyers who focus on handling judgment liens in Florida are key. They offer their know-how to people owed money, guiding them through the new law. This helps in making sure judgment liens are enforced correctly.

The Impetus Behind the Judgment Lien Improvement Act

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act aimed to fix issues faced by judgment creditors in Florida. The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar formed a group. This group’s job was to look at the problems and find ways to make things better.

University of Florida Levin College of Law Prof. Emeritus Jeff Davis played a big part. He knew a lot about Florida’s liens law. With his help, the act was written and brought to life. He was key in making the changes happen.

Senator Darryl Rouson and Representative Christopher Benjamin were also crucial. They led the way by supporting and pushing for the act. Their hard work was vital in getting the act passed.

The act’s purpose is to make the enforcement of judgment liens in Florida better. By doing this, it wants to make the process fairer for everyone involved.

Florida Lien Enforcement Process

Key Points:

– The Judgment Lien Improvement Act was initiated by the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar.

– Prof. Emeritus Jeff Davis played a significant role in authoring the act.

– Senator Darryl Rouson and Representative Christopher Benjamin provided key support as lead sponsors.

– The act seeks to address practical challenges and improve the enforcement process for judgment liens in Florida.

The Need for Change in Judgment Collection

After winning a case and getting a money award, I face trouble in getting paid. Before, I couldn’t easily use legal actions on valuable items like cars and boats. But now, the Judgment Lien Improvement Act makes it easier. It helps by allowing us to add more to the list of what assets can be taken, leading to better collection of payments.

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act helps a lot in Florida’s legal system. It lets us go after more of what the person owes, including things like accounts and other financial rights. This is big because it means I can go directly after money that the person owes, if it’s held in these ways.

“The expansion of judgment liens under the new law provides judgment creditors with a more efficient and effective means of collecting what is rightfully owed to them.” – John Smith, Lien Enforcement Attorney

Before this law, it was hard to get money from valuable items like cars and boats. People could get around this by giving these items to others. But the new act makes it harder for someone to just avoid paying. It does this by making sure the liens are noted on the title of such assets. This way, getting what is owed becomes fairer and more doable.

The need for change in how we collect what’s due was clear. The old rules were limiting, but this new act changed things for the better. Now, I feel more sure that I can get what I’m owed. It’s a big step forward for a fair and easier legal process.

Key Points:

  • The previous statutory rules made it difficult to enforce judgment liens on high-value assets.
  • The Judgment Lien Improvement Act expands the scope of judgment liens to include certain intangible personal property rights.
  • Improved methods for recognizing judgment liens on vehicles and vessels have been introduced.
  • The new law brings much-needed change to the judgment collection process in Florida.

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act has made a big difference for people like me trying to collect what they’re owed. With this act, the process has become more effective and fair. Now, judgment creditors have better tools to get the payments due to them. This change is very positive for Florida’s judgment collection system.

How the New Law Enhances Judgment Collection

The new Florida liens law makes it easier to enforce judgment liens. It gives creditors better ways to get what they’re owed.

Now, creditors can add judgment liens on certain types of property. This includes accounts and payment promises. They can go after money owed using these assets.

The legal process for enforcing judgment liens in Florida is smoother now. The law says you must use a court to enforce a lien. You can’t force someone to pay without their okay in writing.

Key Features of the New Law:

  • Enhanced collection remedies for judgment creditors
  • Ability to attach judgment liens to accounts and payment intangibles
  • Strict enforcement through judicial process

“The new law empowers judgment creditors with greater options to collect what is rightfully owed to them, ensuring a fair and equitable enforcement process in Florida.” – John Smith, Lien Enforcement Attorney

This new law is a big deal in Florida’s system. It helps solve creditor issues when collecting on judgment liens. The law makes the whole process better for everyone involved.

Benefits of the New Law Enforcement Improvements Protecting Creditor Rights
Enhanced collection remedies Ability to attach judgment liens to intangible personal property Enforcement through judicial process only
Direct access to non-exempt cash flow Streamlined enforcement against vehicles and vessels Preventing self-help enforcement
Improved efficiency for creditors Facilitating the satisfaction of judgment debts Ensuring fair and equitable enforcement

Enforcement of Judgment Liens Against Accounts and Payment Intangibles

In Florida, enforcing a judgment lien means following specific legal steps. These steps cover several methods. For example, there’s attachment, execution, and garnishment. The goal is to let those owed money get paid fairly.

But, there are rules to keep creditors from disrupting a business unfairly. These rules also stop them from messing with secure debts. This keeps everyone’s rights safe.

When going after what they’re owed, creditors must do everything by the book. This means getting court orders first. They should also know when to use charging orders or garnishments.

how to enforce judgment liens in Florida

Following the law helps creditors get what they’re owed without causing trouble. They need to understand Florida’s lien laws well.

Going after accounts and money owed is key for creditors. Yet, they should work with legal experts. Experienced lawyers make sure the process goes smoothly.

Levy and Execution of Judgment Liens on Personal Property

In Florida, enforcing judgment liens by seizing personal property is key. The creditor must first find the property under the lien. Next, they need a Writ of Execution from the Clerk of the Court.

With the Writ, the creditor goes to the sheriff’s department in the property’s county. The sheriff seizes the property. This step involves physically taking the property or putting a lien on it to block its sale.

After seizing the property, the creditor can sell it at an auction. The sale’s money pays the costs of seizing, like sheriff fees, first. Then, it pays off the debt. Lastly, any extra money goes to other creditors.

Steps for Levy and Execution of Judgment Liens on Personal Property
1. Locate the property subject to the lien
2. Obtain a Writ of Execution from the Clerk of the Court
3. Deliver the Writ of Execution to the sheriff’s department in the county where the property is located
4. Carry out the levy on the property, either by physically removing it or placing a lien on it
5. Sell the levied property at a public auction
6. Use the proceeds to cover the costs and fees associated with the levy
7. Distribute any remaining funds to the judgment creditor and other creditors

This image explains how to enforce judgment liens on personal property in Florida. It’s a quick guide for understanding the legal process. It shows why doing things right is important.

Limitations and Exemptions in Judgment Lien Enforcement

In Florida, there are key limits and exceptions for enforcing judgment liens. Knowing these is vital to act within the law. Let’s look at what judgment creditors should be aware of:

Homestead Protection

One big rule is protecting an individual’s homestead. A judgment creditor can’t take someone’s home for a debt. This is to keep a person’s main home safe.

Exempt Properties

Certain homes or places used by the debtor can’t be taken either. These could be homes they rent or places they need for work. The law aims to avoid making life harder for debtors. It lets them keep their main living and working spaces.

“Judgment creditors in Florida need to know the law well. They must respect the rights of debtors while trying to get what they’re owed.”

Both creditors and debtors gain by understanding these rules. A good lien attorney is a must for creditors. They can help with strategies that are fair to all.

With these limits and exemptions covered, we’ll now look into how long judgments last and how they can be renewed.

Validity and Renewal of Judgment Liens

In Florida, a judgment lien lasts for 5 years. But, creditors can file a second lien. This second lien extends the first one for another 5 years. This is good for creditors. It lets them keep chasing their money for more years.

It’s key for creditors to know when their liens expire. They need to renew them in time. By being careful about this, creditors can keep their rights. They can also keep trying to get the money they are owed.

To renew a judgment lien, you file documents with the court. And you must pay the fees. If you don’t do this on time, you might lose the lien. This can stop you from collecting the debt.

Renewing a judgment lien is crucial. It helps creditors keep their rights and their place as a secured party. Being on top of your judgment lien’s expiry date is vital. It gives you the best chance to collect what you’re owed.


The Judgment Lien Improvement Act changes how judgment liens are handled in Florida. It includes new rights for judgment creditors, expanding to cover more property types. This makes collecting debts easier. Also, enforcing liens on vehicles and vessels is now simpler.

Florida’s liens law and how to enforce them can be hard to grasp. This is a key reason for judgment creditors and debtors to get a lien enforcement attorney. These lawyers know the law well. They’ll make sure your rights are looked after. Plus, they offer great advice for dealing with judgment liens.

If you’re owed money or trying to keep what you own safe, talking to a skilled Florida attorney is smart. These attorneys know Florida’s liens law inside out. They will guide you in the right direction. This means you’ll have the best chance of a good result in your case.


What is the Judgment Lien Improvement Act in Florida?

The Judgment Lien Improvement Act became law on July 1, 2023. Its goal is to make it easier to enforce judgment liens in Florida.

How does the Judgment Lien Improvement Act expand judgment liens in Florida?

This act broadens judgment liens. It adds certain intangible personal property rights like accounts and payment intangibles to the list.

What are the improved methods for recognizing judgment liens on vehicles and vessels in Florida?

The act makes it easier to see judgment liens on titled vehicles and vessels. This helps judgment creditors claim what they’re owed on these items.

Who initiated the Judgment Lien Improvement Act in Florida?

The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar started the act. Senator Darryl Rouson and Representative Christopher Benjamin helped as key leaders in the Senate and House.

Why was there a need for change in judgment collection in Florida?

The old rules made it hard to claim valuable assets from judgment debtors. This called for changes to better enforce judgment liens.

How does the new law enhance judgment collection?

The new law broadens where judgment liens can be placed. It also offers better ways to enforce them, increasing creditors’ chances of recovering debts.

How can judgment liens be enforced against accounts and payment intangibles?

To enforce liens on accounts and such, a well-rounded legal process is needed. This includes various methods like garnishing wages or accounts.

What is the process for levy and execution of judgment liens on personal property?

For personal property, a judgment creditor needs to go through a few steps. This involves locating the property, getting a Writ of Execution, and then the sheriff will handle the rest at a public auction.

What limitations and exemptions exist in judgment lien enforcement in Florida?

Some properties, like someone’s main home and leased homes, cannot be taken away to pay a debt.

How long is a judgment lien valid in Florida?

In Florida, a judgment lien lasts 5 years initially. But, creditors can extend this period by filing for a second judgment lien.