April 21, 2024
How Long Does a Judgment Last in Florida?

by Denis Kleinfeld

In Florida, how long a judgment lasts matters a lot for those who owe money and those owed. It’s key to know about the time limits and if they can be extended. This info helps deal with collecting debts and enforcing judgments.

A judgment in Florida stays valid for 10 years. But, a creditor can choose to renew it before it’s up. They can make it last for another 10 years, totaling 20 years of enforceability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida judgments are initially valid for 10 years.
  • Creditors have the option to renew the judgment for an additional 10 years.
  • A judgment can remain valid and enforceable for up to 20 years in Florida.
  • During this time, creditors can garnish wages and attempt to seize property.
  • Debtors may have exemptions that protect certain assets.

The Length of a Judgment in Florida

A judgment in Florida stays active for a set time before it ends. Let’s talk about how long judgments last and stay enforceable in Florida.

At first, a judgment is valid for 10 years. This gives creditors the right to chase the debt. They can do things like garnish wages or try to take the debtor’s property to pay off the debt.

But, creditors can also renew the judgment before it runs out. Renewing lets the judgment be valid for another 10 years. So, it could be good for 20 years in total.

This extra time helps creditors keep trying to get the debt paid. Debtors must be alert and protect their property and money during this long time.

Renewing a judgment is big for both sides. Creditors can work on getting their money back longer. Debtors might feel more pressure and risk during this extra time.

Knowing how long a judgment lasts in Florida is key. It affects both the person owed and the one who owes. Speaking with a lawyer is smart. They can offer advice on what to do when dealing with a judgment.

The Length of a Judgment in Florida

Duration Renewal Option Total Validity Period
10 years Yes 20 years

Enforcement of a Judgment in Florida

When a judgment is due in Florida, creditors have routes to collect debts. This could include getting part of a debtor’s pay or taking their things. Debtors have some safe areas, much like they do in bankruptcy. Yet, a judgment can last up to 20 years. So, a debtor might not always keep their assets or income safe.

Creditors often choose to garnish wages to collect the debt. They get a court order. The employer then takes out some of the debtor’s pay to pay off the debt. How much they can take depends on the debtors’ pay and other factors.

They can also try to take the debtor’s property. This might stretch to their bank funds, cars, or valued items. But, Florida has rules that keep certain things safe, like their home, some personal items, and retirement savings.

Or, they might put a lien on a debtor’s property. A lien lets the creditor sell the property to get what they’re owed. This can make selling or changing the property’s ownership tough. In Florida, liens last for 10 years but can be extended for another 10.

But, how long it takes to enforce a judgment can vary. It may need more legal steps, court visits, or help from the police or debt collection. Debtors should talk to a lawyer fast. A lawyer can help them know their rights and find ways to keep their money and things safe.

Enforcing a judgment in Florida

Comparing Wage Garnishment and Asset Seizure

Method Process Effect on Debtor
Wage Garnishment The creditor obtains a court order to withhold a portion of the debtor’s wages. Reduces the debtor’s disposable income and may impact their ability to meet other financial obligations.
Asset Seizure The creditor attempts to take possession of the debtor’s property to satisfy the judgment debt. Can lead to loss of valuable assets, impacting the debtor’s financial stability and personal belongings.

Debtors must act when dealing with judgment debts. They could try to settle them, set up a payment plan, or look at bankruptcy. A lawyer who knows about debt and judgments is very useful. They can guide debtors and protect their rights and money.

Liens and Judgments in Florida

In Florida, a judgment can heavily impact a person’s property. It may lead to a lien on the property. Liens are recorded publicly and can be found through searches.

For a homeowner with a homestead property, not all liens lead to foreclosure. But, when selling, the judgment must be paid first. This payment decreases the final sale amount.

The duration of a judgment lien is key. It’s valid for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10. This might span up to 20 years. During this time, the debtor’s property marketability might be limited.

Key Points Action
A judgment can result in a lien on a debtor’s property Recorded in public records
Homestead property is generally protected from judgment liens No automatic foreclosure, unless it is a foreclosure judgment
A judgment lien must be paid from sale proceeds when the property is sold Reduces the amount the homeowner receives
Duration of a judgment lien is initially 10 years Might be renewed for another 10 years, totaling 20 years

Debtors in Florida need to keep these points in mind. They should understand how judgments and liens can affect their property. Seeking legal advice is advised to protect their rights.

Bankruptcy and Judgments in Florida

Filing for bankruptcy can help in Florida. It provides a chance for a fresh start. It protects debtors against long-term debts.

A bankruptcy can make a judgment go away. Once the judgment is discharged, the debtor doesn’t have to pay it back.

Bankruptcy is a way for individuals and businesses to handle big debts. It lets them get rid of or change their debts. This offers a way to a better financial future.

Working with a bankruptcy attorney is key. They’ll help you through the process. They’ll explain how to discharge a judgment in Florida.

“Bankruptcy provides debtors with a fresh start and a chance to rebuild their financial lives, free from the burden of judgments that may otherwise remain enforceable for up to 20 years.”

Bankruptcy’s automatic stay helps debtors right away. It stops creditors from collecting money. This gives a chance to figure out debt solutions.

There are different types of bankruptcy, like Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 helps wipe out debts by selling non-essential assets. Chapter 13 sets up a plan to pay back debts over several years.

Thinking hard about your finances and talking to a professional is crucial. A good bankruptcy attorney can advise on the best steps. They will make sure you meet all legal standards.

For those overwhelmed by debts, bankruptcy can be a way out. It helps remove or adjust debts, giving a chance for a new beginning.

Limitations and Renewal of Judgments in Florida

In Florida, judgments have limits and can be renewed. It’s important to know the rules for judgments and how renewal works. This knowledge helps both sides – creditors and debtors – deal with judgments properly over time.

The statute of limitations for judgments in Florida lasts 20 years. After this, a judgment can’t be enforced unless it’s renewed. Renewals past 20 years are not common but are still possible.

To renew a judgment in Florida, the creditor has to act before the 10-year and 20-year marks. They can extend the judgment for another 10 years by following certain steps. This keeps the judgment valid for a longer time.

The Process of Renewing a Judgment

  1. Before the initial 10 years end, the creditor must file a motion to renew the judgment.
  2. This motion needs to be given to the debtor as notice of the renewal.
  3. If the debtor doesn’t respond in time, the court usually approves the renewal.
  4. With the renewed judgment, the creditor has 10 more years to enforce.

In Florida, getting a judgment renewal is very precise. Creditors should work with a lawyer who’s skilled in debt collection. This ensures they follow all needed steps correctly.

“Renewing a judgment in Florida gives creditors more time for debt collection. By doing everything right, they can keep their judgments enforceable. This allows them to keep trying to get unpaid debts.”

Statute of Limitations for Judgments in Florida 20 years
Renewal Period Before the expiration of the initial 10-year period or the subsequent 10-year extension
Process of Renewal
  1. File a motion to renew the judgment
  2. Serve the motion to the debtor
  3. Receive court approval for the renewal
Enforceability Period After Renewal Additional 10 years

Homestead Protection and Judgments in Florida

Florida has strong laws that protect your homestead against judgments. This means a judgment doesn’t automatically put a lien on your home. But it’s crucial to know the details to keep your home safe.

If a home is your main residence, it’s shielded from judgment liens. So, judgment creditors can’t place a lien on it, as long as you live there. This rule keeps your home safe from most debts you might have.

“Florida’s homestead protection provides debtors with a crucial safeguard to preserve their primary residence from judgment liens, offering a vital level of security.”

This protection lets you keep your place of living free from the threat of debts. It also gives you a chance to fix your finances without worrying about losing your residence.

But, if your home stops being your main residence, the protection changes. Using it for renting or other investments opens it to judgment liens. This unleashes the creditor’s right to claim the property.

If you’re dealing with such issues, legal advice is key. A lawyer familiar with debt cases can look at your situation. They’ll explain homestead laws and offer ways to protect your home.

Florida Homestead Exemption Table

Homestead Property Protection Against Judgment Liens
Property is used as the debtor’s primary residence and remains homestead Protected from judgment liens
Property is converted into rental property or used for investment purposes Not protected from judgment liens
Debtor moves out or abandons the property as their primary residence Not protected from judgment liens

To keep your home safe, understanding these laws is vital. With the right information and advice, you can protect your homestead. This lets you handle debt issues without losing your home.

Homestead Protection and Judgments in Florida

Ways to Deal with Judgments in Florida

If you face a judgment in Florida, you have some options. Each choice comes with own positives and negatives. Here’s a look at your options in dealing with judgments in the state:

1. Resolving Judgments in Florida

Paying off the judgment fully is one choice. You clear the debt by giving a big payment to the creditor. Doing this fast can stop more collection efforts and court actions.

2. Settling Judgments with Creditors

Settling with your creditor is another way out. You can work out a payment plan or offer a smaller sum to end the judgment. It’s key to talk openly with your creditor to find common ground.

3. Bankruptcy as a Solution for Judgments

Sometimes, bankruptcy might be the answer, like filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Bankruptcy can clear certain debts, including judgments. But, it’s smart to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer first to see if it’s right for you and to understand any other impacts.

4. Waiting Out the Judgment Lifespan

If your other options don’t work, you can just wait. In Florida, judgments last up to 20 years if the creditor renews them. While waiting, keep an eye on your financial situation and consider legal advice if needed.

Tackling judgments is a tricky matter, and it’s important to think over your situation carefully. Getting advice from a debt specialist attorney can really help. They can guide you to the best path.


In Florida, judgments can last up to 20 years. This gives creditors a long window to collect debts. They can do this by actions like taking wages or seizing property. Even though some properties are safe, others might not be. So, people with debts need to know their rights and what they can do.

Bankruptcy is one way for debtors to find relief from judgments. It might even wipe out the debt. When someone files for bankruptcy, all debt collection stops. This offers a chance for a new financial beginning. Getting advice from a lawyer is very important. This is especially true for those considering bankruptcy to clear a judgment.

Talking to a lawyer is helpful for anyone dealing with judgments in Florida. A good lawyer can help in many ways. They can guide debtors through how to resolve debts or make deals with creditors. With the right advice, people can protect their money and make smart choices. Knowing about judgments and what to do is key for people with debt problems.


How long does a judgment last in Florida?

A judgment in Florida lasts for 10 years. It can be renewed for another 10 years. This makes its total life span 20 years.

How can a judgment be enforced in Florida?

In Florida, creditors can use different ways to collect a debt. They may garnish wages or seize property.

What is the impact of a judgment on property in Florida?

Judgments can lead to property liens in Florida. This can affect the sale of the property for up to 20 years.

Can a judgment be discharged through bankruptcy in Florida?

Yes, bankruptcy in Florida might clear a judgment. It can also stop any further collection actions.

How long is the statute of limitations for a judgment in Florida?

The time limit for debt collection in Florida is 20 years. If not renewed, the judgment can no longer be collected.

Does Florida provide homestead protection against judgments?

Indeed, Florida offers strong protection for homesteads against judgments. Usually, homestead properties are safe from liens, with some exceptions.

What are the options for dealing with a judgment in Florida?

In Florida, debtors have several options. They can pay, reach a settlement, file for bankruptcy, or just wait 20 years.