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Florida Debt Collection Law Blog

Collecting on a judgement in Florida

At CreditorCollections, A Law Firm, we understand that failure to recoup your money could mean going out of business. Because of this, creditors are often compelled to involve the state to recover commercial debts when borrowers are either unwilling or unable to repay the amount owed. But how? The Division of Corporations at the Florida Department of State explains.

According to the DOS, creditors are not obligated to file a Judgment Lien Certificate, but it can make recovering your debt a whole lot easier. Why is this? The sheriff's department is responsible for ensuring creditors receive their payments. However, the debtor may owe several other creditors. As a result, the sheriff operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, decided by who first filed their lien.

Debt collection and fraud

For debt collectors, recovering assets can be challenging in many different ways. However, there are times when it can be especially difficult to recover debts, such as instances where a debtor intentionally does everything they can to evade debt collection through fraudulent activity. For many debt collectors in Florida, this is a reality that is all too common, and a number of roadblocks may emerge when fraudulent behavior is present. However, it is extremely important for creditors to recover what they are owed and for fraudulent debtors to be held responsible for their actions.

When it comes to debt collection, every case is different, and this is especially true with regard to fraud. Creditors should not hesitate to pursue legal action against a borrower who has intentionally misled borrowers and evaded debt collection through fraudulent means. Before moving forward with legal action, it is critical to be prepared and gather as much relevant information as possible. Even seemingly small details could impact the case, and there are many different issues that will need to be reviewed.

Options for collecting debt before going to court

For your Chicago business, the collection of debts is crucial to the financial health of your company. It is important to secure what customers and clients owe you, and it is helpful to know how to do this in ways that are as simple and effective as possible. Creditors have certain rights, and there are options for debt collection that may benefit your company. 

When Florida customers fail to pay their debts, you can take specific steps to collect what they owe, sometimes with interest. There are remedies available to you, some of which you can do yourself and others that you can do with court involvement. Many Chicago companies find it beneficial to work with a legal professional experienced in debt collection matters.

Involuntary bankruptcy basics

The popular opinion that many in West Palm Beach may assign to bankruptcy is that it is simply a way for individuals or businesses to avoid having to their debts. While many of those who seek bankruptcy protection are legitimately in a position where they cannot afford to meet their liabilities, the concern of creditors that debtors might purposefully be avoiding paying them may be legitimate. Knowing this, the federal government has structured the bankruptcy code in such a way as to prevent the privileges of bankruptcy from being abused. This includes allowing creditors to force debtors into involuntary bankruptcy

By initiating an involuntary bankruptcy against an individual, creditors are essentially saying that they believe a debtor is capable of paying their bills, yet they are avoiding doing so. Indeed, as the Involuntary Petition Against an Individual form (as shared by the Federal Judiciary) shows, the allegations that a creditor must cite include a debtor generally not paying debts as they become due (the other is that a debtor has transferred property subject to a lien to a custodian to try and protect it from creditors' actions). 

Strategies for getting invoices paid on time

As a Florida business owner, you may understand all too well that there are few things more frustrating than sending out invoices for work you already performed only to have those invoices go ignored. Regrettably, this happens quite frequently across the state and nation, and sometimes, it can prove extremely difficult to recover what clients owe you without pursuing legal action. At CreditCollections, A Law Firm, we recognize that there are certain strategies business owners can employ that may help increase the chances that clients will pay up on time, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances take steps to make sure they get paid.

According to Forbes, one step you might want to take to increase the likelihood that your business clients will pay on time is to set clear expectations in writing from the outset. Before you begin performing any work on behalf of a client, set clear terms regarding payment turn times and how you expect that client to pay your bill.

Collecting a debt from a client

Your clients are the lifeblood of your Florida small business, but when one of these fails to pay its debts, that could cause your business financial troubles. We at CreditorCollections, A Law Firm, often counsel companies on collecting debts from their clients.

Documentation is key to the process of collecting a debt, according to Small Business Trends. This involves more than simply producing a contract, although that certainly is important. It is a good idea to create a trail of communication. Every time you contact the client, make copies of the letters and send them certified mail, and save every email. Not only that, you should document the time and date of every phone conversation and in-person visit, and take notes of what was said.

What is a fraudulent transfer?

Your Florida business depends on people paying you what they owe. Some individuals do not respect the responsibility they have to pay their debts, and in some cases, they may take steps to defraud you of the money that should be yours. 

According to the Florida Statutes, a person is transferring an asset if he or she parts with it by leasing or releasing it, creating an encumbrance or using it to pay someone. It could be a conditional action, where the person expects to get the asset back, or it could be permanent. Whether the person is getting rid of the asset to get out of paying you, or another creditor has seized the person's asset, it may be a fraudulent transfer.

The rights of creditors in the vehicle repossession process

When a consumer signs a car loan, he or she must sign a contract that gives the creditor the right to take action in the event the signee falls behind on his or her payments. The fine print often spells out these rights, but consumers rarely take the time to read all the way through the contract. It is often shocking for people to learn that a creditor can repossess one's personal vehicle after even just one missed payment.

In the event a Florida creditor wants to move forward with the vehicle repossession process, it must follow a specific process. While creditors do have repossession rights, there are limits to what they can do. It may be helpful for you to review both consumer rights and creditor rights as you move forward with the most appropriate course of action on behalf of your company. 

Garnishments and attachments may help creditors collect on debts

When a debtor is not making the agreed-upon payments to a Florida creditor, the creditor has options for collecting what is owed.

These methods are wage garnishment and attachment at law.

Domesticating a foreign judgment in Florida

When a court outside of Florida issues a judgment in your favor, you expect the other party to pay you the amount that the judge has ordered. We at Creditor Collections, A Law Firm, understand that often, matters are not as straightforward as they should be. Our legal team provides assistance when individuals or businesses must domesticate a judgment issued in another state in order to collect the money owed by the debtor.

According to the Florida Statutes, the Florida Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act does not just refer to foreign countries. It also refers to judgments, orders or decrees issued by a court in another state, in a federal court, or in a territory or commonwealth of the U.S.

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