I have been receiving an increasing number of inquiries from Florida consumers asking:
My bank account (or wages) were just garnished and this isn't the first (or even second) time! How many times can they do this to me!!
Unfortunately, the simple answer is that there is NO stated limit to how many times a creditor may garnish your wages or bank accounts to collect money on a civil judgment in Florida.
As long as the judgment remains valid and unsatisfied, garnishments are a very real and persistent threat.
In my opinion garnishments are by far the number one threat to judgment debtors in the state of Florida. Its cheap, quick, and easy for a judgment creditor to obtain a writ of garnishment against your bank and instantly cause up to twice the amount of the judgment to be seized from your accounts or for your employer to immediately begin withholding up to 25% of your disposable pay.
Click here to visit my Garnishment Defense practice page to find detailed information related to the garnishment process in Florida.
In Florida garnishments are governed by Chapter 77, Florida Statutes.
While garnishment is allowed prior to a party obtaining a judgment against another (click here if you aren't sure what a civil judgment is in Florida) this is exceedingly rare; and most garnishment actions are instituted by the party that has been awarded a judgment against another.
Concerning the legal authority for a judgment creditor to seek a writ of garnishment:
77.01 Right to writ of garnishment.—Every person or entity who has sued to recover a debt or has recovered judgment in any court against any person or entity has a right to a writ of garnishment, in the manner hereinafter provided, to subject any debt due to defendant by a third person …
Therefore, issuance of a writ of garnishment to a judgment creditor is a matter of right under Florida law.
Neither the clerk of court (for writs of garnishment) or the court (continuing writs of garnishment) has discretion regarding issuance if a writ of garnishment. There is no limitation anywhere in Chapter 77 on the number of writs of garnishment sought or issued in a case and I have yet to see a case where a judge has refused to allow a writ to be issued solely based on the number of writs whcih have been issued in a particular case.
In my consumer defense practice, I routinely handle cases where a person has been the target of multiple writs of garnishment at the same time. In fact, one particularly nasty case had the consumer at the receiving end of two writs of garnishment against his bank accounts and a continuing writ of garnishment against his wages all at once. Needless to say, such a scenario can completely financially disable an entire family in an instant.
Whether it's the first time, or the tenth – when you find yourself at the receiving end of a garnishment action in Florida you should immediately seek out qualified legal counsel so that you are exercising every possible legal right to which you are entitled at the state and federal level. Garnishment actions require a specific and often complicated series of steps to properly defend. It is absolutely NOT the time to try your own case in the legal system.
Feel free to read through some of my client recommendations and reviews to see what former clients have to say about my garnishment defense practice.
Defending consumers and small businesses against judgment levy, execution and garnishment proceedings is what I do. Contact the Law Office of Alex McClure today to discuss what I can do for you.
At the Law Office of Alex McClure, I pride myself on working closely with my clients to provide practical solutions to their consumer debt problems.
I do everything in my power to provide options that my clients didn't even know existed before consulting with me.
The Law Office of Alex McClure provides services in Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, Deltona, Deland, Orlando and all of Seminole, Volusia, Orange, Brevard and Lake Counties.