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Florida Courts Offer Unique Garnishment Defense

Protect your funds with Garnishment DefenseThere are several steps that must occur before you can be garnished. Typically, a creditor must file a complaint, serve the debtor with a copy of the complaint then, if they debtor responds they fight it out in court or, more commonly, the debtor never responds and a default judgment is entered against them. Once this judgment is received, the creditor can petition the court for permission to garnish your bank account.
Recent court findings state that a garnishment from a Florida court does not have jurisdiction to hear cases involving bank accounts that originated outside the state.
This creates a huge hurtle for collection agencies. For example, I came from Maine and have bank accounts that originated there. If someone attempted to garnish me in Florida they would have to obtain a judgment against me, then petition the Maine court to domesticate a foreign judgment, then would have to follow Maine laws to garnish my wages. This would require the creditor to hire a lawyer licensed in multiple states or to hire multiple lawyers.
This even works when the bank has local branches. Even though your direct deposit and/or withdrawals occur locally, the money is actually still associated with the state of origin.
There are two problems with this defense. First, the defense must be brought up at the right time in the litigation or else it is waived and secondly, many judges are unlikely to be familiar with this defense and will therefore need to be educated of the case law to come to the correct conclusions.
If someone has served you with a complaint alleging that you owe a debt, whether you owe it or not you should consult an attorney to see what your options are. Contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney or call us at (904) 685-1200 for a free consultation.

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