Not many people know what to do after they’ve attained their Florida Judgement. So, what comes next?
If the judgment is not subsequently paid by the losing party, an execution is then ordered by the court directing the sheriff or another court officer (such as a Sheriff) to seize the defendant’s property to satisfy the judgment rendered.
This is a process by which the sheriff acquires possession and control over the judgment debtor’s property in satisfaction of the judgment. Common forms of levy are “bank garnishments” and/or “wage garnishments.” Fees are usually charged by the Sheriff for each of these procedures. If the property is seized the property must be removed, stored, advertised for sale and ultimately sold at public auction with the proceeds going to the judgment creditor. It is important to note that this procedure is extremely expensive and should only be considered where substantial amounts of money and property are involved. The costs, while ultimately recoverable from the defendant, must be paid in advance by the creditor.
If a creditor does not know what property the debtor has to levy upon, this proceeding is sometimes very beneficial. A judgment creditor may, through court order or subpoena, direct the judgment debtor to appear in court and answer questions under oath relating to his property and ability to pay. The information obtained may then be used to determine from what assets the judgment debtor has which can in turn be levied upon. If a judgment debtor ignores the court order to appear, the judge can issue a bench warrant for the judgment debtor’s arrest, ordering the Sheriff to bring him before the court. He will then be required to post a bond to assure his future appearances. In many jurisdictions, the bond may be used to partially satisfy the creditor’s judgment. Judgment debtor exams are also useful in determining whether or not there are sufficient assets to satisfy a judgment….if not, then it is time to consider the judgment as uncollectible. At that time, the creditor may then charge off as a loss for tax purposes the amount of the judgment and the file should be closed.