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Attorney T. Lodge
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Can credit card companies take my house or just put a lien

Customer Question

Can credit card companies take my house or just put a lien on it after a judgement. My state is Florida.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Attorney T. Lodge replied 5 years ago.
If a credit card company obtains a judgment against you they can also obtain a judgment lien.

However, Florida gives its citizens a homestead exemption in their primary residence as follows:

"The homestead exemption offers virtually absolute protection from forced sale to meet the demands of creditors, except under three special circumstances listed below.

One unique feature of Florida's homestead exemption is that it attaches to proceeds from the sale of a home, if the homeowner intends to use those proceeds to establish a new Florida homestead within a reasonable time. Therefore, if the owner of a $1,000,000 home sells that home and puts the money in a bank account, that money is still protected by the homestead exemption, so long as the homeowner has a bona fide intent to use it to purchase another home in Florida entitled to the exemption within a reasonable period of time. This protection is lost if the funds are commingled with other funds not designated for such a purchase. Also, the protection only extends to the amount the owner intends to invest in a new homestead - if the owner of a $1,000,000 home sells that home, and makes clear his intent to purchase a $750,000 home, the remaining $250,000 will lose its protection."

Exceptions for Certain Creditors

Three types of creditors can still force the sale of a homestead to collect debts owed to them. These are:

  1. The State of Florida and its counties or municipalities, to collect past due property taxes;
  2. Parties to whom the property was specifically pledged as credit for a mortgage;
  3. Mechanics who are owed money for work performed in repairing or improving the property.

Because the homestead exemption is state law, it can also be overridden by the federal law due to the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. Federal income tax liens are superior to the homestead protection provided by the Florida Constitution. The Internal Revenue Service's policy is reluctant to foreclose on taxpayer's homes to enforce these liens, often only getting satisfied if the real property is sold or mortgaged before the tax lien expires." (Credit: Wikipedia).

----

So, as long as your home meets the requirements as listed above, it appears as if it is

exempt from the "forced sale" by your creditor.

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Attorney T. Lodge
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10+ Years Experience Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Attorney