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Had judgements entered against me 9-10 years ago. Getting…

Customer Question
Had judgements entered against...

Had judgements entered against me 9-10 years ago. Getting calls from collectors threatening to put a lein on my house. Can they do that?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None I have no plans to pay this debt

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
3/16/2018
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 1 month ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,930
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Under the Florida Constitution, your home is exempt from being taken to pay most debts. The exceptions are:

  • tax liens, mechanic's liens (for improvements or construction to the home itself), mortgage liens, and HOA debts.
  • homes purchased after the judgment was obtained
  • a home located on more than half an acre within city limits, or more than 160 acres outside of city limits.

Do any of those situations apply to you?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
no
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 1 month ago

Then they have no ability to take your home to pay the debt. They could potentially place a lien if they think they can prove any sort of fraud that would make the exemption not apply. But your home is protected as long as the named homeowners live in the property.

It's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a debt collector to threaten an action that they do not intend to take or legally cannot take. If they're saying they're going to foreclose your home - which is impossible under Florida law - you could actually sue them for a penalty of $1,000 plus your attorney's fees, because they're breaking the law. And you're free to let them know that the next time they call.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 1 month ago

Another option is to send them a letter via certified mail, reminding them that Florida law prohibits a creditor from taking a person's home to pay a judgment and insisting that they cease all communication with you. If they call again after receiving the letter, you could sue - it would be $1,000 per violation.

Here is a sample. You'd want to alter it a bit to explain that they can't touch your home, but the rest should help.

https://www.thebalance.com/cease-and-desist-letter-template-for-debt-collectors-960561

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 1 month ago

Do you have any questions about this?

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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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