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Need some info/direction: Lawsuit Settlements/Judgements


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My situation...

A little over 2 yrs ago...I had A+ credit and had always paid my debts.

Now, I'm in about $38,000 CC debt and about $1800 in back child support. The CS is deducted from my pay. (My choice and this is not a complaint, but it is also when my financial trouble began.) I did get a p/t job but it began to interfere with my regular job...so I had to quit.

I had back surgery early this year...and then an auto accident a few weeks after returning to work from the surgery...I've been back to work for a few months now but am losing time/money due to numerous therapy appts for injuries sustained in the accident. A PI attorney has been retained for damages in the accident. I was told by them that I will likely have to wait for the settlement in order to regain the lost wages.

So far, I have one judgement against me from a creditor and another may be on its way. I have only one CC that I'm able to make payments on and still make my "regular" bills. I drive a 10 yr old car (300K + miles) that was totalled in the accident but still runs good.

My questions are:

Is there a website or something that anyone can recommend regarding how judgements are handled in FL? Especially if I receive any type of monetary settlement?

Basically, I want to know if the creditor(s) who have these judgements can put a claim against my pending lawsuit...automatically taking from the settlement before I get paid?

If I am awareded enough, my plan is to make good on everything owed...in full. After I get a decent vehicle and pay the back CS. (That is the ideal situation.)

However, being that I'm not sure of what the amount will be...I would like to have the option of settling some of those debts, if necessary. I know that if I were to file BK...the trustee would ask about anything relating to receiving money within a 2 yr time frame. (I think.)

I do not want to file BK...at this point, I feel it would be better and easier to repair my credit by either paying off or settling. I'm trying to look at this as a possible blessing in disguise as far as my entire situation goes.

I know I could always call the attorney's office and speak with my case mgr but I thought I would try to research this on my own. To start with, anyway. Advice, opinions, direction/websites from anyone who knows would be very much appreciated.

Thank You

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To answer your question about creditors going after your settlement, you need to look at the FL exemptions (same ones used for BK):


It doesn't look like a settlement of that sort is specifically exempted, so you'd need to ask a lawyer for clarification. If a creditor gets a judgment, they'll send you interrogatories to reveal your financial situation .. and that would include the settlement.

AS for resources - try this:


At the bottom of the page are links to FL laws and resources.

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