Default Judgment

by Bobbie Skinner
(Pensacola Fl)

In Florida, if I have a default judgement against me and a car paid for free and clear in my name. Can I add a name on the title or change the name on the title, so my car will be safe from being levied on.

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Sep 12, 2011
Default Judgment

Your vehicle up to a certain value is exempt from collection in Florida. This means that if your vehicle is worth less than the exemption amount, the individual or business with the judgment against you cannot take it to collect on the judgment. However if your vehicle is worth more than that amount, then the excess value is at risk. I am not an attorney so I recommend that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney or consumer law attorney who helps people resolve debt collection problems to find out what the exemption amount is for a vehicle in FL.

If your vehicle is worth more than the amount of the exemption in your state, changing the name on its title will not protect you. For one thing, the official records will show that you owned the vehicle at the time of the judgment and adding someone else's name to the title after the judgment won't change that fact. Also, if you want to transfer the title into someone else's name and there is a lien on your vehicle, you will have to pay the excess amount -- before the transfer can be completed.

You should also know that in Florida a judgment remains in effect for 20 years so any assets you may acquire during that time are subject to being taken to satisfy the judgment. Also, if you are employed, your wages may be garnished and if you have money in a bank account, those funds are also at risk. Meanwhile, as long as the judgment goes unpaid, the amount of the judgment will increase due to interest.

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