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Jeffrey B. Lampert
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Jeffrey Lampert’s Answers

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  • How can I defeat a "Head of Household" exemption in a garnishment?

    I won a judgment against a creditor and are about to start the garnishment proceedings. I know my creditor has zero intention on paying off her debt because she made a bold statement admitting so after the court hearing. After reviewing the proce...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Mr. Klurfeld is correct that many judgments are uncollectable based upon protections provided by the Florida Constitution and statutes. The specific statute protecting wages of a head of family is Section 222.11 Florida Statues. He is also correct that wages of a head of family can be apply with the dependent is an older child or "other dependent". Please note that such wages are still protected even when in a bank account.

    To ensure that the garnishment procedure goes you way, conduct "discovery in aid of execution". Take the deposition of the judgment debtor and find out all the details before you start the garnishment. Ask questions about the children. About other dependents. To be head of family, the judgment debtor must provide more than 50% of the support. Perhaps the adult children while working still get $ from mom? For the child in school, maybe getting a scholarship or student loans? Perhaps there is child support being paid? Disability benefits? In other words, sources other than or in addition to what the mother is providing?

    A deposition can be helpful also by getting the debtor to identify her bank accounts, or property owned elsewhere.

    Florida judgments are valid for 20 years. Be prepared for the long haul.

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  • Can I keep a parking ticket from 2009 that has gone to collections from affecting my credit score?

    I cosign for the car and have had no contact with the owner of the car for over 12 years. The owner claims it is not his problem. I promptly paid the ticket when I received the collection letter in 2015.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Mr. Elie raises the greater concern of your liability for ownership of the car.

    IF you are on the title with the other person, you could and should transfer your interest in the vehicle to the other person so as to get title out of your name. You can obtain a substitute title from the DMV, sign it over to the current owner, and run it through the DMV to get off title.

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  • Is it possible to payoff outstanding child support early and get penalties reduced?

    Owe $8,000 in child support and now owe $12,000+ in penalties in Norfolk County.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Child support arrears are not subject to penalties, in Florida, but interest at 18% annually are assessed.

    The mere fact that there is an arrearage means paying the $8k would not be early. I presume you mean that if you get current can you pay the future support payments in advance and get a discount on the future payments. That is not done, especially since child support is subject to modification based upon a substantial change of circumstances. There is no way to know now what the support obligation would be in the future.

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  • Do I have grounds for a case?

    I own a house in which I rented to a family member. I did NOT have them sign a lease, however, I have numerous text messages from this person acknowledging that they owe back rent, acknowledging the amount,and making arrangements to pay. This pers...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Yes, you have a case, whether to sue for eviction or for unpaid rent, or both. Verbal lease agreements which can be completed in 12 months or less are enforceable.

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  • If you are going to a foreclosure trial, how long from that court date do you have to vacate the property of your belongings?

    Foreclosure Trial set for August 13th, the house has to be given back, can't keep it. The house is not currently lived in. I want to know how much time is allowed after the court date someone has to sell or move the property that is still inside t...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Mr. Zaretzky's and Mr. Klurfeld's responses are both accurate, and since you are not living in the home any longer your inquiry is more to the point of how much longer you can use it as a storage facility.

    40 days minimum is actually about 47, since once the certificate of title is issued the new owner must then obtain a Writ of Possession issued from the Clerk, have it delivered to the Sheriff, who comes out with a 24 hour notice, which is in practice 48-72 hours.

    One thing I will caution you is to try to keep liability insurance on the property. If the bank has forced-placed insurance it only covers casualty--loss or damage to the property/house--and not liability. Some one injured on the premises could sue you for their injuries, so until the certificate of title is issued you have exposure to liability for the maintenance of the property.

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  • Can I get sued for unpaid rent?

    I used to live in a condo under my mom name, we sold it but stayed in it paying rent to the current buyer. We moved out but owed the owners rent money. I was paying them little by little until I was done paying off the rent I owed. I started havin...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You can't be sent to jail for not paying a debt.

    They can sue you, and either you can enter into an agreement to make specific payments or allow them to get a judgment against you.

    To avoid being sued, offer to give a promissory note with interest; maybe with a high interest rate they would allow you to have more time. Right now the standard interest rate on debts is 4.75% but the maximum permitted by law is 18%. An interest rate of 5-7-8-10% might induce them to not sue you; just be sure to have the note allow you to make pre-payments without penalty.

    For $1,900.00 not worth it for you to have your credit ruined by a judgment--which stays on your credit report for 10 years.

    Maybe the time has come for you to stop paying "little by little" and find another way to get them what is owed and be done with them. Maybe you borrow $ from another source? Look, I do not know you or what you can do, who you can borrow from, etc.. Point is, this particular creditor does not want to wait any more.

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  • What can I do about shared parenting not being honored? I entered contempt papers,but still have not gotten a response

    In Feb. I submitted contempt papers because my son's father an I have agreed on when I get him,but 2 months straight I could never get him when it was LEGALLY MY TIME..PLEASE HELP

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The court will not set a hearing regarding your contempt motion on its own--you need to get a hearing time and give notice of the hearing to the dad. Until then, the Motion sits there.

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  • If i have been living for years with someone how i can get benefits from ssi or retirement if we never get married?

    My boyfriend and i have been living together for 4 years, we are ok, but we don't wanna get married; we have two kids. In the event of the future how we can ensure that after something, him or me can get retirement or survivor benefits fr...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Florida law does not recognize a living arrangement as a common-law marriage. Nor does the Social Security Administration. A private retirement plan may or may not consider a long-term domestic partnership relationship as an entitlement to benefits.

    Point is, if you are not married you are not entitled to the legal benefits to be bestowed upon some one who is a spouse.

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  • Is 50/50 the blanket application for timesharing in Florida?

    Ex-husband and I settled on PBC Standard visitation, and since, he has missed more than half of his weeknight visitations 2 weekends, and was a no call, no show for his holiday weekend (Memorial Day). Settlement says if he exercised all of his vis...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    In the first instance, 50-50 applies to division of assets and debts, and it is only a starting point. The court has discretion to award assets/debts other than 50/50.

    As for child support, there is no statutory "requirement". The standard PB County division of time comes close but is not a strict 50-50.

    When it comes to time-sharing, the conduct of the parties can be taken into account.

    What I do not understand is why you feel you have to take any action whatsoever to obtain a court order to keep to the current actual time-sharing that is actually being used. You could do nothing at all and still keep to the current practice.

    Having said that, there might be a benefit to seeking a modification. If the child support obligation was calculated on your ex having overnights X% of the time and dad does not have the child/children as many days/nights as set forth in the parenting plan, YOU are in essence paying the expenses for food, transportation, etc. that he would have to incur. The % of time with the dad has an impact on the amount of support that he would pay you.

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  • Should I get my full security deposit back? - been over a month since we left and only just told they may take "some" out.

    I recently moved out of rental. We moved out three months early on our lease. We gave our property manager 30 days notice and did everything in our power to ensure the place would be quickly rented (which it was - we payed rent through June and th...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    In addition to the correct responses of both Mr. Fucillo and Mr. Klurfeld, let me point out that there are circumstances when a written notice is not required on the part of the landlord. The same statute that spells out the time requirements also have a provision that relieves the landlord of the obligation to send out a written notice of the intention to make a claim upon part or all of the security deposit--if you, as the tenants, did not provide 7 days' notice by certified mail or personal delivery to the landlord with an address to which to direct such a notice. See Section 83.49(5) Florida Statutes. If you mailed such a notice but not by certified mail, the landlord is off the hook as to giving you notice. The same if you gave verbal notice. The same if you gave written notice but less than 7 days.

    And, we are not talking about a new address but an address at which to deliver a security deposit claim notice.

    Technicalities? Of course. But that is what statutes do, create requirements.

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