Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania

awarded judgement in Florida need to file lien on bank account in Pennslyvannia

Asked on 4/06/11, 2:59 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Will Whitman Whitman, LLC

I believe what you would need to do is a process known as domestication, which means basically going to court and registering the Florida judgment with the court in Pennsylvania. It should be filed in the county where the defendant resides, or if only the property is in Pennsylvania, then in the county where the property is located. I hope this helps.

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Answered on 4/06/11, 3:35 pm

I agree with Attorney Whitman that this falls with the Enforcement of Judgments Act. Each state has one and you will need to comply with the laws of Pennsylvania regarding registration and notice. Once it is properly registered, the Florida judgment will be treated like a Pennsylvania money judgment and subject to the same rules. One of them is that you can freeze the judgment debtor's bank account, provided that they have more than $300 in there. You can also execute on any other property they own like land or cars if they are not liened.

There is a caveat about bank accounts - I don't know what kind of funds are in there and whether they are exempt. My advice would be to get a Pennsylvania attorney specializing in collections in the county where the debtor resides or his property is located as the attorney will be familiar with the rules regarding domestication of the out-of-state judgment as well as execution on the judgment.

And if its only a bank account that you are after, is it at a big multi-state bank, like Bank of America? If there is a branch in Florida, you might try to execute in Florida on the Florida branch.

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Answered on 4/06/11, 5:50 pm

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