A Reference Guide to Doing Business in Florida
A judgment lien securing the unpaid amount of any judgment may be acquired on a judgment debtor's interest in personal property in this state. As of October 1, 2001, a judgment lien is acquired after the judgment has become final by filing a Judgment Lien Certificate with the Department of State, Division of Corporations, and paying the appropriate fee. This filing is good for five years. Filing a Judgment Lien Certificate with the Division of Corporations creates a lien and establishes priority.
All liens previously docketed with the sheriffs' offices in the 67 counties in Florida, if not refiled with the Division of Corporations prior to October 1, 2003, are no longer effective.
The following forms are utilized in creating a lien and establishing a judgment creditor's priority on the Judgment Lien database:
- Judgment Lien Certificate form is used to identify judgment debtor and creditor and their addresses. Court name, case number, date of entry, amount due on judgment and applicable interest rate are also entered on form.
- Second Judgment Lien form is used to refile a judgment lien after the first five-year lien has expired. The creditor loses his priority after five years but is still listed as a creditor when filing this form. This form may be filed at any time six months prior to through six months after expiration of the initial Judgment Lien Certificate. No subsequent lien certificate can be filed.
- Judgment Lien Amendment Statement form is used by the creditor to amend information reported in the original Judgment Lien Certificate form. The creditor must reference original file number of judgment lien to be amended.
- Judgment Lien Correction Statement form is used by the judgment debtor to enter into the record any statement of correction as it relates to the Judgment Lien Certificate. No changes are made to the database records of the Department of State when a correction statement is filed.
Call (850) 656-7463; mail forms to the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, P.O. Box 6250, Tallahassee, FL 32314.
Searches are not conducted by the Division of Corporations but can be made on the Internet on the Division's website, www.sunbiz.org. Forms and images of filed documents can also be downloaded from this site.
Printouts of searches and certified copies of documents may be required by the sheriff's office if the sheriff conducts a public sale on personal property. The sheriff must determine priority and contact lien holders prior to a sale of located property.
When there is an unpaid judgment, a judgment lien securing the unpaid amount may be acquired on a judgment debtor's nonexempt personal property in Florida. A judgment lien filing is good for five years.
A Judgment Lien is a lien imposed on a judgment debtor's nonexempt personal property.