Navigating Financial Account Applications To Create Tenants By Entireties Ownership

The general rule is that married accounts with rights of survivorship are presumed to owned by married couples as tenants by entireties unless the couple has disclaimed entireties ownership on the account application or elsewhere. The most common disclaimer of entireties protection occurs when a debtor selects the incorrect ownership on a financial institution’s account application. Not all bank provide a tenants by entireties option on an account application, but most securities firms do offer both a joint survivorship alternative and a separate entireties option. Continue reading

Foreclosure of Equitable Lien on Florida Homestead

The Florida Supreme Court established in the Havoco case that  equitable liens are  an exemption from Florida’s homestead protection. A judgment creditor may be entitled to an equitable lien on the homestead for the amount of money obtained by fraud or other egregious actions a judgment and subsequently used to purchase or improve a homestead. The creditor my trace the money wrongfully obtained in to the debtor’s home. Continue reading

Mistakes Computing Federal Limits On Wage Garnishment

One of my clients is facing wage garnishment by a judgment creditor because the client is not head of household. The amount that can be garnished from his wages is set forth by the federal wage garnishment law under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). My client initial understanding of the federal garnishment limits was incorrect, and other of my clients have made the same error. Continue reading

Garnishment of Debtor’s Interest In An Irrevocable Charitable Trust

Many years ago one of my clients transferred a substantial amount of money to  an irrevocable charitable lead trust. Under the terms of the trust agreement the client receives a stream of income each year, and upon the client’s death all money in the charitable trust goes to a charity. The client wanted to know if trust assets or his  income is vulnerable to his lifetime creditors. Continue reading