Florida Replevin Law

Walter L. SandersReplevin

At times, a debtor defaults on a secured loan and refuses to voluntarily surrender the collateral. When that happens, a secured creditor has two options to obtain that collateral: self-help repossession or replevin.

Self-help repossession permits a creditor to retake the collateral without the use of judicial process. In most situations, the creditor will hire a Repo Agent to handle this.

When self-help repossession is not an option–say, if the debtor is hiding or secreting the collateral–then the creditor must turn to the court system to obtain a Writ of Replevin.

How replevin works

A Writ of Replevin is a court order that provides the Sheriff with authority to seize and return the collateral to the creditor. Florida Replevin Law provides a secured creditor with the option of obtaining a Writ of Replevin with or without notice.

In most cases, a secured creditor will opt to obtain a Writ of Replevin without providing notice to the debtor. This is because the process is quicker and does not alert the debtor that the Sheriff is coming. The term for this is a Pre-Judgment Writ of Replevin. In order for a secured creditor to obtain a Pre-Judgment Writ of Replevin, the creditor must:

  • Verify the Complaint (e.g., sign the Complaint or attach an affidavit to the Complaint confirming the entitlement to the Writ of Replevin).
  • Post a bond for two-times the amount the debtor owes or the value of the collateral, whichever is less.

As long as the secured creditor has followed these two requirements, the Court must order the Clerk of Court to issue a Pre-Judgment Writ of Replevin. Once the Writ of Replevin is issued, it is immediately delivered to the Sheriff for service.

When the creditor provides notice to the debtor, a Writ of Replevin can be obtained through what is known as an Order to Show Cause Hearing. In this case, the debtor will be served with the Complaint and required to appear at one such hearing. At the hearing, the debtor will be asked to provide the Court with cause as to why the secured creditor should not be put in immediate possession of the collateral. Although providing notice to the debtor may take more time, some secured creditors will elect this option due to the costs required when posting a bond.

We can make it happen

The law firm of Walter L. Sanders, P.A. has extensive experience in a wide range of creditor collection services. We have a specialty in the statutes involved in replevin law in the State of Florida. We can assist you with retaking possession of your collateral anywhere in the state of Florida.

For more information on obtaining a Writ of Replevin, reach out to us by contacting WS Collection Law. Make it happen.

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