The Supreme Court of Florida recently announced an important new decision that will impact all judgment creditors in Florida. The Court recently overturned previous rulings concerning how judgment interest is to be accrued. As you may know, judgments in Florida are valid for a full 20 years from the date they are executed by the court. The interest computed upon those judgments during their lifespan can be substantial.
In 1998, the Florida legislature passed FS 55.03 which set the interest rate on judgments. The wording of that law clearly said that the rate would be fixed until the Judgment was satisfied or it expired. Virtually everyone in Florida interpreted it this way for many years. In 2010, our legislature amended the statute into a confusing, variable interest rate scheme. It also effectively lowered the interest rate dramatically.
This new Supreme Court decision permits judgment creditors to go back to the original plan for all judgments entered between 1998 and 2011 and charge the full fixed interest rate. This will increase the value of those judgments substantially. Stay tuned for further details. A copy of the opinion is available here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time.