Like many states, Florida has a statute (55.03) which sets the interest rate that is to be applied on judgments, commonly referred to as the “statutory rate.” Accordingly, many believe that once a judgment is entered, the interest rate at which that judgment will accrue is strictly set by the statute and the state officer listed in the statute. There is, however, an avenue created within the statute, as interpreted by the case law, that permits a judgment creditor to have their judgment accrue interest at the agreed upon rate in the underlying contract.
In order to use that opportunity, the underlying contract must specifically say that post judgment interest will accrue at the rate of _____ %. Hiday & Ricke has used this case law successfully in Florida for a number of years, although some judges are opposed to it and refuse to use anything other than the statutory rate. When you consider that the statutory rate is currently under 5% and the usury rate (the highest rate in which you can obtain interest) is 18%, the difference is quite substantial, particularly when you consider that judgments in Florida are valid for 20 full years.
If you would like to know more about how your contracts can be changed to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact us. At Hiday & Ricke we’re always looking for new ways to serve you.