The Florida Senate
(This document is based on the provisions contained in the legislation as of the latest date listed below.)
Prepared By: The Professional Staff of the Committee on Rules
INTRODUCER: Judiciary Committee and Senator Rouson
SUBJECT: Judgment Liens
DATE: February 7, 2024 REVISED:
1. Bond Cibula JU Fav/CS
2. Thomas Knudson BI Favorable
3. Bond Twogood RC Favorable
Please see Section IX. for Additional Information:
I. Summary:
CS/SB 984 is a glitch bill that makes several changes to legislation relating to judgment liens
enacted during the 2023 Legislative Session. These changes:
 Clarify that a judgment lien in payment intangibles and accounts only applies to property
interests that are located in the state,
 Allow filing of a corrective judgment lien certificate,
 Provide that the Uniform Commercial Code lien priority law prevails over the lien priority of
the statute on judgments, and
 Authorize an account debtor to pay a judgment creditor in lieu of paying the judgment debtor
pursuant to a settlement agreement between the judgment creditor and judgment debtor
without the need for a final order or judgment directing payment.
The bill is effective July 1, 2024.
II. Present Situation:
Judgment Liens - In General
If a court enters a civil judgment, it creates a judgment debtor and a judgment creditor. Should
the judgment debtor fail or refuse to pay the amount of the judgment, the judgment creditor may
elect to use statutory methods for the involuntary sale of property or the involuntary transfer of
money to partially or fully satisfy the judgment.
BILL: CS/SB 984 Page 2
A common method of judgment collection is the imposition of a judgment lien.1 The main
benefit of a judgment lien is that the judgment debtor can no longer easily sell the property
because any purchaser would, generally speaking, acquire the property subject to the lien. A lien
in real property is created by recording a certified copy of the judgment in the county in which
the real property is located.2 Liens against personal property, however, are not so simple.
A general lien against personal property is created by recording a judgment lien certificate with
the Florida Department of State (DOS).3 Before July 1, 2023, Florida law did not allow a
judgment lien to attach to intangible personal property, such as royalty rights and the right to
receive rents or payments for the sale of goods or services.4 Thus, a judgment debtor’s intangible
personal property remained outside the reach of a judgment creditor even though the value of
such property might have been significant and sufficient to satisfy the judgment lien. During the
2023 Legislative Session, however, the Legislature passed the Judgment Lien Improvement Act
which, in pertinent part, allows a judgment lien to attach to certain types of intangible personal
property (specifically payment intangibles and accounts and the proceeds thereof) and specified
the priority of such liens as against pre-existing security agreements in which such property was
pledged as collateral to secure the loan.5
Filing a judgment lien certificate does not encumber all personal property. Florida law provides
that a judgment lien on a motor vehicle or vessel, though enforceable against the judgment
debtor, is not enforceable against creditors or subsequent purchasers for value unless the lien is
noted on the title certificate.6 The Judgment Lien Improvement Act simplified the process for
filing a lien that will appear on the title certificate.
Secured Transactions Under the UCC
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), adopted in all fifty states, is a set of laws governing and
providing uniformity in commercial transactions.7 Florida’s UCC provisions are codified in
chapters 670-680 of the Florida Statutes.
Article 9 of the UCC (codified in ch. 679, F.S.) governs secured transactions, meaning
transactions involving the granting of credit under a security agreement in exchange for the
borrower’s pledge of personal property (collateral) which the secured party may take possession
A lien is a claim against property that evidences a debt, obligation, or duty. Fla. Jur. 2d Liens s. 37:1.
Recording the certified copy of the judgment establishes the lien’s priority; in other words, the recording of the judgment
generally guarantees that the lienholder will be paid before lienholders with later-recorded liens on the same property.
However, homestead property is exempt from the reach of creditors. S. 55.10(1), F.S.; art. X, s. 4, Fla. Const.; s. 55.10(1),
The judgment lien certificate establishes the lien’s priority; in other words, the filing of a judgment lien certificate generally
guarantees that the lienholder will be paid before lienholders with later-perfected liens on the judgment debtor’s tangible
personal property.
Section 56.061, F.S.
Chapter 2023-300, L.O.F.
“Title certificate” means the record that is evidence of ownership of a vehicle, whether a paper certificate authorized by the
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or a certificate consisting of information that is stored in an electronic
form in the department’s database. Ss. 319.001(1) and 319.27(2), F.S.
Chapters 670-680, F.S.; Uniform Law Commission, Uniform Commercial Code, (last
visited Jan. 25, 2024).
BILL: CS/SB 984 Page 3
of if the debtor defaults on the loan.8 In addition to tangible personal property, collateral
recognized by the UCC includes accounts and payment intangibles.
Priority between Competing Liens
Judgment liens in real property are filed with the clerk of court (or county recorder in certain
counties) in the same place and manner as mortgages and other liens. A judgment lien in real
property stands in line with the mortgages and other liens, equally taking priority according to
the date filed (earlier takes priority over later filed).
Similarly, judgment liens against personal property (including intangibles) are filed with the
Department of State in the same place and manner as UCC filing statements. The judgment lien
law follows the same priority for liens in personal property as real property -- by date of filing.9
However, UCC liens are of two general types -- general (encompassing some or all of a debtor’s
property) and purchase money (taking a lien against specific goods bought with the loan). Under
the UCC, most purchase money liens have priority over general liens as to the specific property
that was purchased with the money.10 Additionally, a possessory lien in personal property may
take priority under the UCC over an earlier filed lien.11
Effect of Judgment Lien Certificate Improperly Filed
A judgment lien certificate may be filed with the Department of State only after the judgment has
become final and if the time to move for rehearing has lapsed, no motion for rehearing is
pending, and no stay of the judgment or its enforcement is then in effect.12 A court may
authorize, for cause shown, the filing of a judgment lien certificate before a judgment has
become final when the court has authorized the issuance of a writ of execution in the same
matter. A judgment lien certificate not filed in compliance with these statutory requirements is
permanently void and of no effect. This means that a judgment creditor who files the judgment
lien certificate earlier than allowed may lose all rights to the lien.13
Redirection of Payment Intangibles or Accounts
The Judgment Lien Improvement Act added that accounts and payment intangibles are forms of
intangible personal property to which a judgment lien may now attach. A third party owing
money to a judgment debtor that is classified as payment intangibles or accounts (“account
debtor”) must stop paying the judgment debtor only when the account debtor is served by
process with a complaint or petition by the judgment creditor seeking judicial relief with respect
The UCC right of the creditor to take possession of personal property, sell it, and apply the proceeds to the debt is in
contrast with the traditional remedies of foreclosure against real property and execution against personal property. Because
real property does not move, foreclosure leaves the debtor in possession of the real property up to the time of sale. Because
personal property can move, traditional judgment enforcement against personal property entails seizure by the sheriff and sale
at auction.
Section 55.202(3), F.S.
Section 679.324, F.S.
Section 679.333, F.S.
Section 55.202(2)(b), F.S.
In re Pullum, 598 B.R. 489 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 2019).
BILL: CS/SB 984 Page 4
to the payment intangibles or accounts. Thereafter, the account debtor may discharge the account
debtor’s payment obligation only in accordance with a final order or judgment.
III. Effect of Proposed Changes:
The bill clarifies that a judgment lien in payment intangibles and accounts applies only to
property interests that are located in the state.
The bill provides that, if a judgment lien certificate is void for having been filed improperly, the
judgment creditor may file a judgment lien certificate that is in compliance with the filing
requirements. The priority of the lien will be set according to the filing that was in compliance.
The bill provides that if there are conflicting rights between a judgment lienholder and a UCC
lienholder, the UCC lien priority law prevails over the lien priority of the statute on judgments.
The bill adds that an account debtor may lawfully pay a judgment creditor in lieu of paying the
judgment debtor pursuant to a settlement agreement between the judgment creditor and judgment
debtor, as opposed to payment only with a final order or judgment directing payment.
The bill is effective July 1, 2024.
IV. Constitutional Issues:
A. Municipality/County Mandates Restrictions:
B. Public Records/Open Meetings Issues:
C. Trust Funds Restrictions:
D. State Tax or Fee Increases:
E. Other Constitutional Issues:
V. Fiscal Impact Statement:
A. Tax/Fee Issues:
BILL: CS/SB 984 Page 5
B. Private Sector Impact:
The bill may result in reduced legal costs and collection costs by clarifying the rights and
duties of debtors, creditors, and related parties.
C. Government Sector Impact:
The bill by reducing potential ambiguities may reduce litigation and burdens on the state
courts system.
VI. Technical Deficiencies:
VII. Related Issues:
VIII. Statutes Affected:
This bill substantially amends the following sections of the Florida Statutes: 55.202, 55.205, and
IX. Additional Information:
A. Committee Substitute – Statement of Changes:
(Summarizing differences between the Committee Substitute and the prior version of the bill.)
CS by Judiciary on January 16, 2024:
The CS makes a technical change to maintain current law providing that a judgment lien
applies only to property located within the state.
B. Amendments:
This Senate Bill Analysis does not reflect the intent or official position of the bill’s introducer or the Florida Senate.

Statutes affected:
S 984 Filed: 55.208
S 984 c1: 55.208
S 984 er: 55.208