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SVL Quarterly – March 2023

Mar 27, 2024 | SourcExpo 2022, SourcExpo 2023, SVL Newsletter

Don’t Forget Post-Judgment Interest

If you file a claim against a member for breach of contract and a court awards you a dollar figure, it is not just the damages that stem from the contract/loan that the court will award you, there is also something know as post-judgment interest.

What is Post-Judgment Interest?

Post-judgment interest is the interest awarded for the period of time from the date the final judgment is entered until the judgment is satisfied. Post-judgment interest is meant to encourage the defendant/member to quickly pay the damages that are due and to compensate the prevailing party for the inability to collect the awarded money, which in many cases can take up to several years. Unless otherwise agreed by contract, the post-judgment interest rate is set by statute. The interest rate set by law is compensatory.

Why should you care about the Post-Judgment Interest rate?

As a creditor, you should be aware that post-judgment interest will accrue on the judgment balance. The longer the judgment goes unpaid, the more the post-judgment interest will accrue and the bigger the ultimate balance will be. Ultimately, post-judgment interest can mean that the amount of the judgment can greatly increase over time.

Post-Judgment Statutory Interest in Florida

Fla. Stat. § 55.03 sets a statutory interest rate for post-judgment interest in Florida. Although Fla. Stat. § 55.03 allows the parties to a contract to set the rate of post-judgment interest, a contractual provision that sets only the rate of interest for the debt does not also govern the rate of post-judgment interest.

Collecting Interest on a Florida Judgment – changes in the law

In 2011, the law changed how interest applies to Florida judgments in two major ways. First, the law now reads that the rate of interest will be adjusted by the Chief Financial Officer on each quarter (on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1) of each particular year. The second major change in the law was that, not only does the amount of interest change quarterly, the rate of interest that applies to a particular already established judgment will vary quarterly until the judgment is paid in full. The statute is clear that nothing in the statute shall affect the rate of interest that is set in a contract.

Current Interest Rate for Florida Judgment

The current interest rate is 9.09%. However, on April 1, 2024, it will increase to 9.34%.

Post-Judgment Interest in Georgia

In Georgia, the applicable post-judgment interest rate is either (1) the specific interest rate agreed to in the contract between the parties or (2) the legal rate, if not agreed in a contract. According to GA Code § 7-4-12, all judgments in this state shall bear annual interest, upon the principal amount recovered, at a rate equal to the prime rate, as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as published in statistical release H. 15 or any publication that may supersede it, on the day the judgment is entered plus 3 percent. As of April 2023, the Georgia post-judgment legal interest rate is 11%. If you have questions about post-judgment interest or other aspects of the post-judgment process, please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorneys at SVL for legal advice.

Recent Advisories on the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has recently issued two advisories on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The CFPB was formed around twelve years ago in response to the Great Recession and serves as an aid to consumers in the financial sector. In addition to serving consumers, the CFPB is also responsible for supervising financial institutions, including Credit Unions. This supervision includes issuing guidance and interpreting certain legislation.

The CFPB is in charge of interpreting the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Per the CFPB, the FCRA “promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.” Among other objectives, the FCRA is intended to protect consumers from erroneous data appearing in their credit reports. In addition to keeping errors off credit reports, certain data must be purged from consumer reports after a specified amount of time. Generally, the FCRA allows seven years for any negative information to appear on a consumer report. After the seven years has passed, the FCRA requires that negative information be removed.

On January 11, 2024, the CFPB issued an advisory on Background Screening, specifically on how it relates to housing and employment decisions. A consumer report may be used by landlords, property managers, and potential employers to assess a candidate for housing or employment. The Background Screening advisory has clarified how long certain negative information can stay on a consumer report. Going forward, the CFPB has advised that the seven-year timeframe on any proceeding, criminal, eviction, or otherwise, shall run from the commencement of the proceeding, not the disposition of the proceeding.

For example, if a consumer had an eviction proceeding commence on May 20, 2020, and that eviction proceeding was dispensed on June 20, 2020, the seven-year timeframe would run from the May 20, 2020, date, not the June 20, 2020, date. The CFPB advised that this clarification was intended to promote data accuracy. The CFPB noted that some states had inconsistent procedures for reporting disposition of certain matters that led to uncertainty in consumer reports.

The second advisory was also issued on January 11, 2024. This second advisory concerns File Disclosures. The advisory was intended to remind financial institutions that consumers must be provided with complete files on their consumer reports. The file must contain complete and full information and be provided with “clear and accurate information that is presented in a way an average person could understand.” The CFPB further clarifies that this means the information must be presented in such a way that consumers can easily identify inaccuracies and understand how to exercise their rights to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.

Furthermore, the CFPB includes an additional item to include in a complete consumer report. Consumer reporting agencies must disclose to a consumer “both the original source and any intermediary or vendor source (or sources) that provide the item of information.”

The CFPB continues to provide guidance to financial institutions. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above advisories, please contact one of the attorneys at Sorenson Van Leuven.

Staff Spotlight on Kaylyn Shaw

Kaylyn is from Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University in the Fall of 2020 with her bachelor’s degree in criminology. She re-joined the SVL team in November of 2023, and we are so grateful to have her back! She is the legal assistant handling probate matters for our Credit Union clients.

While away from the office, Kaylyn loves to travel and read. Her favorite getaway experiences have been traveling to Aruba and Amber Cove. She traveled to both of these destinations via a cruise line last year, and she can’t wait to go back. She said that the water was so beautiful, and she had a blast snorkeling there! Kaylyn loves to read romance novels and recently has been partaking in fantasy books, which she has really enjoyed, as well.

A couple of fun facts about Kaylyn: she is the youngest of three daughters, she is a third-generation FSU graduate, and her sister is getting married this month!

We are so happy to have you back as a part of our team, Kaylyn!

Staff Spotlight on Zenee Theophille

Zenee is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but now lives in Cairo, Georgia. Zenee’s mom’s side of the family lives in Georgia, so she moved there to be close to family. Zenee joined the SVL team in November of 2023 and is one of our legal assistants in the Collections Department.

When away from the office, Zenee enjoys graphic design. To name a few, she creates flyers, Instagram graphics, Pinterest pin covers, and videos. Her favorite things to design are flyers for events, such as community fundraisers. Zenee says she has the most creative freedom when it comes to creating those types of designs. Zenee also has an interest in social media, the environment, and various social issues in our society.

A couple fun facts about Zenee: she is proficient in the German language, she is an only child, and she used to “show goats” (like a dog show, but for goats!). Once in high school, she stopped showing goats because she got involved in band.

Zenee, thank you for all that you do for our firm. We appreciate you and are so happy to have you as a part of our team!

“See Us” At:

24th Annual Friends of the NMCRS Charity Golf Tournament –                                                                   Credit Union Collection Professionals (CUCP) Summit – 
April 5, Pensacola ,                                                                                                                                             May 15 to May 17 in Nashville, Tennessee 

Florida Tallahassee Chapter Golf Tournament –                                                                                           Southeast Credit Union Conference & Expo – 
April 8, Tallahassee, Florida                                                                                                                               June 14 to June 16, Orlando, Florida

Gulf Winds Cares Foundation Chip in Fore Charity Golf Tournament –                                                    Southernmost Chapter Golf Tournament
April 22, Pace, Florida                                                                                                                                       October 10, Miami, Florida