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Roger Slade, with Haber Law.

To the average Floridian, the term “confession of judgment” is likely to be unfamiliar. One reason for this may be because the use of confessions of judgment, by lenders, is prohibited by Florida statute. A confession of judgment is basically a contract provision which allows a creditor to enter a judgment against a debtor without the need to file a complaint or to conduct a trial. In states like New York, in which confessions of judgment are recognized, a creditor may proceed directly to the Clerk of the Court and, based upon an affidavit alone, have a judgment entered against a debtor who is alleged to be in default.

At first blush, this procedure would appear to violate every possible notion of due process. Yet it exists as recognized by numerous states across the country including New York. Even though Florida has a statute which, on its face, prohibits the enforcement of confessions of judgment, out-of-state creditors have been cleverly utilizing this device against Florida business owners for years.

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