Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Anderson County, Texas
Are you a judgment creditor with a judgment out of Anderson County, Texas? Are you unable to collect from a debtor who property is in Anderson County, Texas? Busby & Associates can help. We offer a wide range of legal services related to judgments, including defense, collection, and enforcement. Our main area of collections is garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also provide support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters, for both obligors and obliges under child support liens. Additionally, we can help with the domestication of foreign child support liens in Texas. Give us a call and we’ll help you navigate the process and take action to collect your judgment when your debtor lives in Anderson County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens
A judgment lien is established by recording and indexing an abstract of judgment in Anderson County, and it applies to all non-exempt real property of the judgment debtor within that county. The lien remains in effect for ten years, unless the judgment becomes dormant. To be valid, the underlying judgment must be final, not interlocutory. Even if the judgment is under appeal, steps can still be taken to establish a lien before the appeal. It’s important to note that these rules only apply to Texas state trial court judgments and not to judgments from other states or foreign countries, which must first be domesticated in Texas before a lien can be established.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
According to Texas procedure and law, the process of preparing an abstract of judgment can be done by either a judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor’s agent, attorney, or assignee. However, this does not apply to small claims and justice courts, where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It is also important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. In Anderson County, Texas you would abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerks office located at 500 N Church Rm 10 Palestine, Texas 75801.
An abstract of judgment in Texas must have the following information for it to be valid: (1) the names of the plaintiff and defendant; (2) the defendant’s birthdate, if known to the clerk of justice; (3) the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license number, if available; (4) the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number, if available; (5) the suit number in which the judgment was rendered; (6) the defendant’s address or, if not listed in the suit, the citation’s details and the date and location of service; (7) the date of judgment; (8) the amount of the judgment and the remaining balance; (9) any outstanding child support arrearage; (10) the interest rate specified in the judgment. It is also important to note that the abstract must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor, or a penalty fee will be imposed. Furthermore, the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney must be verified and unsworn declarations are not acceptable.
To record the abstract of judgment in Anderson County (where the debtor owns real property), the county clerk must file it in the Anderson County’s real property records and note the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk must include the names of all plaintiffs and defendants in the judgment and the page number in the records where the abstract is recorded in the alphabetical index of the real property records.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgments.
As per the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, judgments obtained through these acts are treated the same as if they were filed in the court where they were granted. Additionally, the holder of the foreign judgment must fulfill the lien requirements to domesticate it in Texas.
Property to Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s real property that is not exempt in Anderson County; the county of recordation is subject to the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
- Non-governmental Judgments
A judgment lien lasts for 10 years after it is recorded and indexed, unless the judgment becomes dormant. To ensure the continuation of the lien, it’s essential to keep the judgment active and record a new abstract. A judgment is deemed dormant if no writ of execution is issued within a decade of its rendition. The dormant judgment can be brought back to life by either scire facias or by filing an action of debt before the second anniversary of the judgment becoming dormant.
- State or State Agency Judgments.
A judgment issued by a state or state agency does not expire, and a properly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien for 20 years from the date of filing, which can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
- Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes indicate that judgments made by political subdivisions may become dormant. However, the statute of limitations in Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006 does not apply to these judgments, meaning they can be revived at any time and not just within two years of dormancy.
- Child Support Judgments.
- 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code’s Subsection (c) states that judgments for child support are not subject to the dormancy statute and applies to all child support judgments.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
- Property Subject to Execution.
When a judgment has been rendered, the debtor’s assets can be seized via execution, except for those protected by constitutional, statutory, or other legal exemptions. Common examples of non-exempt assets include cash, pleasure boats, collections, financial investments, and airplanes. Corporations, on the other hand, do not have any exempt property.
- Property Exempt from Execution.
Various categories of property are exempt from execution for both families and single adults, including: the homestead, personal items with a fair market value of $100,000 for families and $50,000 for single adults as stated in statute, wages earned for personal services (excluding child support payments), unpaid commissions for personal services that do not surpass 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations, health aids prescribed by a professional, worker’s compensation payments, cemetery lots held for burial purposes, property that the debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can provide other property of the debtor to satisfy the execution, assets in the hands of a trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor, certain insurance benefits, and certain savings plans such as retirement benefits and health savings plans, college savings plans, and consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment procedure, a judgment creditor can investigate any financial ties between a debtor and a third party, with the goal of discovering any funds or property owed to the debtor. Should these funds or assets be identified, the creditor can then obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party to pay them to the creditor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can only occur if the following conditions are met: a) The creditor holds a subsisting and final judgment against the debtor, b) The debtor has not filed an approved bond to postpone the execution of the judgment, c) The creditor confirms, to the best of their knowledge, that the debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be used to pay off the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
To enforce a judgment, a post-judgment garnishment action is taken separately from the main lawsuit. This supplementary action is brought against a third-party garnishee as the defendant. The application for post-judgment garnishment should be filed in the same court where the judgment was issued and under a different cause number. For example, if the original suit was filed in the 245th Judicial district court of Anderson County, Texas, the garnishment action should also be filed in the 245th Judicial district court of Anderson County, Texas.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee is the party that must be served with the writ of garnishment, while the judgment defendant is not mandatory in the garnishment action. However, they must receive a copy of the writ, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as it is practical after the writ is served on the garnishee. Additionally, the copy of the writ served on the defendant must be in 12-point type, and written in a way that is clear to a reasonable person. Failure to give notice to the judgment debtor will make any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees
According to Section 201.102 and 201.103 of the Finance Code, the address designated as the registered agent of a financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State must be used when serving writs of garnishment on garnishee banks. This applies to both out-of-state financial institutions, which must comply with the laws of this state for foreign corporations doing business in this state, and Texas financial institutions, which may file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for the process.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer executing a writ of garnishment must submit a return. It is crucial for the judgment creditor to examine this return before proceeding with a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. The rules for citations also apply to returns in garnishment proceedings. In the past, defects in returns have been identified for failing to specify the method of service on a corporate garnishee and the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
To garnish a bank account or other debt, it is necessary to first locate the account and determine that sufficient funds are present to make the process cost-effective. Upon confirmation, an Application for Garnishment must be filed, along with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit, usually signed by the attorney for the judgment creditor, should include: a. Original suit and judgment details, including any credits applied to the judgment; b. The correct name and contact information for the garnishee and any officers who may be served; and c. Account names and numbers, if available.
The team at Busby and Associates can help you collect your Texas judgment on a contingency basis and assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution within Anderson County; the county of the judgment debtor. Judgments from other states where the debtor is located in Texas will be evaluated individually and may require a retainer.