Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Bastrop County, Texas
Judgment creditors who are having difficulty collecting from a debtor in Bastrop County, can seek assistance from Busby & Associates. We have extensive experience in all areas of judgments, including defense, collection, and enforcement. Our primary area of abilities is garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also assist clients in consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce cases, for both obligors and obligees 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 understand the process and take action to collect your judgment when your debtor lives in Bastrop County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens
A judgment lien established through a correctly recorded abstract of judgment serves as a claim on all of the judgment debtor’s exempt real property in Bastrop County. To establish the lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed and indexed appropriately, and must be filed in each county where the lien is sought to be established. The lien will remain in effect for ten years from the date of recording and indexing, provided the judgment remains final and not interlocutory. Even if the final judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, filing an abstract on the final judgment will not negate the lien if proper steps have been taken by the judgment creditor. These rules only apply to Texas state trial court judgments, and not to judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions, which must first be domesticated in Texas before a lien can be established and the judgment abstracted.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
According to Texas regulations, either a judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the agent, attorney, or assignee of the judgment creditor can create an abstract of judgment for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts. In those courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Remember that abstracts of federal court judgments necessitate the certificate from the court’s clerk. In Bastrop County, Texas you would abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 803 Pine St room 112, Bastrop, Texas 76665.
A Texas abstract of judgment must have the following information to be considered valid: (1) the names of the plaintiff and defendant; (2) the defendant’s birthdate, if obtainable by the clerk of justice; (3) the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license number, if obtainable; (4) the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number, if obtainable; (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. Additionally, it is crucial to include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor in the abstract 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 Bastrop County (where the debtor has real property), the county clerk must file it in the Bastrop County’s real property records and document the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk must include the names of the 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act establish that foreign judgments are enforceable in the same manner as if they were filed in the court where they were granted. This applies to the holder of the foreign judgment seeking to domesticate it in Texas, who must also meet the lien requirements as outlined in these acts.
Property to Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
In Bastrop County (the county of recordation), the judgment lien is applied to all real property owned by the defendant that is not exempt.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
- Non-governmental Judgments
The lien established by a judgment lasts for a period of 10 years after it is recorded and indexed, unless the judgment becomes dormant. To ensure the continuation of the lien, it’s necessary to both maintain the judgment and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years of its rendition. The dormant judgment can be brought back to life through scire facias or by filing an action of debt within two years of the judgment becoming dormant.”
- State or State Agency Judgments.
A judgment from a state or state agency remains valid and a properly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing. This lien can be extended for an additional 20 years through the filing of a renewed abstract of judgment, maintaining the judgment’s enforceability over time.
- Political Subdivisions.
The dormancy statutes state that judgments made by political subdivisions may become dormant. But, the revival statute in Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006 allows for the revival of these judgments at any point, regardless of the dormancy period.
- Child Support Judgments.
According to § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, child support judgments are not subject to the dormancy statute, as outlined in Subsection (c), and applies to all child support judgments.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
- Property Subject to Execution.
The property of the judgment debtor is open to being levied through execution, unless it is protected by constitutional, statutory, or other legal exemptions. Common examples of non-exempt assets include cash, pleasure boats, collections, stocks, bonds, and airplanes. Notably, corporations have no exempt property that can be protected from execution.
- Property Exempt from Execution.
For both families and single adults, certain property is not subject to execution, including: the primary residence, personal property up to a value of $100,000 for families and $50,000 for single adults as specified by statute, wages earned for personal services (excluding child support), unpaid commissions for personal services not exceeding 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limit, health aids prescribed by a professional, worker’s compensation payments, cemetery plots held for sepulcher, property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can provide alternative property 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
The post-judgment garnishment process gives a judgment creditor the opportunity to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if there are any funds or property the third party owes to the judgment debtor. If this is the case, the creditor can then obtain a garnishment judgment, which instructs the third party to pay the funds to the creditor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
For garnishment to occur, the following must be present: a) The creditor holds a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, b) The debtor has not filed an approved bond to postpone execution of the judgment, and c) According to the creditor’s declaration under oath, the judgment debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be legally seized to fulfill the judgment, as far as the creditor knows.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
To collect a judgment, a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal process from the main lawsuit. The garnishment action is ancillary to the main suit and should be brought against the third-party garnishee as the defendant. The same court that rendered the judgment to be collected should receive the post-judgment garnishment application. For example, if the original lawsuit was filed in the 245th judicial district court of Bastrop County, Texas, the garnishment application must also be filed in Bastrop County, but with a separate cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee is the party that must receive 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. Furthermore, the copy of the writ served to the defendant must be in 12-point type and written in a way that is clear to a reasonably attentive person. If proper notice is not given to the judgment debtor, any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, will be void.
Banks as Garnishees
The Finance Code Section 201.102 and 201.103 requires that when serving writs of garnishment on garnishee banks, the address of the registered agent of the financial institution, as listed in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, must be used. This applies to 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.
According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the individual tasked with carrying out a writ of garnishment must submit a return. The judgment creditor should review the return thoroughly before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in cases of 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 indicate the method of service on a corporate garnishee and the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
To begin the process of garnishing a bank account or other debt, the location of the account must be identified and it must be confirmed that there are sufficient funds to make the process cost-effective. Once this is confirmed, an Application for Garnishment must be filed along with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit, usually signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor, should include the following details: a. Original suit and judgment information, including credits applied to the judgment; b. Precise garnishee name, nominated officers for service, and address for receiving process, along with c. available account names and numbers if obtainable.
The team at Busby and Associates can help you collect your Texas judgment by working on a contingency basis and assist in garnishing a bank account or financial institution within Bastrop 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.