Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Bosque County
If you’re a judgment creditor and unable to collect from a debtor in Bosque County, Busby & Associates is here to help. We offer a full range of legal services related to judgments, including defense, collection, and enforcement. Our primary focus is on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also provide support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters, for both obligors and obligees under child support liens. Additionally, we can assist with the domestication of foreign child support liens in the State of Texas. Give us a call and we’ll guide you through the process and help you collect your judgment when your debtor lives in Bosque County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens
A properly recorded judgment lien serves as a claim on all of the judgment debtor’s non-exempt real property in Bosque County, the county where it is recorded. The creation of a judgment lien involves filing an abstract of judgment, which must be indexed, in each county where the lien is sought. If the judgment remains un-dormant, the lien lasts for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. The judgment must be final, not provisional, for a lien to be created. An abstract can be filed on a final judgment even if it is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed. If a judgment creditor takes steps to secure a lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal won’t nullify the lien if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply to Texas state trial court judgments only and not to the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign countries, which must first be domesticated in Texas to create a lien.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the process of creating an abstract of judgment can be done by either a judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the agent, attorney, or assignee of the judgment creditor. This rule does not apply to small claims and justice courts, where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It is important to remember that for abstracts of federal court judgments, the certificate from the court’s clerk is necessary. In Bosque County, Texas you would abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 110 S Main St, Meridian, Texas 76665.
In order for a Texas abstract of judgment to be considered valid, it must show the following information: (1) the names of the plaintiff and defendant; (2) the defendant’s birthdate, if known to the clerk of justice; (3) the final three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license number, if available; (4) the final 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. Additionally, the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney must be verified and unsworn declarations are not acceptable.
Recording the abstract of judgment in Bosque County (where the debtor has real property) is the responsibility of the county clerk. This includes filing it in the Bosque County’s real property records, noting the date and time of recordation, and adding the names of the parties involved in the judgment, as well as the page number in the records where the abstract is recorded, to the alphabetical index of the real property records.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgments.
Pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments are treated the same 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 and such holder needs to fulfill the lien requirements as outlined in these acts.
Property to Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The lien for the judgment attaches to any real property in Bosque County, the county of recordation that belongs to the defendant and is not protected from liens.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
- Non-governmental Judgments
A judgment lien lasts for a period of 10 years after recording and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. To ensure the continuation of the lien, steps must be taken to both preserve the judgment and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment is considered dormant if no writ of execution is issued within 10 years of its rendition. The dormant judgment can be reactivated by either scire facias or by filing an action of debt before the second anniversary of when the judgment becomes dormant.
- State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments from a state or state agency do not expire and a properly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien for 20 years from the date of filing. This lien can be extended for another 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, ensuring the judgment remains enforceable over time.
- Political Subdivisions.
The dormancy statutes suggest that judgments made by political subdivisions may become inactive. However, these judgments are not subject to the statute of limitations outlined in Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. This means that they can be revived at any point in time, not just within two years of dormancy.
- Child Support Judgments.
Child support judgments are not subject to the dormancy statute, as per Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, and applies to all child support judgments.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
- Property Subject to Execution.
The property of the judgment debtor can be subject to levy through execution, unless it is protected by constitutional, statutory, or other legal exemptions. Typically, cash, boats, collections, stocks, bonds, and airplanes are not considered exempt property. Corporations, however, do not have any property that is considered exempt.
- Property Exempt from Execution.
Property that is exempt from execution for both families and single adults: the primary residence, personal belongings 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 plots 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 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 process of post-judgment garnishment enables a judgment creditor to scrutinize the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to see if there are any funds or property the third party owes to the judgment debtor. If this is the case, the creditor can receive a garnishment judgment directing the third party to pay the funds to the creditor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can be executed if the following exist: 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 oath, the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that is subject to execution to pay off the judgment, as far as the creditor knows.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is separate from the main lawsuit it is meant to enforce. The garnishment action is ancillary to the main suit and should be brought against the third-party garnishee as the defendant. The post-judgment garnishment application should be filed in the same court that gave the judgment to be collected. For instance, if the original lawsuit was filed in the 245th judicial district court of Bosque County, Texas, the garnishment application must be filed in that court in Bosque County, but with a unique cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee is the party that the writ of garnishment must be served upon, and the judgment defendant is not required to be involved in the garnishment action. However, they must receive a copy of the writ, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after the writ is served on the garnishee. Additionally, the copy of the writ that is served on the defendant must be in 12-point type and be clearly written to inform a reasonably attentive person of its contents. If proper notice is not given to the judgment debtor, any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, will be void.
Banks as Garnishees
Writs of garnishment served on garnishee banks must be delivered to the address of the registered agent of the financial institution, as per Section 201.102 and 201.103 of the Finance Code. These sections require out-of-state financial institutions to register with the Secretary of State and appoint an agent for the process, and allow Texas financial institutions to file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for the process.
In accordance with Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer tasked with implementing a writ of garnishment must file a return. Before obtaining a garnishment judgment, the judgment creditor should review this return closely, especially if it is a default judgment. The rules for citations also apply to returns in garnishment proceedings. In the past, returns have been found to be defective for not specifying the method of service on a corporate garnishee and the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
To initiate 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. After this, an Application for Garnishment must be filed, along with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit, usually signed by the attorney for the judgment creditor, should contain the following details: a. Information about the original suit and judgment, including credits applied to the judgment; b. Appropriate garnishee name, authorized individuals for service, and address for receiving service, and c. available account names and numbers if possible.
Busby and Associates can assist in collecting your Texas judgment on a contingency basis, as well as help you garnish a bank account or financial institution within Bosque 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.