Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Brazos County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a versatile law firm that is skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While we primarily focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, we also provide services to those seeking assistance in consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce. Our skills also extend to assisting both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, and domesticating foreign child support liens in Brazos County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to collect from a debtor who resides in Brazos County, give us a call, and we’ll guide you through the process.
Texas Judgment liens in Brazos County
When an abstract of judgment is properly recorded and indexed, it creates a lien on all of the judgment debtor’s nonexempt real estate in Brazos County. To establish the lien, the abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor has property. The lien is effective for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. However, even if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment may still be filed. If a creditor establishes a lien before the appeal, the lien remains valid even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules only apply to Texas state trial court judgments. To enforce judgments from other states or foreign countries, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas before an abstract can be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
When dealing with a judgment in Texas, it’s important to understand the rules surrounding abstracts of judgment. In most cases, the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, agent, attorney, or assignee can prepare the abstract for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts. However, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract in small claims and justice courts. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Brazos County, Texas, the County Clerk’s office at 300 E 26th St #1430, Bryan, Texas 77803 is where you can do so.
To properly record a judgment in Texas, an abstract must be provided that includes specific information. This information consists of the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known), the defendant’s driver’s license and social security numbers (if known), the suit number, the defendant’s address or citation information, the judgment date, the amount of the judgment and balance due, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. The abstract must also contain the mailing address for each plaintiff or creditor and must be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to include the mailing address will result in a penalty filing fee. Unverified declarations will not be accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment must be recorded in Brazos County for debtors who own real property there. The Brazos County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records. The clerk also notes the date and time of recording on the abstract and enters it into the alphabetical index to the real property records, which contains the names of both the plaintiff and defendant and the page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act allow for foreign judgments to be enforced in a manner akin to local judgments. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must follow the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is effective on all nonexempt real estate owned by the defendant in Brazos County, the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The lien resulting from a judgment will last for 10 years from the date it was recorded and indexed, except if the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien will expire. To keep the judgment active, one must ensure that (1) it remains valid and (2) a new abstract of judgment is obtained and recorded. A judgment is considered dormant if no writ of execution is issued within a decade of its creation, but it can be reactivated either through scire facias or by bringing a debt action within two years of its dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
It’s important to remember that judgments made by the state or a state agency don’t become dormant. Simultaneously, a lien can be established for 20 years from the date of filing a valid abstract of judgment, and it can be renewed for another 20 years by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments may become dormant under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, states that the statute of limitations will not prevent the political subdivision from reviving the judgment. Hence, the judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, not just within two years of dormancy.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Regardless of their date of issuance, all child support judgments fall under the purview of Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which exempts them from the dormancy statute.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Provided it is not exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law, the property of the debtor facing judgment can be seized through execution. Typically, the following categories of property are not exempt: a. Cash that is held or in savings or checking accounts; b. Pleasure boats, their motors, and trailers; c. Collectibles such as stamps or coins; d. Investments such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Whether it belongs to a family or a single adult, the following categories of property are exempt from execution: a) the homestead; b) personal property belonging to various categories specified by law, up to a total value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult without family ties; c) current wages for personal service (excluding child support payments) and unpaid commissions for personal service, up to 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 aggregate limit; d) health aids that are prescribed by a professional; e) payments made under worker’s compensation claims; f) cemetery lots held for the purpose of interring human remains; g) property that has been sold, mortgaged or conveyed into trust by the judgment debtor, where the purchaser, mortgagee or trustee can identify other property that will satisfy the judgment; h) assets held by a trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the debtor; i) certain insurance benefits; j) certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) consigned artwork that meets certain criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT
If a judgment creditor is looking to uncover any outstanding debts owed by a third party to a judgment debtor, the post-judgment garnishment procedure is a viable option. A garnishment judgment can then be obtained, allowing the creditor (garnishor) to receive payments directly from the third party (garnishee) instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The creditor can only garnish after judgment if certain conditions are met. Firstly, the creditor must hold a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor. The judgment is considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must swear that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess enough property in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is a distinct legal action from the main case it seeks to enforce. As a supplementary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee must be named as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, albeit with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment writ must be served on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant is not a necessary participant in the garnishment action. However, the defendant must be served with a copy of the writ, the application, affidavits, and court orders after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ served on the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in a clear and conspicuous manner, in bold 12-point typeface. Failure to provide property notice to the debtor will result in any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, being rendered null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of garnishment writs to banks requires using the registered agent’s address listed in the financial institution’s registration statement, as stipulated by Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with state laws by designating an agent for process when filing a registration application with the Secretary of State under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions can appoint an agent for process by filing a statement with the Secretary of State, in accordance with Section 201.103.
The return of a writ of garnishment is the responsibility of the officer executing it, and it must comply with the citation rules. According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should inspect the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same rules as citations in general. Courts have deemed returns fatally defective if they do not show the method of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
To garnish a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor, you must first determine whether the funds involved make it cost effective. If they do, you can file an Application for Garnishment supported by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain information about the original suit and judgment, the garnishee’s name and address, and any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates may be able to help you collect your judgment on a contingency basis if it is from Texas. In situations where the judgment debtor is in Texas but the judgment is from another state, they will assess it on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer may be needed. If the judgment debtor or judgment is in Brazos County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution.