Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Brooks County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a trusted law firm that deals in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While our main area of skills is garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, we also offer legal services for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. Our team can help both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, and domesticating foreign child support liens in Brooks County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor facing difficulties in collecting from a debtor living in Brooks County, Texas, we can guide you through the process and help you recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Brooks County
An abstract of judgment that is recorded and indexed properly can create a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Brooks County. To establish the lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed in every county where the debtor has property. The lien remains valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. Only final judgments, not interlocutory ones, can form the basis of a lien. However, an abstract of judgment can still be filed if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed. If the creditor establishes a lien before the appeal, the lien remains valid in the event of affirmation. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments, and for the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign countries, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas before an abstract can be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the preparation of abstracts of judgment for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts can be done by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor or their agent, attorney, or assignee. However, for small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor cannot prepare their own abstract. Additionally, it’s worth noting that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification by the clerk of the court. If you happen to be in Brooks County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office at 100 E Miller St, Falfurrias, Texas 78355 to abstract your judgment lien.
When preparing an abstract of judgment in Texas, it is important to provide specific details. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available), the defendant’s driver’s license and social security numbers (if available), the suit number, the defendant’s address or citation information, the date the judgment was rendered, the amount of the judgment and balance due, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. The abstract must also include the mailing address for each plaintiff or creditor, and it must be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to include the mailing address will result in a penalty filing fee. Unverified declarations are not allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure the validity of the judgment, the abstract of judgment must be recorded in Brooks County, especially if the debtor owns real property there. The Brooks County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the exact date and time of recording. Additionally, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, containing the names of 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 provide that foreign judgments can be enforced just like local judgments. The foreign judgment holder who wishes to domesticate the judgment in Texas must meet the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Brooks County is where the judgment lien applies to every nonexempt real property owned by the defendant, as officially recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The lien resulting from a judgment is valid for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien is terminated. To keep a judgment active, it is necessary to (1) ensure its continued validity and (2) acquire and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within 10 years of its creation, but it can be revived through either scire facias or a debt action within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments do not become dormant, and a validly filed abstract of judgment establishes a lien for 20 years from the filing date. The lien can be renewed for another 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become dormant, but according to the same section, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, revival statute, the statute of limitations does not bar the political subdivision. Hence, the judgments can be revived at any time, beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) to § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code exempts child support judgments from the dormancy statute and extends to all child support judgments, regardless of their date.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Execution can be used to seize the property of the judgment debtor, unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. In most cases, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash that is held or in savings or checking accounts; b. Pleasure boats and their motors and trailers; c. Collections like stamps or coins; d. Investments such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. There is no exempt property for corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Whether a family or a single adult, property in the following categories is exempt from execution: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories specified by statute, valued up to a total 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, limited to 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 aggregate limit; d) health aids prescribed by a professional; e) worker’s compensation payments; f) cemetery lots held for the purpose of interment; g) property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other property of the debtor that will satisfy the judgment; h) assets held in a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the debtor by a trustee; i) certain insurance benefits; j) particular savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) consigned artwork that satisfies specific criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT
When a judgment creditor wants to investigate the financial relationship between a judgment debtor and a third party, they may choose the post-judgment garnishment procedure. The creditor can then request a garnishment judgment, ordering the third party to pay funds to the creditor instead of the debtor if any owed amount is found.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment is an option after a judgment, but only if specific requirements are met. To begin, the creditor must possess a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, which is considered final from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to halt execution on the judgment. Lastly, the creditor must swear that, in their knowledge, the debtor does not own enough property in Texas to satisfy the judgment through execution.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When pursuing post-judgment garnishment, it’s crucial to recognize that it is a separate legal action from the primary case it intends to enforce. As a supplementary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee must be named as the defendant. Furthermore, it must be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment for recovery, but with a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment writ must be served to the garnishee, while the judgment defendant is not a compulsory party in the garnishment process. However, it is crucial to give the defendant a copy of the writ, affidavits, orders of the court, and application once the garnishee has been served. The writ served to the defendant should contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that informs the defendant adequately. If the debtor does not receive the property notice, any judgment apart from one that dissolves the writ is considered null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To serve garnishment writs on banks, the registered agent’s address listed in the financial institution’s registration statement must be used, as per Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must follow state laws by designating an agent for process while registering with the Secretary of State under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions can appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer who executes a writ of garnishment must submit a return that complies with the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 emphasizes the importance of the judgment creditor reviewing the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in cases where the judgment is defaulted. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as citations in general. Courts have deemed returns to be invalid 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
In case you locate a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is garnishable, and you determine that it is economically feasible, you can file an Application for Garnishment. The application must be accompanied by a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which should contain relevant information such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name and address for service, and any available account names and numbers.
If you have a judgment from Texas, Busby and Associates may be able to help you collect it on a contingency basis. For judgments from other states where the judgment debtor is in Texas, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis, and there may be a need for a retainer. If the judgment debtor or judgment is in Brooks County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover your judgment.