Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Cameron County, Texasl
When it comes to defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, Busby & Associates is the law firm you can trust. While our primary focus is on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, we also offer legal services for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. Our team can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, and domesticating foreign child support liens in Cameron County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to recover your judgment from a debtor in Cameron County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll provide the support you need to get the job done.
Texas Judgment liens in Cameron County
By properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment, a judgment lien can be created that attaches to all of the judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Cameron County. To fix the lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed in every county where the debtor has property. The lien is valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, as long as the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final, not interlocutory. 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 even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules only apply 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, it’s important to understand the rules around abstracting a 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 most courts, except for small claims and justice courts. For these types of courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. Those looking to abstract their judgment lien in Cameron County, Texas can visit the County Clerk’s office at 974 E Harrison, 2nd Fl, Admin Blg Brownsville, Texas 78520.
To create an accurate abstract of judgment in Texas, specific information must be included. This information consists of 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. A penalty filing fee will be imposed if the mailing address is not included. Unverified declarations are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment must be documented in Cameron County for debtors who own real property there. The Cameron County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of recording. Furthermore, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, displaying 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 enable foreign judgments to be enforced in the same way as local judgments. To domesticate the judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Cameron County is where the judgment lien attaches to all of the defendant’s nonexempt real property, recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
Once recorded and indexed, the judgment lien remains in effect for 10 years, except when the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien expires. To keep the judgment lien active, two prerequisites are essential: (1) maintain the validity of the judgment and (2) obtain 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 scire facias or a debt action within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
A lien can be created for 20 years from the date of filing of a properly filed abstract of judgment. It can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment. It’s worth noting that state or state agency judgments remain active and do not go dormant.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause political subdivisions’ judgments to become dormant. However, the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, provides that the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations. As a result, the judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, not just within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Any child support judgments are excluded from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) to § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, and this applies to all judgments, regardless of when they were granted.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law, the property of the debtor under judgment is eligible for seizure by execution. Typically, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, their motors, and trailers; c. Collections 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 for a family or a single adult, the following property categories are exempt from execution: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories specified by law, valued at up to $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult without family connections; c) current wages for personal service (excluding child support payments) and unpaid commissions for personal services, limited to 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 aggregate limit; d) professionally prescribed health aids; e) worker’s compensation payments; f) cemetery lots held for sepulcher purposes; g) property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property of the debtor that is sufficient to satisfy the execution; h) assets in the hands of the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor; i) certain insurance benefits; j) specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) consigned artwork that meets specific requirements.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT
The post-judgment garnishment procedure can be employed by a judgment creditor to investigate any financial relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which compels the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To garnish after a judgment, specific prerequisites must be fulfilled. The creditor must hold a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Additionally, the debtor cannot have filed an approved supersedeas bond to halt execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must attest that, as far as they know, the debtor does not own enough property in Texas to fulfill the judgment through execution.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal action from the main case it intends to enforce. As a supplementary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant. Additionally, it must be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for recovery, but with a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee must receive the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant is not required to participate in the garnishment process. However, it is necessary to provide the defendant with a copy of the writ, affidavits, court orders, and application as soon as possible after serving the garnishee. The copy of the writ served on the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in a clear and conspicuous manner, using bold 12-point typeface. If the debtor is not given property notice, any judgment other than one that dissolves the writ will be deemed invalid by the court.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
In compliance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code, banks must be served with garnishment writs at the address designated as the registered agent’s location in the financial institution’s registration statement. Out-of-state financial institutions must follow state laws by appointing an agent for process while submitting a registration application with the Secretary of State under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions may appoint an agent for process by filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer who executes a writ of garnishment must file a return that complies with the citation rules. According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, particularly in cases where the judgment is defaulted. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that do not show the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When you locate a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and decide that it is worth pursuing, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include pertinent information, such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name and officers for service, and any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates may be able to assist you in collecting your judgment on a contingency basis if it comes from Texas. For judgments from other states with the judgment debtor in Texas, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis, and there may be a need for a retainer. In the case of a judgment debtor and/or judgment in Cameron County, Busby and Associates can support you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment amount.