Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Cherokee County, Texas
When it comes to defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, Busby & Associates is a trusted name in Cherokee County, Texas. Our focus is on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also offer legal services for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. We can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, and domesticating foreign child support liens. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to recover your judgment, contact us, and we’ll work with you to develop a plan to get the job done.
Texas Judgment liens in Cherokee County
If a judgment creditor wants to secure a lien on all of the judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Cherokee County, they must properly record and index an abstract of judgment. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor owns property to fix the lien. The lien remains valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, as long as 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 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
Abstracting a judgment in Texas requires following specific guidelines. The judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, agent, attorney, or assignee can typically prepare the abstract for judgments rendered in most courts, except for small claims and justice courts. In these types of courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. It’s important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. Those who need to abstract their judgment lien in Cherokee County, Texas can visit the County Clerk’s office, located at 135 S Main St, Rusk, Texas 75785.
To properly prepare an abstract of judgment in Texas, certain information must be included. This includes 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 date the judgment was rendered, the amount of the judgment and balance due, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. Additionally, the abstract must 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 acceptable.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
If the debtor owns real property in Cherokee County, the abstract of judgment must be recorded in the same county. The Cherokee County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Moreover, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, which contains 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 allow foreign judgments to be enforced as if they were local judgments. In Texas, the foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All of the defendant’s nonexempt real property within Cherokee County, recorded in the county, is affected by the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien will continue for a decade after the date of recording and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien will expire. To ensure that the judgment remains active, two steps are essential: (1) keep the judgment valid 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 scire facias or a debt action within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
It’s crucial to remember that state or state agency judgments do not become dormant. On the other hand, a lien can be created for 20 years from the date of filing a valid abstract of judgment, and it can be renewed for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although judgments of political subdivisions may go dormant per dormancy statutes, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Therefore, the statute of limitations will not prevent the political subdivision from reviving the judgment 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 covers all such judgments, irrespective of their date of entry.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The property of the judgment debtor is subject to execution by levy, provided it is not exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. Typically, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings 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. Exempt property is not available to corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property in certain categories is protected from execution, regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult, including: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories specified by statute, up to an aggregate fair market value of $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, not exceeding 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 aggregate limitations; 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, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other property of the debtor 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) specified savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) consigned artwork that meets specific criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal avenue available to a judgment creditor to investigate any potential debts owed by a third party to the judgment debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which instructs the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After obtaining a judgment, garnishment can only be utilized if certain criteria are met. Firstly, the creditor must possess a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to stop execution on the judgment. Lastly, the creditor must attest that, to the best of their knowledge, the debtor does not have enough property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When filing for post-judgment garnishment, it’s crucial to remember that it is a separate lawsuit from the main case it aims to enforce. As an additional legal action, the third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant. Moreover, it must be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for collection, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant’s participation in the garnishment action is not mandatory. Nonetheless, the defendant must be given a copy of the writ, application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must prominently display the contents of the writ, using bold 12-point typeface, and in a manner that would be understood by a reasonably attentive person. Any judgment other than one that dissolves the writ will be deemed void if the judgment debtor is not provided with property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The registered agent’s address specified in the financial institution’s registration statement is the designated location for serving garnishment writs to banks, as outlined by Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must designate an agent for process and follow state laws when submitting a registration application with the Secretary of State under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions may 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 stresses the need for the judgment creditor to examine 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 manner and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
After locating a bank account or other debt that can be subject to garnishment and determining that it is worth pursuing, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should provide necessary information, including the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name and officers for service, and any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates have the potential to help you collect your judgment on a contingency basis if it’s from Texas. Judgments from other states where the judgment debtor is in Texas will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer may be required. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is in Cherokee County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment amount.