Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Clay County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are dedicated to helping our clients recover the judgments they’re owed. Our primary focus is on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but 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 Clay County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to collect from a debtor in Clay County, Texas, reach out to us, and we’ll work with you to develop a strategy that meets your needs.
Texas Judgment liens in Clay County
Fixing a judgment lien properly involves recording and indexing an abstract of judgment, which acts as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Clay 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, subject to the judgment not becoming 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 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, 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
The process of abstracting a judgment in Texas has certain guidelines that must be followed. Generally, 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 courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed 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 Clay County, Texas can visit the County Clerk’s office at 214 N Main St, Henrietta, Texas 76365.
When drafting an abstract of judgment in Texas, certain information must be provided. This information includes 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 accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Clay County is the appropriate location for recording the abstract of judgment if the debtor has real property there. The Clay County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, mentioning the date and time of recording. Moreover, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, which shows 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 make it possible for foreign judgments to be enforced in the same manner as local judgments. When domesticating the judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Clay County, where the defendant’s nonexempt real property is recorded, is the jurisdiction where the judgment lien takes effect.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien persists for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant, resulting in the termination of the lien. To keep the judgment lien active, two conditions must be met: (1) ensure the judgment’s validity 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.
The enforceability of judgments made by the state or a state agency does not become dormant. Meanwhile, a lien can be established for 20 years from the filing date of a properly filed abstract of judgment. Additionally, the lien can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause political subdivisions’ judgments to become dormant, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time. The revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, ensures that the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations. Hence, the judgments of political subdivisions can be revived beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Child support judgments are not subject to the dormancy statute under Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, and this exemption covers all such judgments, regardless of when they were entered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless protected by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law, the property of the judgment debtor can be seized through execution. Typically, the following categories of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or held in savings or checking accounts; b. Pleasure boats and their motors and trailers; c. Collections such as stamps or coins; d. Investments like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Families and single adults are protected from property execution in certain categories, including: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories defined by statute, with 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, 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, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can point out other property of the debtor that will 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) specific consigned artwork that meets the requisite criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal process that enables a judgment creditor to examine the financial ties between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any debts are identified, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment after judgment is an option, but only if certain requirements are met. Firstly, the creditor must have 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must attest that, to the best of their knowledge, the debtor does not own enough property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When filing for post-judgment garnishment, it’s essential to remember that it is a distinct lawsuit from the main case it aims to enforce. As a supplemental legal action, the third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant. Additionally, it must be submitted in the same court that issued the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To commence the garnishment, the writ of garnishment must be served on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant is not a necessary party to the garnishment proceedings. However, it is critical to provide the defendant with a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after serving the garnishee. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in a conspicuous manner, using bold 12-point typeface. The court will consider any judgment, except for one that dissolves the writ, invalid if the judgment debtor is not given property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To serve garnishment writs to banks, the registered agent’s address stated in the financial institution’s registration statement must be utilized, in compliance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with 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 submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer who enforces a writ of garnishment must submit a return that satisfies the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 highlights the importance of the judgment creditor inspecting the return before seeking 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 rejected returns that do not specify how a corporate garnishee was served and where the service took place.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you come across a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and determine that it is financially viable, you can file an Application for Garnishment. The application must be supported by a signed affidavit by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which 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 can potentially aid you in collecting your judgment on a contingency basis, provided it’s from Texas. For judgments from other states with the judgment debtor in Texas, they will review 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 Clay County, Busby and Associates can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment.