Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Cochran County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a well-established law firm with a proven track record in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While we are skilled in 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 Cochran County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor seeking to recover your judgment from a debtor in Cochran County, Texas, we have the experience and skills to help you succeed.
Texas Judgment liens in Cochran County
An abstract of judgment, properly recorded and indexed, can create a lien that attaches to all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Cochran County. To fix the lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the debtor has property. The lien is 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 a judgment 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
To abstract a judgment in Texas, it’s important to understand the regulations. Typically, 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, where the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Federal court judgments also require certification from the clerk of the court. In Cochran County, Texas, those seeking to abstract a judgment lien can do so at the County Clerk’s office, located at 100 N Main St #102, Morton, Texas 79346.
A comprehensive abstract of judgment in Texas should include specific details. These details include 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. The abstract must also include the mailing address for each plaintiff or creditor, and it must be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Omitting the mailing address will result in a penalty filing fee. Declarations that are not verified are not allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
If the debtor possesses real property in Cochran County, it is necessary to record the abstract of judgment in the same county. The Cochran County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, specifying the date and time of recording. Additionally, the clerk must enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing 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 in a manner similar to local judgments. The foreign judgment holder who wishes to domesticate the judgment in Texas must fulfill the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien affects all of the defendant’s nonexempt real property in Cochran County, where it is recorded.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien will remain in effect for a decade from the date of recording and indexing, except if the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien will terminate. To sustain an active judgment, two actions are necessary: (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.
When it comes to state or state agency judgments, they remain in effect and do not become dormant. Additionally, a valid abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and a renewed abstract of judgment can renew it for another 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become dormant, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time. The revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, indicates that the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations. Consequently, the judgments of political subdivisions can be revived beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) to § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code makes an exception for judgments for child support from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, whether they were issued recently or in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The property of the judgment debtor is subject to levy by execution unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. The following types of property are generally not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in savings or checking accounts; b. Pleasure boats and their motors and trailers; c. Collections such as 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.
Irrespective of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult, certain categories of property are exempt from execution, including: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories as defined by statute, up to a 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 identifies 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) specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) certain consigned artwork that meets specific requirements.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor may choose to utilize the post-judgment garnishment procedure to uncover any outstanding debts owed by a third party to the judgment debtor. The creditor (garnishor) can then obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following a judgment, garnishment can be utilized, but only under specific conditions. Firstly, the creditor must possess a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, and the judgment is considered 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. Finally, the creditor must swear that, to the best of their knowledge, the debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is a separate suit from the main case it is meant to enforce. Since it is an ancillary legal action, the third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Delivering the writ of garnishment to the garnishee is required, and the judgment defendant’s participation is optional in the garnishment action. Nonetheless, the defendant should be provided with a copy of the writ, the application, the accompanying affidavits, and the orders of the court promptly after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must be easily readable, using bold 12-point typeface, and prominently displaying the contents of the writ. Failure to give the judgment debtor notice of property renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The location specified as the registered agent’s address in the financial institution’s registration statement is the designated place for delivering garnishment writs to banks, in accordance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must appoint 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 filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
Compliance with the citation rules is necessary for the officer executing a writ of garnishment to make a valid return. Under Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should examine the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have deemed returns fatally defective if they do not indicate the method 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 cost-effective to do so, an Application for Garnishment must be filed. The application must be supported by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which should contain crucial information, including 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 could potentially help you collect it on a contingency basis. However, if the judgment debtor is in Texas but the judgment is from another state, they will assess it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is located in Cochran County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment amount.