Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Collingsworth County, Texas
For those seeking help with defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, Busby & Associates is the law firm for you. 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, as well as domesticating foreign child support liens in Collingsworth County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to recover your judgment from a debtor in Collingsworth County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll provide you with the support and guidance you need to succeed.
Texas Judgment liens in Collingsworth County
To place a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Collingsworth County, a judgment creditor must file an abstract of judgment properly. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor has property to establish 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 apply exclusively to Texas state trial court judgments. For 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, abstracting a judgment requires compliance with certain regulations. The judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, agent, attorney, or assignee can usually prepare the abstract for judgments rendered in most courts, except for small claims and justice courts where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It is essential to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Collingsworth County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 800 West Ave, Wellington, Texas 79095.
To properly create an abstract of judgment in Texas, specific information must be included. 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. A penalty filing fee will be imposed if the mailing address is not included. Declarations that are not verified are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To document the enforceability of the judgment, it is crucial to record the abstract in Collingsworth County, particularly if the debtor owns real property in the same county. The Collingsworth 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, showing the names of the plaintiff and defendant and the page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act are treated as local judgments when it comes to enforcement. To domesticate the judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Collingsworth County is encumbered by the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
After an abstract is recorded and indexed, the judgment lien continues for 10 years, unless the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien ceases to exist. To maintain the judgment lien, it is essential to take two steps: (1) keep the judgment active and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. If no writ of execution is issued within 10 years of judgment creation, it becomes dormant, but can be revived through scire facias or a debt action brought within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The decisions made by the government or its agencies remain active and unaffected by dormancy. A lien, established by a duly-filed abstract of judgment, lasts for two decades from the date of filing and can be extended for another twenty years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments may go dormant under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows the political subdivision to revive the judgment at any time. 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 excludes child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, whether they were rendered recently or in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property may be subject to execution by levy if it is not exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal exemption. 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 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.
Certain categories of property are exempt from execution, 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) specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) college savings plans; l) consigned artwork that meets specific requirements.
The garnishee must receive the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant’s participation in the garnishment action is not a prerequisite. However, it is essential to provide the defendant with a copy of the writ, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after serving the garnishee. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must display the contents of the writ prominently, using bold 12-point typeface, and in a manner that would be understood by a reasonably attentive person. Any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, will be null and void if the judgment debtor is not given notice of property.
Requirements to Issue
To deliver garnishment writs to banks, the address specified as the registered agent’s location in their financial institution registration statement must be used, in accordance 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 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.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When pursuing post-judgment garnishment, keep in mind that it is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. As an additional lawsuit, the third-party garnishee must be identified as the defendant. Moreover, it should be submitted 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 writ of garnishment is to be served on the garnishee in a garnishment action, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not obligatory. However, the defendant must be provided with a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders promptly after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ that is served on the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that a reasonably attentive person can easily comprehend. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice invalidates any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of garnishment writs to banks requires using the address mentioned as the registered agent’s location in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must file a registration application with the Secretary of State by complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, which includes designating an agent for process 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.
It is the duty of the officer executing a writ of garnishment to submit a return that meets the citation rules. According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor must review 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 held returns to be invalid for neglecting to indicate the manner and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Upon discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and 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 include necessary 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 could potentially assist you in collecting it on a contingency basis. However, for judgments from other states where the judgment debtor is in Texas, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer may be required. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is located in Collingsworth County, Busby and Associates can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment.