Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Colorado County, Texas
When it comes to defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, Busby & Associates is a law firm you can trust. 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 in Colorado County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who is facing challenges in collecting from a debtor in Colorado County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll provide you with the guidance and support you need to recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Colorado County
A properly filed abstract of judgment can act as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Colorado County. The abstract must be recorded and indexed properly and 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, 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 the creditor establishes a lien before the appeal, the lien remains valid even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply only 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
Understanding the guidelines for abstracting a judgment in Texas is crucial. 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. It is also important 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 Colorado County, Texas, the County Clerk’s office is located at 318 Spring St #103, Columbus, Texas 78934.
When preparing an abstract of judgment in Texas, it is important to ensure that specific information is 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. 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. Declarations that are not verified are not acceptable.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
In order to record the abstract of judgment validly, it must be done in Colorado County where the debtor holds real property. The Colorado County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, mentioning 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.
Foreign judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act are enforceable in the same manner as judgments in the court of origin. 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 nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Colorado County is subject to the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien lasts for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, unless the judgment becomes dormant, causing the lien to expire. To ensure the judgment lien remains active, two things must be done: (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.
The state or its authorized bodies’ rulings do not become obsolete, and a duly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing. The lien can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, thus ensuring continued validity.
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 using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Hence, the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment, even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Child support judgments are exempted from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, and this applies to 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 debtor facing judgment is eligible for seizure by execution unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. Generally, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash held 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.
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 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 the specified requirements.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The garnishment action requires that the writ of garnishment be served on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant’s involvement is not mandatory. However, the defendant must be given a copy of the writ, the 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 contain the contents of the writ in a clear and readable manner, using bold 12-point typeface, and in a manner that would be understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with notice of property will result in any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, being voided.
Requirements to Issue
Banks must be served with garnishment writs at the address stated as the registered agent’s location in their financial institution registration statement, as per Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with state laws by designating 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 filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is crucial to understand that a post-judgment garnishment action is a distinct legal suit from the main case it is intended to enforce. As an ancillary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant. It must be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment for collection, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To initiate a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not required. However, the defendant must be served with a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as practical after serving the garnishee. The copy of the writ served on the defendant must include the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that is clear and understandable to a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice renders any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Banks must be served with garnishment writs at the registered agent’s address mentioned in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must submit a registration application to the Secretary of State by complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, which involves designating an agent for process 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 file a return that adheres to the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 emphasizes the need for the judgment creditor to inspect 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
Once a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is located, and it is deemed cost-effective to pursue, an Application for Garnishment must be filed. The application should be supported by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which should contain necessary details such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and address for service, as well as 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, for judgments from other states where the judgment debtor is in Texas, they will assess it on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer may be necessary. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is in Colorado County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment.