Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Comanche County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a law firm that offers legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. Our focus is primarily on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also provide legal assistance for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. We can help both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, and domesticating foreign child support liens in Comanche County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who needs help collecting your judgment from a debtor in Comanche County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll provide you with the guidance and support you need to succeed.
Texas Judgment liens in Comanche County
Properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment can create a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Comanche County. The abstract must be filed in each county where the debtor has property to establish the lien. The lien remains 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 be the basis for 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 has established a lien before the appeal, it remains valid even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments. To establish a lien through the abstract of a judgment from another state or foreign country, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
To abstract a judgment in Texas, it is important to know the rules. 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 where the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. It is 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 Comanche County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located 101 W Central Ave # 103, Comanche, Texas 76442.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must contain certain information to be considered valid. This includes the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), 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 judgment creditor and be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to include the mailing address will result in a penalty filing fee. Unverified declarations are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
In order to document the validity of the judgment, it is necessary to record the abstract in Comanche County, where the debtor holds real property. The Comanche County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act allow foreign judgments to be enforced similarly to local judgments. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Comanche County, where it is recorded.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
Once the abstract is recorded and indexed, the judgment lien remains valid for 10 years, unless the judgment becomes dormant, which will terminate the lien. To maintain the judgment lien, two steps must be taken: (1) keep the judgment active 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.
Judgments issued by the state or its authorized entities do not lapse, and a properly filed abstract of judgment results in a lien that remains valid for 20 years from the date of filing. The lien’s validity can be extended for another 20 years by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While dormancy statutes may cause political subdivisions’ judgments to become dormant, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. As a result, the statute of limitations will not prevent the political subdivision from reviving the judgment, even after the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments fall under the exception to the dormancy statute provided by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, and this applies to any judgments, irrespective of their date.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Execution by levy can be used to seize the property of the judgment debtor unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Usually, 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. There is no exempt property for corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult, certain property categories are exempt from execution, including: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories specified 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 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) certain consigned artwork that satisfies the applicable criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The writ of garnishment must be served on the garnishee in a garnishment action, and the involvement of the judgment defendant is not mandatory. Nevertheless, the defendant must be served with a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders promptly after serving the garnishee. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a way that can be easily understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void.
Requirements to Issue
Compliance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code necessitates delivery of garnishment writs to banks at the address designated as the registered agent’s location in their financial institution registration statement. Out-of-state financial institutions must appoint an agent for process and adhere to 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.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal suit from the main case it is meant to enforce. As an ancillary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee must be named as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment for collection, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To proceed with a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant is not a necessary participant. Nonetheless, the defendant must be served with a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as practical after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a way that is easily understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice renders any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the delivery of garnishment writs to banks, the registered agent’s address mentioned in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code must be used. 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 appointing 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.
To make a valid return, the officer executing a writ of garnishment must comply with the citation rules. As stated in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should 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 deemed returns to be fatally defective if they do not indicate the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the event that a bank account or other debt that can be garnished is located and it is cost-effective to do so, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include necessary 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 may be able to assist 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 may require a retainer. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is located in Comanche County, Busby and Associates can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment amount.