1-281-DIVORCE (348-6723)


1-281-DIVORCE (348-6723)

Cooke County, Gainesville, Texas

Cooke County

Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Cooke County, Texas


When it comes to defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments in Cooke County, Texas, Busby & Associates is the law firm you can count on. 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. If you’re a judgment creditor who is struggling to collect from a debtor in Cooke County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll help you recover your judgment.


Texas Judgment liens in Cooke County

In Cooke County, a judgment lien can be established on all of a judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property through the proper recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. The abstract must be filed in each county where the debtor has property. The lien will remain in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. Only final judgments can be used as the basis for a lien, not interlocutory ones. However, if a judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment can still be filed. If a creditor has established a lien prior to an 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

Abstracting a judgment in Texas involves following certain regulations. 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, with the exception of small claims and justice courts where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It is important to keep in mind that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Cooke County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 101 S Dixon St #207, Gainesville, Texas 76240.



To create a legally valid Texas abstract of judgment, certain information must be included. This information 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 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. If the mailing address is missing, a penalty filing fee will be imposed. Unsworn declarations are not allowed.

Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract

In order to ensure the validity of the judgment, the abstract must be recorded in Cooke County, where the debtor holds real property. The Cooke County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Additionally, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing 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 provide foreign judgments with the same enforceability as local judgments. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must fulfill the lien requirements.


Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property

Cooke County, the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien is attached to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant.


Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive

1.      Non-governmental Judgments

Following the recording and indexing of an abstract, the judgment lien will continue for 10 years, unless the judgment becomes dormant, which ends the lien. To maintain the judgment lien, it is necessary 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 rulings made by the state or any of its agencies remain active and unexpired. When an abstract of judgment is correctly filed, a lien is established that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and it can be renewed for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.


3.      Political Subdivisions.

Political subdivisions’ judgments may become dormant under dormancy statutes, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Therefore, the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.


4.      Child Support Judgments.

The exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute is a provision in Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code that applies to any 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 can be subject to levy by execution if it is not exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, the following categories 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. There is no exempt property for corporations.


2.      Property Exempt from Execution.

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 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 criteria.


The garnishee is required to be served with the writ of garnishment in a garnishment action, and the judgment defendant’s participation is not obligatory. Nonetheless, the defendant must receive a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders shortly after the garnishee has been served. The copy of the writ served on the defendant must prominently display the contents of the writ, using bold 12-point typeface, and in a way that can be easily understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide notice of property to the judgment debtor will result in any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, being rendered void.


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 in compliance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must file an application for registration with the Secretary of State, following state laws for foreign corporations doing business in the state, which includes designating an agent for process, as per 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

Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action is a distinct legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee must be named as the defendant, as it is a supplemental lawsuit. Moreover, it should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for recovery, but with a different cause number.


Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.

In a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment must be served on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not obligatory. However, 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 on the defendant must include the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a way that is understandable to a reasonably attentive person. Failing to provide notice of property to the judgment debtor renders any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, invalid.


Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment

The address specified as the registered agent’s location in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code must be used for the delivery of garnishment writs to banks. Out-of-state financial institutions must submit a registration application to the Secretary of State by complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including 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.


Officer’s Return.

The officer who enforces a writ of garnishment must file a return that meets the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 emphasizes the importance of the judgment creditor reviewing the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, especially in cases where the judgment is defaulted. Returns in garnishment proceedings must comply with the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that do not show the manner 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 garnished and determining that it is worth pursuing, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include relevant 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 help you recover your judgment from Texas on a contingency basis. However, if the judgment is from another state with the judgment debtor in Texas, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis, and a retainer may be necessary. In the case of a judgment debtor and/or judgment in Cooke County, Busby and Associates can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment.



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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.