Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Coryell County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand the challenges that come with defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. 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 Coryell County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who is having difficulty collecting from a debtor in Coryell County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll provide you with the support and guidance you need to succeed.
Texas Judgment liens in Coryell County
A lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Coryell County can be created by properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. 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, 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 solely 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 adhering to specific guidelines. 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. Remember that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Coryell County, Texas, you should visit the County Clerk’s office at 620 E Main St, Gatesville, Texas 76528.
To create a valid abstract of judgment in Texas, certain information must be included. This information 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
When the debtor possesses real property in Coryell County, it is necessary to record the abstract of judgment in the same county. The Coryell County clerk receives the abstract and documents 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, displaying the names of both 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 enforceable in the same way as local judgments. 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
The judgment lien encompasses all nonexempt real property registered to the defendant in Coryell County, where it is recorded.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien will last for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, except if the judgment becomes dormant, then the lien will be terminated. Therefore, it is necessary to follow two steps to keep the judgment lien alive: (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.
Decisions by the government or its authorized entities do not become dormant, and a properly registered abstract of judgment results in a lien that remains valid for 20 years starting from the date of the registration. Renewal of the lien is possible for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although judgments of political subdivisions may go dormant under dormancy statutes, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. This means that the statute of limitations will not prevent the political subdivision from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments are covered by the exemption to the dormancy statute under Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, irrespective of their date of issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution can seize the property of the judgment debtor if it is not protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal exemption. Generally, 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. Corporations do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following categories of property are immune to execution, regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult: 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 set forth by the law.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
To initiate a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant is not a mandatory party to the proceedings. However, the defendant must be given a copy of the writ, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practicable 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 understandable manner, using bold 12-point typeface. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with notice of property will invalidate any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Requirements to Issue
Delivery of garnishment writs to banks must be made to the address designated as the location of the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to 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 by complying with the laws of the state 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 filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to remember that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal suit from the main case it is intended to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, as it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that rendered 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 involvement of the judgment defendant is not necessary. However, the defendant must be provided 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 manner that is clear and understandable to a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice renders any judgment, except one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the delivery of garnishment writs to banks, the address indicated 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. Out-of-state financial institutions must file a registration application with the Secretary of State, following 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.
Making a return that satisfies the citation rules is the responsibility of the officer executing a writ of garnishment. As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should examine 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 held returns to be invalid if they do not specify how a corporate garnishee was served and where the service took place.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is found and it is cost-effective to pursue, 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 important 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’re looking to collect your judgment from Texas, Busby and Associates may be able to assist you 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 may require a retainer. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is in Coryell County, Busby and Associates can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment amount.