Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Crane County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a law firm that provides comprehensive legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. We are skilled in garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also offer 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 Crane County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who needs help collecting a judgment from a debtor in Crane County, Texas, reach out to us, and we’ll work with you to devise a plan that meets your needs.
Texas Judgment liens in Crane County
A creditor can establish a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Crane County by properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor has property. 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 used to establish a lien. However, if a judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment can still be filed. If the creditor establishes a lien before the appeal, it remains valid even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules only apply 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 before an abstract can be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
Abstracting a judgment in Texas requires strict adherence to certain guidelines. In general, 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 worth noting that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Crane County, Texas, you can do so by visiting the County Clerk’s office located at 201 W 6th St #110, Crane, Texas 79731.
In Texas, a valid abstract of judgment must contain specific information. 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. Unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be recorded in Crane County for debtors who own real property there. The Crane County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, mentioning the date and time of recording. Additionally, the clerk must enter 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.
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 way as judgments filed in the court of origin. To domesticate the judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must satisfy the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien extends to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Crane County.
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.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not become dormant and maintain their enforceability. Furthermore, a properly filed abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and a renewed abstract of judgment can renew the lien for another 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions may go 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. Thus, 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 to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is a provision in Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code that 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.
Unless exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule, the execution can levy the judgment debtor’s property. 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 such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Investments like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following property categories are exempt from 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 the legal requirements.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
To uncover any outstanding debts owed by a third party to a judgment debtor, a judgment creditor may choose the post-judgment garnishment procedure. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment is available after a judgment, but only under specific circumstances. Firstly, the creditor must hold a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to stop execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must attest that, as far as they know, the debtor does not have enough property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
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 garnishment process begins with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, 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 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 manner that is easily comprehensible for a reasonably attentive person. If the judgment debtor does not receive property notice, any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, becomes null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Garnishment writs must be delivered to garnishee banks using the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including designating an agent for process under Section 201.102, by filing an application for registration with the Secretary of State. Texas financial institutions may appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer executing a writ of garnishment must submit a return that conforms to the citation rules. According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should inspect the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, especially in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations 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
If a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is discovered and it is financially viable 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 important 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 offers contingency-based assistance for collecting judgments from Texas. For judgments from other states with the judgment debtor located in Texas, they evaluate on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. If the judgment debtor and/or judgment is in Crane County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the judgment.