Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Dawson County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a law firm that offers legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. Our primary focus is 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 Dawson County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who is having trouble collecting a judgment from a debtor in Dawson County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll work with you to develop a customized plan to recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Dawson County
To establish a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Dawson County, you need to properly record and index 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, subject to the judgment not becoming dormant. Only final judgments, not interlocutory ones, can be used to establish a lien. However, even 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
Texas imposes specific regulations for abstracting a judgment, which must be strictly followed. Generally, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, agent, attorney, or assignee for judgments rendered in most courts, except for small claims and justice courts where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It should be noted that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Dawson County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office at 400 S 1st St, Lamesa, Texas 79331.
To create a valid abstract of judgment in Texas, it must contain certain information, such as 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. A penalty filing fee will be imposed if the mailing address is missing. Unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure that the abstract of judgment is enforceable, it must be recorded in Dawson County where the debtor has real property. The Dawson County clerk receives the abstract and records 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, showing the names of 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. In Texas, the foreign judgment holder must fulfill 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 located in Dawson County, as recorded in the county, is subject to the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
After an abstract is recorded and indexed, the judgment lien remains in effect for 10 years, except if the judgment becomes dormant, which ends the lien. To keep the judgment lien valid, two actions are required: (1) keep the judgment active and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. If a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years of the judgment’s creation, it becomes dormant, but it can be revived through scire facias or a debt action filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments do not become dormant, which means they stay effective and enforceable. Meanwhile, a properly filed abstract of judgment can create a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and a renewed abstract of judgment can extend the lien for another 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to go dormant, 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 barred by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are excluded from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and this applies to any such judgments, regardless of their date.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal exemption, the property of the judgment debtor can be taken by execution. 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. Corporations have no exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult, there are certain property categories that are not subject to execution. These categories include: 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 criteria established by law.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal mechanism available to a judgment creditor to investigate any potential debts owed by a third party to the judgment debtor. If any debts are identified, 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
To execute garnishment after a judgment, certain conditions must be met. Firstly, the creditor must have a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor cannot have filed an approved supersedeas bond to prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must swear that, to the best of their knowledge, the debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
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 should be named as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The writ of garnishment must be served on the garnishee to commence a garnishment action, and the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party. However, the defendant must receive 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. Any judgment, except for one that dissolves the writ, is unenforceable if the judgment debtor does not receive property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The designated address of the registered agent in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code must be used for delivering garnishment writs to garnishee banks. Out-of-state financial institutions must file a registration application with the Secretary of State and comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including 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 comply with the citation rules, the officer who enforces a writ of garnishment must file a return that meets the requirements. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 emphasizes the importance of the judgment creditor reviewing the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns that do not indicate the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
After finding a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and determining that it is financially viable to do so, an Application for Garnishment must be filed. The application should be accompanied by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which should include relevant information such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and address for service, as well as any available account names and numbers.
Looking to collect a judgment from Texas? Busby and Associates may be able to help you do so on a contingency basis. If the judgment debtor is located in Texas but the judgment is from another state, they’ll evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. For judgments from Dawson County, Busby and Associates can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution.