Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Deaf Smith County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are skilled in providing legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. We primarily focus on 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 Deaf Smith County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor who needs help recovering a judgment from a debtor in Deaf Smith County, Texas, contact us, and we’ll guide you through the process and provide you with the support you need to succeed.
Texas Judgment liens in Deaf Smith County
A lien can be created on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Deaf Smith 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, 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
To abstract a judgment in Texas, certain guidelines must be followed. 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 Deaf Smith County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office at 235 E 3rd St #203, Hereford, Texas 79045.
To be legally valid, an abstract of judgment in Texas must contain certain information. This includes the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available), 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. Unverified declarations are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
It is mandatory to record the abstract of judgment in Deaf Smith County if the debtor has real property there. The Deaf Smith County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Furthermore, the clerk must enter 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.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments are treated as local judgments when it comes to enforcement. 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 county of recordation, Deaf Smith County, is where the judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
After an abstract is recorded and indexed, the judgment lien continues for 10 years, unless the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien ceases to exist. To maintain the judgment lien, it is essential 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 go dormant, and a valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date. Additionally, the lien’s life can be extended for another 20 years by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions may become dormant under dormancy statutes, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. As such, the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Child support judgments are exempted from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which applies to all such judgments, irrespective of when they were made.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is subject to 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, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following property categories are exempt from execution, 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 established by law.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor may choose to employ the post-judgment garnishment procedure to ascertain whether there are any debts owed by a third party to the judgment debtor. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which mandates the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To use garnishment after judgment, certain conditions must be satisfied. Firstly, the creditor must have a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor cannot have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must attest that, as far as they know, the debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When pursuing post-judgment garnishment, keep in mind that it is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. As an additional lawsuit, the third-party garnishee must be identified as the defendant. Moreover, it should be submitted in the same court that issued the judgment for collection, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The writ of garnishment serves as the official notification to the garnishee, and the judgment defendant is not required to participate in the garnishment action. 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 contain 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 rendered void if the judgment debtor does not receive property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks requires the designated address of the registered agent in the financial institution 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 appointing an agent for process under Section 201.102, by filing a registration application 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 is responsible for filing a return that satisfies the citation rules. As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor must 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 rejected returns that do not show 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 located and it is determined to be 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 include important details such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and address for service, as well as any available account names and numbers.
If you have a Texas judgment to collect, Busby and Associates may be able to help you on a contingency basis. However, for judgments from other states with the judgment debtor in Texas, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. In the case of a judgment debtor and/or judgment in Deaf Smith County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution.