Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Denton County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a law firm that is skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. Our main area of focus is garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce. We provide assistance for both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Denton County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who needs help collecting a judgment from a debtor in Denton County, Texas, call us, and we will guide you through the process and help you recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Denton County
In Denton County, a properly recorded and indexed abstract of judgment can serve as a lien on all nonexempt real property of a judgment debtor. To establish a lien, the abstract must be filed in each county where the debtor has property. The lien continues 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 create a lien. However, even if a judgment is appealed or a supersedeas bond is 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 regulations only apply to Texas state trial court judgments. To create a lien using 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 laws mandate specific procedures for abstracting a judgment, which must be strictly followed. Typically, 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 Denton County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 1450 E McKinney St, Denton, Texas 76209.
For a Texas abstract of judgment to be considered valid, certain details must be included. 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. Additionally, the abstract must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to include the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee. Unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure that a judgment is enforceable, the abstract must be recorded in Denton County where the debtor owns real property. The Denton County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, specifying the date and time of recording. Additionally, 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act authorize foreign judgments to be enforced as if they were judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in Denton County is encumbered by the judgment lien recorded in the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The validity of a judgment lien lasts for 10 years following the date of recording and indexing an abstract, unless the judgment becomes dormant, which terminates the lien. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the lien. 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments does not become dormant, and a valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date. By filing a renewed abstract of judgment, the lien can be extended for another 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although judgments of political subdivisions can become dormant due to dormancy statutes, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Hence, the political subdivision can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period, and the statute of limitations will not bar it.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exemption for child support judgments from the dormancy statute, which applies to all such judgments, regardless of their date.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution has the power to seize the property of the judgment debtor unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, 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 of items like 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.
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 that allows a judgment creditor to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to ascertain if any funds or property are owed to the debtor. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, instructing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can only be used after a judgment if specific conditions are satisfied. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must declare that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not own enough property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is a distinct legal proceeding from the primary case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, as it is a supplementary 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.
When pursuing a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant’s involvement is not mandatory. 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 easy to understand for a reasonably attentive person. If the judgment debtor does not receive notice of property, any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, will be invalidated.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The delivery of garnishment writs to banks is subject to 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. Out-of-state financial institutions are required to file a registration application with the Secretary of State, adhering to the state’s foreign corporation laws, which includes designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions have the option to appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer who carries out a writ of garnishment must file a return that meets the citation requirements. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 advises the judgment creditor to scrutinize the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns for not indicating the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In order to garnish a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor, you must first locate the account and determine that it is financially viable to pursue. If so, an Application for Garnishment must be filed, accompanied by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain necessary information such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name and address for service, and any available account names and numbers.
Have a judgment to collect from Texas? Busby and Associates may be able to help you recover the amount on a contingency basis. If the judgment is from another state with the debtor located in Texas, they evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. For judgments in Denton County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution.