Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Dimmit County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a legal firm that provides comprehensive services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While we are skilled in garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, we also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. We can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Dimmit County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who needs help collecting a judgment from a debtor in Dimmit County, Texas, contact us, and we will use our skills to help you recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Dimmit County
Properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment in Dimmit County can establish a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor. The abstract must be filed in each 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 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 has established regulations for abstracting a judgment, which must be followed precisely. 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 permitted to prepare their own abstract. Keep in mind that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Dimmit County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office at 103 N 5th St, Carrizo Springs, Texas 78834.
To create a valid abstract of judgment in Texas, certain information must be included, 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. Additionally, the abstract must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be verified by the creditor’s attorney. A penalty filing fee may be imposed if the mailing address is omitted. Declarations that are not verified are not allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Dimmit County, the abstract of judgment must be recorded in the same county. The Dimmit County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Furthermore, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing 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 can be enforced in the same way as judgments filed in the court of origin. The foreign judgment holder must fulfill the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien covers all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Dimmit County, where it is enforceable.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in effect for 10 years following the date of recording and indexing an abstract, unless the judgment becomes dormant, which results in the termination of the lien. Therefore, to maintain the judgment lien, it is crucial to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years of its creation but 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 and remain enforceable throughout the lien’s life. Additionally, a valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and a renewed abstract of judgment can extend the lien for an additional 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Even though dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become dormant, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Hence, the statute of limitations will not bar the political subdivision from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) to § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code makes an exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, whether recent or old.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution has the authority to seize the property of the judgment debtor, except when it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. 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. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. There is no exempt property for corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property in certain categories is protected from execution, whether the debtor is a family or a single adult. 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 set forth in the law.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
If a judgment creditor suspects that a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, they can use the post-judgment garnishment procedure to investigate. If any debts are identified, 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 securing a judgment, certain prerequisites must be satisfied. 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 must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must swear that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not own enough property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is a distinct legal suit from the main case it is meant to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, as it is an additional lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment to be collected, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
In a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not a prerequisite. 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 contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that is easily understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide notice of property to the judgment debtor invalidates any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To deliver garnishment writs to banks, the registered agent’s address as indicated 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, complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. Texas financial institutions have the option to appoint an agent for process by filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer executing a writ of garnishment is responsible for filing a return that meets the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 emphasizes that the judgment creditor should examine 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 held returns to be invalid if they do not specify the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
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 include relevant information such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name and officers for service, and any available account names and numbers.
Need help collecting a Texas judgment? Busby and Associates can potentially assist you on a contingency basis. For judgments from other states with the debtor located in Texas, they evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. In the case of a debtor and/or judgment in Dimmit County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount.