Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Duval County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we offer comprehensive legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. We are skilled in garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. Additionally, we can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Duval County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who is struggling to collect a judgment from a debtor in Duval County, Texas, contact us, and we will help you navigate the legal system and recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Duval County
In Duval County, a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor can be created by properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. 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, provided that the judgment does not become 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 regulations 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
When abstracting a judgment in Texas, it’s important to follow specific guidelines set by the state. 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 Duval County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 400 E Gravis Ave, San Diego, Texas 78384.
To create a legally binding abstract of judgment in Texas, specific details 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. 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 may result in a penalty filing fee. Unverified declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be recorded in Duval County if the debtor has real property there. The Duval County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. The clerk must also 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 ensure that foreign judgments can be enforced in the same manner as judgments filed in the court where they originated. 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 Duval County is subject to the judgment lien recorded in the county of registration.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in effect for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, but if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien ends. Thus, to maintain the judgment lien, it is necessary to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within 10 years of its creation, 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 go dormant and maintain their enforceability. 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 an additional 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Despite the possibility of judgments of political subdivisions becoming 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 beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exemption of child support judgments from the dormancy statute is a provision in Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code that applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were made.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is liable to be confiscated by the execution if it is not protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, the following types of property are not protected: 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. Investments such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property in the following categories is 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 criteria established by law and that are not subject to execution.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal tool accessible to a judgment creditor that allows them to investigate the financial ties between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if there are any outstanding debts. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which instructs the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After a judgment has been issued, garnishment is available under certain circumstances. 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must affirm that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have in their possession enough property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s worth noting that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the primary case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it is a supplementary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for recovery, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To commence 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 comprehend for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice will nullify any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Banks served with garnishment writs must be sent to the address designated 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 must file a registration application with the Secretary of State, complying with 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 carrying out a writ of garnishment must provide a return that complies with the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 instructs the judgment creditor to examine the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in default judgment cases. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns for not showing how a corporate garnishee was served and where the service occurred.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When you find a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and determine that it is worth pursuing, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include essential 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 judgment to collect from Texas, Busby and Associates may be able to assist you on a contingency basis. They evaluate judgments from other states with the debtor located in Texas on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. For judgments in Duval County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.