Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Ector County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we provide comprehensive legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While our primary focus is on 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 Ector County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who needs help collecting a judgment from a debtor in Ector County, Texas, contact us, and we will work with you to develop a tailored strategy to recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Ector County
In Ector County, a properly recorded and indexed abstract of judgment can act as 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 unless the judgment becomes dormant. A lien can only be established based on a final judgment, not an interlocutory one. However, even if a judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment can still be filed. If a 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 laws dictate the procedures for abstracting a judgment. Usually, 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 Ector County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 300 N Grant Ave # 111, Odessa, Texas 79761.
To create a legally enforceable abstract of judgment in Texas, specific 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. 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. Declarations that are not verified are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
For the abstract of judgment to be enforceable, it must be recorded in Ector County where the debtor has real property. The Ector County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, mentioning 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 provide foreign judgments with the same enforceability as local judgments. In Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Ector County, as the county of recordation, 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
The judgment lien is effective for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, unless the judgment becomes dormant, which ends the lien. Therefore, to maintain the judgment lien, it is essential to keep the judgment active and 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.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not become dormant, and a properly filed abstract of judgment can create a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date. By submitting a renewed abstract of judgment, the lien’s life can be extended for another 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become dormant, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Consequently, the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The dormancy statute exception for child support judgments is provided by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and covers all such judgments, regardless of when they were rendered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The property of the judgment debtor is susceptible to seizure by the execution if it is not safeguarded by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Usually, the following types of property are not safeguarded: 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 safeguarded property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property that falls under the categories mentioned below cannot be seized in case of a family or a single adult: a) Homestead, b) Personal property of specific categories that hold a total fair market value of $100,000 for families or $50,000 for single adults, c) Current wages and unpaid commissions for personal services (excluding child support) that do not exceed 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 identifies other property of the debtor that is adequate to satisfy the execution, h) Assets held in a trustee’s spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor, i) Certain insurance benefits, j) Certain savings plans, such as retirement benefits and health savings plans, k) College savings plans, l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal remedy that empowers a judgment creditor to investigate if a third party has any outstanding debts or property owed to the judgment debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can be utilized after a judgment, but certain conditions must be satisfied first. 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 declare that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When seeking post-judgment garnishment, it is important to understand that it is a separate legal action from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, as it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment for collection, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
When starting a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not necessary. 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. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice will result in the invalidation of any judgment except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Banks that receive garnishment writs must be delivered 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 filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must file a return that meets the citation standards. According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor should carefully review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, particularly 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 provide details on how a corporate garnishee was served and where the service took place.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you have found a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and have determined that it is cost-effective to pursue, an Application for Garnishment must be filed, supported by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit 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.
Collecting a Texas judgment can be a challenging process, but Busby and Associates may be able to help you do it on a contingency basis. Judgments from other states with the debtor located in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. For judgments in Ector County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.