Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Edwards County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a legal firm that is skilled in providing services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. While we primarily focus on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, 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 Edwards County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who is struggling to collect a judgment from a debtor in Edwards County, Texas, contact us, and we will utilize our legal skills to help you recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Edwards County
When a judgment debtor possesses nonexempt real property in Edwards County, an abstract of judgment can act as a lien on all such property, provided it is properly recorded and indexed. 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. 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 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 essential to follow specific regulations. Typically, the abstract 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. Keep in mind that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Edwards County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 101 E Main St, Rocksprings, Texas 78880.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must meet specific requirements to be considered valid, such as 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. Omitting the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee. Unverified declarations are not allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
If the debtor has real property in Edwards County, the abstract of judgment must be recorded in that same county. The Edwards County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, specifying the date and time of recording. Moreover, 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 can be enforced similarly to judgments filed in the court of origin. The foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is effective on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Edwards County, where it is recorded.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
After an abstract of judgment is recorded and indexed, the judgment lien is valid for 10 years, but if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien ends. Thus, it is crucial to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the lien. If no writ of execution is 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.
A valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and state or state agency judgments do not become dormant. Additionally, a renewed abstract of judgment can extend the lien for an additional 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions may go dormant under dormancy statutes, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Hence, 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.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code exempts judgments for child support from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were granted.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless safeguarded by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule, the property of the judgment debtor can be taken over by the execution. In most cases, the following categories 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 such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. There is no safeguarded property for corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following categories of property are immune to seizure for both families and single adults: 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, including retirement benefits and health savings plans, k) College savings plans, and l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment procedure to investigate if a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After obtaining a judgment, garnishment can only be used if specific prerequisites are met. 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 verify that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have in their possession sufficient property subject to execution in Texas 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 issued the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
In a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment is to be served on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant’s involvement is not a requirement. 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 give the judgment debtor property notice invalidates any judgment other than one dissolving the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To deliver garnishment writs to banks, 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 must be utilized. 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 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 must provide a return that conforms to the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 specifies that the judgment creditor should scrutinize the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have held returns to be invalid if they fail to indicate 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, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, which 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.
Busby and Associates provides contingency-based assistance for collecting judgments in Texas. If the debtor is located in Texas but the judgment is from another state, they will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. For judgments in Edwards County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.