Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Ellis County, Texas
Busby & Associates is a law firm that provides legal services for defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. Our main focus is on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, but we also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce. Furthermore, we can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Ellis County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who is having difficulty collecting a judgment from a debtor in Ellis County, Texas, contact us, and we will help you understand your options and provide guidance on how to recover your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Ellis County
In Ellis County, a properly recorded and indexed abstract of judgment can function 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
Abstracting a judgment in Texas requires adherence to specific guidelines. 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. It should be noted that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Ellis County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 109 S Jackson St, Waxahachie, Texas 75165.
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. 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 accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To record the abstract of judgment correctly, it must be done in Ellis County if the debtor possesses real property there. The Ellis 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 enable foreign judgments to be enforced in the same way as local judgments. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must satisfy the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Ellis County is encumbered by the judgment lien, which applies to all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The duration of a judgment lien is 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, but if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien terminates. Therefore, to maintain the judgment lien, it is necessary 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments does not become dormant, and a properly filed abstract of judgment can create a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing. Furthermore, by submitting 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. Thus, the political subdivision can revive the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period, and the statute of limitations will not bar it.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are excluded from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which applies to any such judgments, irrespective of their date.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is open to seizure by the execution if it is not exempted or protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. The following categories of property are usually not exempted or 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 exempted or protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
In the case of a family or a single adult, certain categories of property are exempt from execution, including: a) the homestead, b) personal property of specified categories up to a total fair market value of $100,000 for families or $50,000 for single adults, c) current wages for personal service (excluding child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, not to 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 the purpose of sepulcher, g) property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property of the debtor sufficient to satisfy the execution, h) assets held by a trustee of a 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.
The post-judgment garnishment procedure is a legal process available to a judgment creditor to explore if there are any outstanding debts or property owed to the judgment debtor by a third party. 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
Certain conditions must be fulfilled to use garnishment after a judgment. 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, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess enough property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that when filing for post-judgment garnishment, 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 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.
To pursue a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment should be served on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant’s involvement is not compulsory. 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 understandable to a reasonably attentive person. Any judgment, other than one that dissolves the writ, will be invalidated if the judgment debtor does not receive property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The registered agent’s location as specified in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code must be used for the delivery of garnishment writs to banks. 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 who enforces a writ of garnishment is required to file a return that complies with the citation requirements. As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the judgment creditor must 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 invalidated returns that do not indicate how a corporate garnishee was served and where the service occurred.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is located and it is determined to be cost-effective to pursue, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include necessary 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 need help collecting a Texas judgment, Busby and Associates may be able to assist you 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 Ellis County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.