Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Fannin County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are dedicated to helping our clients collect the judgments they deserve. As a law firm that is skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, we focus primarily on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions. We also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters, and we can assist both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Fannin County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who is struggling to recover a judgment from a debtor in Fannin County, Texas, contact us, and we will help you navigate the legal process to collect your funds.
Texas Judgment liens in Fannin County
A judgment lien that properly fixes to nonexempt real estate owned by a judgment debtor in Fannin County can be established through the recording and indexing of 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 unless the judgment becomes dormant. Only final judgments, not interlocutory ones, can form the basis of a lien. However, an abstract of judgment can still be filed even if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed. If a creditor establishes a lien before the appeal, it remains valid even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply solely to judgments from Texas state trial courts. 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
In Texas, abstracting a judgment requires following specific regulations established 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 Fannin County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 800 E 2nd St, Bonham, Texas 75418.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must include specific details 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 accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment must be recorded in Fannin County where the debtor has real property. The Fannin County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of recording. Moreover, the clerk must include 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act allow foreign judgments to be enforced similarly to judgments filed in the court of origin. In Texas, the foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property in Fannin County, recorded in the county, is encumbered by the judgment lien.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, but it becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within that time, which ends the lien. 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 that becomes dormant can be revived through scire facias or a debt action filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Dormancy is not applicable to state or state agency judgments, maintaining their enforceability. Moreover, a valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions may become dormant under dormancy statutes, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, at any time. Therefore, 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 provision in Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code excludes child support judgments from the dormancy statute and covers all such judgments, irrespective of their date of issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution has the power to seize the property of the judgment debtor unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. In most cases, the following categories of property are not exempted: 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 exempt property for corporations.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Unless otherwise stated by law, the following categories of property shall not be subjected to any execution whether for a family or a single adult: a. The homestead b. Personal property of various categories specified by statute, up to the aggregate fair market value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult who is not a member of a family c. Current wages for personal service (except for payment of child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations d. Professionally prescribed health aids e. Worker’s compensation payments; f. Cemetery lots held for purposes of sepulcher g. Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out 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; and j. Certain savings plans, including 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 available to a judgment creditor that enables them to determine if a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, mandating the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Several prerequisites must be satisfied in order to utilize garnishment after obtaining a judgment. Firstly, the creditor must possess a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being deemed final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to halt execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must swear that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have enough property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it is meant 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 issued the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
When initiating a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment must be served on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant 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 easy to comprehend for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Banks served with garnishment writs must be delivered to the registered agent’s address, as specified 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 who carries out a writ of garnishment must provide a return that satisfies the citation rules. Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 instructs the judgment creditor to inspect the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have deemed returns to be invalid if they do not indicate how and where a corporate garnishee was served.
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, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include necessary information such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and address for service, as well as any available account names and numbers.
If you’re struggling to collect a judgment from Texas, Busby and Associates can help 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 Fannin County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.