Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Franklin County, Texas
If you need help collecting a judgment from a debtor in Franklin County, Texas, Busby & Associates is the law firm to call. We are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a focus on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions. In addition, we offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters, as well as assistance with child support lien collections and defense, and domestication of foreign child support liens in Franklin County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor who is struggling to recover a judgment from a debtor, contact us, and we will help you get the justice you deserve.
Texas Judgment liens in Franklin County
By properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment, a judgment lien can be established on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Franklin County. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor owns property. The lien remains valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided the judgment does not become dormant. Only final judgments, not interlocutory ones, can be the basis of a lien. However, 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, the effect of such actions will not be destroyed in the event of an affirmation. These rules apply only to judgments from Texas state trial courts. If you want to create a lien using an abstract of judgment from another state or foreign country, you must first domesticate the judgment in Texas before you can file the abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
Abstracting a judgment in Texas is subject to specific regulations that must be followed. Normally, 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. Note that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Franklin County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office located at 200 N Kaufman St, Mt Vernon, Texas 75457.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must meet certain requirements to be considered valid, such as including 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. Declarations that are not verified are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To properly record the abstract of judgment, it must be done in Franklin County if the debtor has real property there. The Franklin 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 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.
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 fulfill the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is enforceable on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Franklin County, as recorded in the county.
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 it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that time, which ends the lien. Hence, it is crucial to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the lien. If the judgment becomes dormant, 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 go dormant, and a valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date. Furthermore, the lien’s duration can be extended for an additional 20-year period by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although judgments of political subdivisions can become 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 can revive the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period, and the statute of limitations will not bar it.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code creates an exception for judgments of child support from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, irrespective of their date of issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution can take the property of the judgment debtor unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. The following categories of property are typically 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. Investments like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempted property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Execution cannot be carried out on property belonging to a family or a single adult if it falls under the following categories: a. Homestead b. Personal property belonging to specific categories mentioned by the statute, with a combined fair market value limit of $100,000 for families and $50,000 for single adults c. Current wages for personal services (excluding child support payments) and unpaid commissions for personal services that do not exceed 25% of the $50/$100,000 limits d. Health aids prescribed by professionals e. Worker’s compensation payments f. Cemetery lots used for sepulchers g. Property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed by the debtor if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property of the debtor that is sufficient to satisfy the execution h. Assets with the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the debtor’s benefit i. Certain insurance benefits and savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans j. College savings plans k. Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
When a judgment creditor suspects that a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, they can utilize the post-judgment garnishment procedure to investigate. If any debts are discovered, 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
Garnishment is only available after a judgment if certain conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, the creditor must hold 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 attest that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have enough property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to 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 identified 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 initiate a garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the involvement 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 possible 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 way that is easily comprehensible for a reasonably attentive person. If the judgment debtor does not receive property notice, any judgment other than one that dissolves the writ will be invalidated.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks shall be made 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.
To comply with the citation requirements, the officer who executes a writ of garnishment must provide a return. The judgment creditor must inspect the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, particularly in default judgment cases, according to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that do not provide information on how and where a corporate garnishee was served.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you find a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and determine that it is financially viable to pursue, you must file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include essential 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 seeking assistance to collect a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can 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 Franklin County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.