Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Galveston County, Texas
If you are a judgment creditor struggling to collect from a debtor in Galveston County, Texas, Busby & Associates is here to help. We are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a focus on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions. Additionally, we 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, and domestication of foreign child support liens in Galveston County, Texas. Contact us today to get the legal assistance you need to recover your funds.
Texas Judgment liens in Galveston County
Any judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Galveston County can be subjected to a judgment lien if an abstract of judgment is properly recorded and indexed. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor owns property. The lien remains effective for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. A lien can only be established using a final judgment, not an interlocutory one. However, an abstract of judgment can still be filed on a final judgment being appealed or on which a supersedeas bond has been filed. If a creditor has already established a lien before the judgment is appealed, those actions will remain effective in the event of an affirmation. These rules apply solely to Texas state trial court judgments. To create a lien on a judgment from another state or foreign country, you must first domesticate the judgment in Texas before filing the abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
When abstracting a judgment in Texas, it’s important to follow specific regulations established by the state. Typically, 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 Galveston County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 600 59th St, Galveston, Texas 77551.
To prepare a valid abstract of judgment in Texas, specific information must be included, 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. Unattested statements are not acceptable.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Galveston County, the abstract of judgment must be registered in that county. The Galveston 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act authorize foreign judgments to be enforced similarly to judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien covers all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in Galveston County.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
Once recorded and indexed, the judgment lien remains in effect for 10 years, except when the judgment becomes dormant, in which case the lien expires. To keep the judgment lien active, two prerequisites are essential: (1) maintain the validity of the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within 10 years of its creation, but it can be revived through scire facias or a debt action 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 properly filed abstract of judgment can create a lien for 20 years from the date of filing. Furthermore, the lien can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions can become dormant under dormancy statutes, 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 restricted by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments are exempted from the dormancy statute by Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which covers all such judgments, whether they were made recently or in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule, the execution can take control of the judgment debtor’s property. Generally, 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 like stamps, coins, etc.; d. Investments such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempted property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
To protect a family or single adult from execution, certain categories of property fall under exemption, such as a. the homestead, b. personal property of certain categories with a total fair market value of up to $100,000 for families and $50,000 for single adults, c. current wages and unpaid commissions up to 25% of the $50/$100,000 limit, except for child support payments, d. health aids prescribed by professionals, e. worker’s compensation payments, f. cemetery lots used for sepulchers, g. sold, mortgaged, or conveyed property if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other property belonging to the debtor that can satisfy the execution, h. assets with the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the debtor’s benefit, i. certain insurance and savings benefits, such as retirement benefits and health savings plans, j. college savings plans, and k. certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal remedy that permits a judgment creditor to examine the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to identify any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any debts are identified, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After obtaining a judgment, garnishment is an option if specific conditions are satisfied. 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 swear that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess enough property subject to execution in Texas to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal proceeding from the primary case it seeks to enforce. As an ancillary lawsuit, the third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant. It should be submitted 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.
Initiating a garnishment action requires the garnishee to be served with the writ of garnishment, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not essential. 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. If the judgment debtor does not receive property notice, any judgment other than one that dissolves the writ will be invalid.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For garnishee banks to receive garnishment writs, they must be delivered to the address specified 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 executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that satisfies the citation standards, as mandated by Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. Before obtaining a garnishment judgment, the judgment creditor must examine the return, particularly in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must follow the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that do not specify the manner and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you discover a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and you decide to pursue it, file an Application for Garnishment, along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include pertinent 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.
Having difficulty collecting a Texas judgment? Busby and Associates can assist you on a contingency basis. Judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. In Galveston County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.