Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Gillespie County, Texas
As a law firm dedicated to defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, Busby & Associates offers legal services that can help you recover what you are owed. We are skilled in garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions, and we can also assist with consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce matters. Our team can help both obligors and obligees with child support lien collections and defense, as well as domestication of foreign child support liens in Gillespie County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor struggling to collect from a debtor in Gillespie County, Texas, contact us, and we will provide you with the legal guidance and support you need.
Texas Judgment liens in Gillespie County
To establish a judgment lien on all nonexempt real property owned by a judgment debtor in Gillespie County, an abstract of judgment must be properly recorded and indexed. The abstract must be filed in every county where the debtor owns property. The lien will remain valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. Only final judgments, not interlocutory ones, can be used to establish a lien. 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 taken the necessary steps to establish a lien before the judgment is appealed, those actions will remain effective in the event of an affirmation. These rules apply exclusively to Texas state trial court judgments. To establish 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
Abstracting a judgment in Texas requires adherence to state regulations. In most courts, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, agent, attorney, or assignee, 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 Gillespie County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 101 W Main St, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624.
An abstract of judgment in Texas needs to meet specific standards to be enforceable, which includes identifying the plaintiff and defendant, providing the defendant’s birthdate (if available), the last three digits of their driver’s license and social security number (if available), the suit number, the defendant’s address or citation details, the date the judgment was issued, the amount of the judgment and outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. The abstract must also list the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be certified by the creditor’s attorney. A penalty filing fee may be imposed if the mailing address is absent, and unsworn statements are not acceptable.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure enforceability of the judgment, the abstract of judgment must be recorded in Gillespie County if the debtor has real property there. The Gillespie County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of recording. Additionally, 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 establish that judgments filed under the Acts are enforceable in the same way as judgments filed in the originating court. When domesticating a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must satisfy the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Gillespie County is where the judgment lien takes effect on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains valid for ten years following the recording and indexing of an abstract, but it becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within that time, ending the lien. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the judgment active and obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the lien. A dormant judgment can be revived through scire facias or a debt action filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments do not go dormant, which means they remain enforceable indefinitely. A properly filed abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and a renewed abstract of judgment can extend the lien for an additional 20 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Though judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant under dormancy statutes, the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows the political subdivision to revive the judgment at any time. Therefore, the statute of limitations will not bar the political subdivision from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code’s § 34.001 Subsection (c) excludes judgments for child support from the dormancy statute and covers all such judgments, regardless of when they were rendered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is eligible for execution levy unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, the following types 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 have no property that is exempted from seizure.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Whether for a single adult or a family, the following categories of property are exempt from execution: a) the homestead; b) personal property of various categories designated by statute, up to a maximum aggregate fair market value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult not belonging to a family; c) current earnings for personal service, except for child support payments, and unpaid commissions for personal services, which cannot exceed 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations; d) medically prescribed health aids; e) worker’s compensation payments; f) cemetery lots held for sepulcher purposes; g) property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property of the debtor that is enough to satisfy the execution; h) assets held by the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor; i) specific insurance benefits; j) designated savings plans, including retirement and health savings plans; k) College Savings Plans; l) certain artwork that has been consigned.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal process available to a judgment creditor to examine the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor for any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To employ garnishment following a judgment, certain conditions must be met. 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must declare that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not hold enough property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When initiating a post-judgment garnishment action, it’s important to understand that it is a separate legal suit from the main case it aims 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 rendered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
A garnishment action begins with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not required. Nevertheless, the defendant must receive a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after the garnishee is served. The copy of the writ served on the defendant must contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that is easily understandable for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice invalidates any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks is subject to the registered agent’s address specified in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. For out-of-state financial institutions, the registration process with the Secretary of State requires compliance with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including the appointment of 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.
To comply with the citation rules, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return, as per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. The judgment creditor should review the return before pursuing a garnishment judgment, especially in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must follow the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that fail to provide information on the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the event that you come across a bank account or any other debt belonging to the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment and it is feasible to do so, you will need to file an Application for Garnishment along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should provide crucial information, such as the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and service address, as well as any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates can help you collect your Texas judgment on a contingency basis. If the judgment debtor is located in Texas but the judgment is from another state, they will evaluate the case individually and may require a retainer. In Gillespie County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.