Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Goliad County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are committed to helping our clients recover what they are owed. We are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a focus 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, and domestication of foreign child support liens in Goliad County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor struggling to collect from a debtor in Goliad County, Texas, contact us, and we will provide you with the legal assistance you need to get the justice you deserve.
Texas Judgment liens in Goliad County
In Goliad County, a judgment lien that has been properly recorded and indexed can serve as a lien on all nonexempt real property of the judgment debtor. This lien is established through the filing of an abstract of judgment in every county where the creditor wants to fix the lien. The lien remains in effect for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment must be final, not interlocutory, to create the lien. However, if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract can still be filed on a final judgment. If the creditor has already taken the necessary steps to obtain the lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal will not affect the effect of such steps in the event of affirmance. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments, not to the enforcement of foreign judgments, which must first be domesticated in Texas before a lien can be created.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
When abstracting a judgment in Texas, it is crucial to follow the state’s specific regulations. The abstract of judgment can typically 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 Goliad County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 127 N Courthouse Square, Goliad, Texas 77963.
An abstract of judgment in Texas must satisfy specific requirements to be valid, such as stating the plaintiff and defendant’s names, 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 issued, 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. A penalty filing fee may be charged if the mailing address is not listed, and unsworn statements are not admissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Goliad County, the abstract of judgment must be documented in that county. The Goliad County clerk receives the abstract and registers it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of recording. The clerk must also 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 provide foreign judgments with the same enforceability as local judgments. In Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in Goliad County, the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains enforceable for ten years from the date of recording and indexing an abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that time, terminating the lien. Therefore, to keep the judgment lien active, it is important to maintain the judgment and record a new abstract of judgment. 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.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not become dormant, which means they maintain their enforceability throughout the lien’s life. A properly filed abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be renewed for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant under dormancy statutes, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. This means that the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The provision in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code exempts 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 take possession of the judgment debtor’s property, except for those exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, 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 like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no exempted property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The property falling under these categories is exempted from execution, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or an individual: a) The principal residence b) Personal belongings of various types specified by law, up to the total market value of $100,000 for a family or $50,000 for an individual not part of a family c) Earnings from personal services (excluding child support payments) and unpaid personal service commissions up to 25% of the $50/$100,000 total limit d) Health aids prescribed by a professional e) Worker’s compensation payments f) Cemetery plots held for interment purposes g) Property that has been sold, mortgaged, or entrusted by the debtor, but only if the buyer, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other assets belonging to the debtor that can be used to satisfy the claim h) Assets held in a spendthrift trust for the debtor’s benefit i) Specific insurance benefits and savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings accounts j) College savings plans k) Certain artwork consigned.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
To identify any funds or property owed to the judgment debtor by a third party, a judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment procedure. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which instructs the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To proceed with garnishment after obtaining a judgment, certain criteria must be satisfied. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 halt execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must attest that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have enough property subject to execution in Texas 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 seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment for recovery, but under 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 judgment defendant’s participation is not mandatory. 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 easily comprehensible 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
Garnishment writs must be delivered to garnishee banks at 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. For out-of-state financial institutions, registration 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 have the option to appoint an agent for process by filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer who executes a writ of garnishment must provide a return that meets the citation requirements. The judgment creditor must scrutinize the return before pursuing a garnishment judgment, particularly in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have deemed returns to be invalid if they do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you have found a bank account or other debt that can be garnished from the judgment debtor and it is financially sensible to pursue, file an Application for Garnishment with an accompanying affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain 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’re struggling to collect a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can help. They offer contingency-based assistance for Texas judgments and evaluate cases from other states with the debtor in Texas on a case-by-case basis, which may require a retainer. In Goliad County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.