Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Gonzales County, Texas
Recovering a judgment can be a frustrating and overwhelming process, but at Busby & Associates, we are 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 Gonzales County, Texas. If you need help collecting a judgment in Gonzales County, Texas, contact us, and we will guide you through the process and help you get the results you need.
Texas Judgment liens in Gonzales County
A judgment lien on all nonexempt real property of the judgment debtor in Gonzales County can be established by properly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. To fix the lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the lien is sought. The lien is valid for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, as long as the judgment does not become dormant. The lien is based on a final judgment, not an interlocutory one. However, an abstract can still be filed on a final judgment if it is being appealed or if a supersedeas bond has been filed. If a creditor has already obtained a lien before an appeal is filed, the effect of such steps will not be destroyed by the appeal. These rules apply to Texas state trial court judgments only and not to foreign judgments, which must be domesticated in Texas before a lien can be created.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The state of Texas has established clear guidelines for abstracting a judgment, which must be followed. 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. It’s important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Gonzales County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 427 St George St # 200, Gonzales, Texas 78629.
To create a lawful abstract of judgment in Texas, specific details 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. A penalty filing fee may be imposed if the mailing address is omitted, and unverified statements are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To properly record the abstract of judgment, it should be done in Gonzales County where the debtor has real property. The Gonzales County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Additionally, the clerk must enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing 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 as if they were 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 defendant’s nonexempt real property in Gonzales County is affected by the judgment lien, which covers all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
A judgment lien lasts for ten years after the recording and indexing of an abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that time, ending the lien. Hence, 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments does not go dormant, and a properly filed abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing. Moreover, the lien’s life can be extended for an additional 20 years by submitting a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
The dormancy statutes may render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows the political subdivision to revive the judgment at any time. Therefore, the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
§ 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exception to the dormancy statute for judgments of child support, covering all such judgments regardless of their date of rendering.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless otherwise protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule, the judgment debtor’s property is subject to being seized by the execution. Typically, the following types of property are not protected: 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 such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following types of property are exempt from execution, regardless of whether they belong to a family or an individual: a) The primary residence b) Personal property of various types, as defined by law, up to a combined fair market value of $100,000 for families or $50,000 for non-family individuals c) Personal service earnings (excluding child support) and unpaid service commissions not exceeding 25% of the aggregate $50/$100,000 limit d) Health aids prescribed by a professional e) Worker’s compensation payments f) Cemetery lots held for interment purposes g) Property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the debtor, if the buyer, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other debtor assets sufficient to satisfy the judgment h) Spendthrift trust assets for the debtor’s benefit i) Certain insurance benefits and savings plans, such as retirement benefits and health savings accounts j) College savings plans k) Certain artwork consigned.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal remedy that permits a judgment creditor to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if any funds or property are owed to the debtor. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, ordering the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment is available following a judgment if specific conditions are met. 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 affirm that, to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess adequate property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal suit from the main case it is meant to enforce. As an additional lawsuit, the third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment to be collected, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Commencing a garnishment action necessitates serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not required. Nonetheless, the defendant must receive 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 contain the contents of the writ in bold 12-point typeface and in a manner that is easily understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice renders any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The designated address of the registered agent in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code is where garnishment writs should be delivered to garnishee banks. Out-of-state financial institutions must file a registration application with the Secretary of State, complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including appointing 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.
The officer who executes a writ of garnishment is obligated to file a return that satisfies the citation rules, as stated in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. Before pursuing a garnishment judgment, the judgment creditor must examine the return, particularly in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must comply with the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns that do not include details on the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you discover a bank account or any other debt that is owed by the judgment debtor and is subject to garnishment, and you believe it is financially feasible to do so, you must file an Application for Garnishment accompanied by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain pertinent 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 without requiring any upfront fees. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Gonzales County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.