Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Grimes County, Texas
Collecting a judgment can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but with the help of Busby & Associates, it doesn’t have to be. Our law firm is 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 Grimes County, Texas. If you need help collecting a judgment in Grimes County, Texas, contact us, and we will provide you with the legal guidance and support you need to get the results you deserve.
Texas Judgment liens in Grimes County
A judgment lien established correctly can encumber all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Grimes County. To create a judgment lien, one must record and index an abstract of judgment correctly. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the creditor intends to establish the lien. The lien remains in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing unless the judgment becomes inactive. Only a final judgment can serve as the basis for the lien, not an interlocutory judgment. In the case of an appeal or a supersedeas bond being filed, an abstract may be filed on a final judgment. If the creditor obtains a lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal’s fact will not invalidate the effect of those actions in the event of an affirmation. These regulations apply only to Texas state trial court judgments and do not extend to the enforcement of judgments from foreign and other states. To create a lien, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas, and then the judgment may be abstracted.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The state of Texas has established strict guidelines for abstracting a judgment, which must be observed. 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 should be noted that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Grimes County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 270 FM 149, Anderson, Texas 77830.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must meet specific standards to be enforceable, including 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 information, the date the judgment was rendered, the amount of the judgment and outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. The abstract must also contain the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be verified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to provide the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee, and unverified declarations are not acceptable.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Grimes County, the abstract of judgment must be documented in that county. The Grimes County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, noting the date and time of recording. Furthermore, 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 grant foreign judgments the same enforceability as local judgments. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is effective on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in Grimes County, as recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in effect for ten years following the recording and indexing of an abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that time, resulting in the termination of the lien. Therefore, to maintain the judgment lien, one must keep the judgment active and obtain 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 and maintain their enforceability throughout the lien’s life. A valid abstract of judgment can create 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.
The revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows political subdivisions to revive judgments that have become dormant under dormancy statutes. Hence, the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations from reviving the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The provision in Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code exempts child support judgments 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 has the right to seize the judgment debtor’s property unless it is 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 such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Investments like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Several categories of property are exempted from execution, whether it is for a family or a single adult, including a) The homestead, b) Personal property from various categories specified by statute having an aggregate fair market value of $100,000 for a family or $50,000 for a single adult, c) Current wages for personal services and unpaid commissions for personal services limited to 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 aggregate limitations (not including child support payments), d) 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 identifies sufficient debtor property to satisfy the execution, h) Assets held by a spendthrift trust’s trustee for the judgment debtor’s benefit, i) Specific insurance benefits, and j) Certain savings plans like college savings plans and retirement benefits.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment procedure to investigate if a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are identified, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, which orders 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
A post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal action from the main case it seeks 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 rendered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
When initiating a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment should be served on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not obligatory. 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 understood by a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor property notice nullifies 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 registered agent’s address designated 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 and comply 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 responsible for executing a writ of garnishment is obligated to file a return that meets the citation guidelines, as per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. The judgment creditor should review the return before pursuing a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must follow the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have rejected returns that do not provide information on the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In case you come across a bank account or any other debt that is owed by the judgment debtor and is subject to garnishment, and it is cost-effective to do so, you must file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should provide crucial details, such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, and service address, as well as any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates has experience helping clients recover judgments in Texas, and they can do it on a contingency basis. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Grimes County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.