Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Guadalupe County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we know how frustrating it can be to collect a judgment. That’s why 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 Guadalupe County, Texas. If you’re struggling to collect from a debtor in Guadalupe County, Texas, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the results you need.
Texas Judgment liens in Guadalupe County
A judgment lien established correctly can encumber all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Guadalupe 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
Abstracting a judgment in Texas requires compliance with the state’s guidelines, which are carefully laid out. The abstract of judgment can usually 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, with the exception of 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. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Guadalupe County, Texas, the County Clerk’s office at 211 W Court St, Seguin, Texas 78155 is where you should go.
To create a valid abstract of judgment in Texas, it must include specific information, such as the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known), the defendant’s driver’s license and social security numbers (if known), 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 include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be verified by the creditor’s attorney. The absence of the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee, and unverified statements are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure the enforceability of the judgment, the abstract of judgment must be registered in Guadalupe County if the debtor has real property there. The Guadalupe County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of recording. The clerk must also 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 as if they were judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property in Guadalupe County, recorded in the county, is encumbered by the judgment lien that covers all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
After an abstract of judgment is recorded and indexed, a judgment lien remains valid for ten years, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that time, causing the lien to cease. Thus, 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments does not lapse, which means they remain enforceable 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 extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Even though dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become inactive, the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. As a result, 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 exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is outlined in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and applies to all such judgments, whether old or new.
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 has the power to seize the judgment debtor’s property. In most cases, 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 exempted property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following categories of property are exempt from execution, whether it be for a family or a single adult: a) The homestead; b) Personal property falling within specified categories defined by statute, up to an 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 wages earned from personal services, except for child support payments, and unpaid personal service commissions that do not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations; d) Health aids that have been prescribed professionally; e) Worker’s compensation payments; f) Cemetery lots that have been held for the purpose of sepulcher; g) Property that has been sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other assets belonging to the debtor that are sufficient to satisfy the execution; h) Assets in the possession of a trustee for the benefit of the judgment debtor as part of a spendthrift trust; i) Certain types of insurance benefits; j) Certain savings plans, such as retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) College savings plans; and l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal remedy available to a judgment creditor to investigate 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, mandating 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
It’s crucial to recognize that when filing for post-judgment garnishment, it is a separate legal suit from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be submitted 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.
A garnishment action starts with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not compulsory. Nonetheless, the defendant must receive a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible 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 comprehensible for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice renders any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
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 is the location where garnishment writs must 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 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 file a return that satisfies the citation rules. The judgment creditor should inspect the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, 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 specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If a bank account or any other debt belonging to the judgment debtor is located and is found to be subject to garnishment, and it is financially viable to pursue it, file an Application for Garnishment accompanied by an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include necessary information, 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.
Collecting a judgment in Texas can be frustrating, but Busby and Associates can make it easier with their contingency-based services. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Guadalupe County, they can assist you with garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.