Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Hale County, Texas
If you need legal assistance to collect a judgment in Hale County, Texas, Busby & Associates is here to help. 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. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our legal services.
Texas Judgment liens in Hale County
In Hale County, a properly fixed judgment lien holds a lien on all of the judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property. The creation of a judgment lien involves accurately recording and indexing an abstract of judgment in every county where the lien is intended to be fixed. If the judgment does not become dormant, this lien remains valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. However, the judgment on which the lien is based must be final, not interlocutory. An abstract can be filed on a final judgment even if it is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed. If a judgment creditor obtains a lien before the appeal, the fact of appeal will not destroy the effect of such steps if the appeal is later affirmed. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments and do not apply to the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign countries. To establish a lien on such judgments, you must first domesticate them in Texas and then file an abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, abstracting a judgment is a precise process that necessitates adherence to the state’s rules. For judgments rendered in most courts, except for small claims and justice courts, 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. Abstracts of federal court judgments, on the other hand, require certification from the clerk of the court. If you want to abstract your judgment lien in Hale County, Texas, go to the County Clerk’s office located at 500 Broadway #140, Plainview, Texas 79072.
An abstract of judgment in Texas must comply with certain requirements to be legally binding, such as indicating 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 rendered, the amount of the judgment and outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate. The abstract must also provide the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor and be certified by the creditor’s attorney. Failure to provide the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee, and unsworn declarations are not admissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be recorded in Hale County when the debtor has real property there to ensure its enforceability. The Hale County clerk receives the abstract and registers it in the county’s real property records, specifying the date and time of recording. Moreover, the clerk must include 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.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments can be enforced in the same manner as judgments filed in the originating court. When domesticating a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Hale County is where the judgment lien takes effect on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues 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 maintain the judgment lien, it is crucial to 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.
State or state agency judgments do not become dormant and remain enforceable throughout the lien’s life. A valid abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to go dormant, but the political subdivision can revive the judgment at any time using the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006. Thus, the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code excludes judgments for child support from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were made.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution can take possession of the judgment debtor’s property unless it is protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. Typically, the following categories 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 like stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
When it comes to execution, the following property categories are exempt, regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult: a) The homestead; b) Personal property in various categories as specified by statute, with a maximum fair market value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult who isn’t part of a family; c) Current personal service wages (except for child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, not exceeding twenty-five percent (25%) of the aggregate limits of $50/$100,000; d) Health aids that have been prescribed professionally; e) Worker’s compensation payments; f) Cemetery plots held for the purposes of sepulcher; g) Property that has been sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee can identify other assets belonging to the debtor that are sufficient to satisfy the execution; h) Assets under the control of a spendthrift trust trustee for the judgment debtor’s benefit; i) Certain insurance benefits; j) Certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans; k) College savings plans; and l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
If a judgment creditor suspects that a third party owes any debts or property to the judgment debtor, they can use the post-judgment garnishment procedure to investigate. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, instructing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To employ garnishment following a judgment, certain prerequisites must be satisfied. Firstly, the creditor must hold 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 suspend execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must declare that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not hold enough property subject to execution in Texas to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, as it is an additional lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To commence a garnishment action, the writ of garnishment should be served on the garnishee, and the participation of the judgment defendant 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 understandable for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice nullifies any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks, the address designated as the registered agent’s location in the financial institution registration statement filed under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code must be used. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including appointing an agent for process under Section 201.102, by filing a registration application with the Secretary of State. Texas financial institutions may appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer in charge of executing a writ of garnishment is required to provide a return that meets the citation standards, according to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. The judgment creditor must 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 fail to indicate the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once a bank account or any other debt belonging to the judgment debtor is discovered to be subject to garnishment and it is cost-effective to pursue it, you would file an Application for Garnishment along with an affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain pertinent information, 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.
If you’re having trouble collecting a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can help. They offer contingency-based services and can evaluate cases from other states with the debtor in Texas on a case-by-case basis, which may require a retainer. In Hale County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.