Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Hardin County, Texas
If you need legal assistance to collect a judgment in Hardin County, Texas, Busby & Associates is the law firm to call. Our experienced attorneys 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. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you collect what you are owed.
Texas Judgment liens in Hardin County
A lien fixed properly through judgment acts as a lien on all nonexempt real property of the debtor in Hardin County. An abstract of judgment must be properly recorded and indexed to create a judgment lien, which must be filed in each county where the lien is sought to be fixed. The lien remains in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. To create a lien, the underlying judgment must be final, not interlocutory. However, if a judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract can still be filed on a final judgment. If a creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before an appeal, the fact of appeal will not undo the effect of such steps if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply to Texas state trial court judgments only and not to the enforcement of foreign and other state judgments, which must first be domesticated in Texas to create a lien and abstract the judgment afterwards.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
Abstracting a judgment in Texas involves complying with the state’s guidelines. 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, but not in small claims and justice courts, where the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Remember that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Hardin County, Texas, go to the County Clerk’s office located at 300 W Monroe St Suite B-110, Kountze, Texas 77625.
If you want your abstract of judgment in Texas to be valid, it must follow specific guidelines, such as specifying 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 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. Failure to provide the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee, and unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure the enforceability of the judgment, the abstract of judgment must be registered in Hardin County if the debtor has real property there. The Hardin County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of registration. The clerk must also 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 as if they were judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Hardin County, the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien is valid 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, causing the lien to expire. Therefore, to keep the judgment lien active, it is necessary to keep the judgment alive and record a new abstract of judgment. A dormant judgment can be revived through scire facias or an action of debt filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments maintain their enforceability and do not become dormant. A properly filed abstract of judgment can establish a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Although dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to become dormant, 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 precluded by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is provided by § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and applies to all such judgments, irrespective of when they were granted or rendered.
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 protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. The following kinds of property are usually 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 categories of property are exempt from execution, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property specified by statute in various categories, up to an aggregate fair market value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult who is not a member of a family. c) Current wages for personal service, except for child support payments, and unpaid commissions for personal services, which cannot exceed 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations. d) Professionally prescribed health aids. e) Worker’s compensation payments. f) Cemetery lots held for sepulchral purposes. g) Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, provided the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property belonging to the debtor that is sufficient to satisfy the execution. h) Assets held in trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor by a trustee of a spendthrift trust. i) Certain insurance benefits. j) Certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans. k) College Savings Plans. l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal process that allows a judgment creditor to probe the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any debts are identified, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The use of garnishment after a judgment is contingent on specific conditions. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 halt execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must declare that, according to their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not hold sufficient property in Texas subject to execution to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s crucial to recognize that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. As an additional lawsuit, the third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant. It should be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment for recovery, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Serving the writ of garnishment on the garnishee commences a garnishment action, and the participation of the judgment defendant is not required. However, 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 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
To deliver garnishment writs to garnishee banks, the address of the registered agent in the financial institution registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code is mandatory. 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.
Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 mandates that the officer who executes a writ of garnishment must submit a return that satisfies the citation rules. Before pursuing a garnishment judgment, the judgment creditor should inspect the return, particularly in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must follow the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns that fail to specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you locate a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment and it is financially viable to pursue, file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit must 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.
If you need help collecting a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can assist you 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 Hardin County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.