Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Hill County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand how important it is to collect a judgment in Hill County, Texas. That’s why our experienced attorneys are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a focus on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions. We also provide 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 Hill County, Texas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you collect what you are owed.
Texas Judgment liens in Hill County
When a judgment lien is properly fixed, it serves as a lien on all of the judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Hill County. To create a judgment lien, an abstract of judgment must be recorded and indexed correctly. This abstract must be filed in each county where the lien is to be fixed. The lien remains valid for ten years from the date of recording and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. In the case of an appeal or a supersedeas bond, an abstract may be filed on a final judgment. If the judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before an appeal, the effect of those steps will not be destroyed if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments and not to judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions. If you wish to create a lien on such a judgment, you must first domesticate it in Texas, and then you may be able to file an abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
When it comes to abstracting a judgment in Texas, it’s crucial to adhere to the state’s guidelines. 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 Hill County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 1 N Waco St, Hillsboro, Texas 76645.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment must include specific details to be considered valid. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of their driver’s license and social security numbers (if available), the suit number, and the defendant’s address or the nature of citation and the date and place of service of citation. It must also show the date the judgment was rendered, the amount for which it was rendered, any balance due, including child support arrearages, and the interest rate specified in the judgment. Additionally, the abstract must include the mailing address of each plaintiff or judgment creditor and must be verified by the creditor’s attorney.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real estate in Hill County, it is crucial to record the abstract of judgment there. The Hill County clerk receives the abstract and documents it in the county’s real estate records, indicating the date and time of documentation. Additionally, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real estate 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 in the same manner as 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 judgment lien is effective on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in Hill County, where it is recorded.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
If you want to maintain a judgment lien, you need to keep the judgment active and record a new abstract of judgment because the lien expires ten years after the abstract is recorded and indexed. However, if a writ of execution is not issued within that time, the judgment becomes dormant, and the lien ends. You can revive a dormant judgment by filing a scire facias or an action of debt within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments remain enforceable and do not become dormant. A valid abstract of judgment can establish 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, keeping the lien effective for a total of 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While dormancy statutes can make judgments of political subdivisions inactive, the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, permits political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. 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.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code exempts judgments of child support from the dormancy statute, covering all such judgments, whether they were recently rendered or made in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property can be seized by the execution, unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or other legal rule. Generally, 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 exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The law exempts certain categories of property from execution, whether for a family or a single adult. These include: a) the homestead, b) personal property of various categories specified by statute, up to the 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 payment of child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services not exceeding 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations, d) professionally 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 if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property of the debtor sufficient to satisfy the execution, h) assets in the hands of the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor, 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.
The post-judgment garnishment is a legal remedy available to a judgment creditor to explore if a third party owes any outstanding debts or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are identified, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, obligating the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can only be utilized after a judgment under certain 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 affirm that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have enough property in Texas subject to execution to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified 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.
The garnishee is served with the writ of garnishment to commence the garnishment process, and the judgment defendant is not a required participant. Nevertheless, 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 comprehensible for a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide the judgment debtor with property notice makes any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks is contingent upon utilizing the registered agent address provided in the financial institution’s registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must file an application for registration with the Secretary of State and comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, which mandate the designation of an agent for process under Section 201.102. Conversely, 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 executing a writ of garnishment must submit a return that adheres to 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 rejected returns that do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the event that a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor is located and it is cost-effective to pursue it, submit an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should contain essential information, including the original suit and judgment details, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
Don’t let a difficult judgment collection in Texas discourage you. Busby and Associates can help with their contingency-based services, so you only pay if they recover the amount owed. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Hill County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.