Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Howard County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we know how important it is to collect a judgment in Howard County, Texas. That’s why our 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 in Howard 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 Howard County
All nonexempt real property of the judgment debtor in Howard County is bound by a properly fixed judgment lien, which is created by correctly recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is to be established. The lien will remain in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final, not interlocutory. However, an abstract may be filed on a final judgment if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been submitted.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
When it comes to abstracting a judgment in Texas, it is crucial to follow 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, except for small claims and justice courts where the judgment creditor cannot prepare their own abstract. Keep in mind that abstracts of federal court judgments require certification from the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Howard County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office at 300 S Main St # 104, Big Spring, Texas 79721.
In Texas, an abstract of judgment is considered valid if it contains specific details such as 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. Additionally, the document must 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. The abstract must also include the mailing address of each plaintiff or judgment creditor and must be verified by the creditor’s attorney.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
If the debtor owns real estate in Howard County, it is necessary to document the abstract of judgment there. The Howard County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real estate records, specifying the date and time of entry. 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 allow foreign judgments to be enforced to the same degree as judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien covers all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Howard 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 recording and indexing an abstract, unless the judgment is kept active. If a writ of execution is not issued within that period, the judgment becomes dormant, and the lien ends. You can revive a dormant judgment through scire facias or an action of debt filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not lose their enforceability and remain valid for the lien’s entire lifespan. 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 renewed for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may lead to political subdivisions’ judgments becoming inactive, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. Hence, the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exception to the dormancy statute for judgments of child support, covering all such judgments irrespective of their date of rendering.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution has the authority to take possession of the judgment debtor’s property, except for property that is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. 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 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 the debtor is a family or a single adult. These categories include: a. The homestead b. Personal property of various categories as specified by law, with a total 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 services (excluding child support payments) and unpaid commissions for personal services, not exceeding 25% of the aggregate limitations of $50,000 or $100,000. d. Health aids that are prescribed by a professional. e. Worker’s compensation payments. f. Cemetery lots used for sepulcher purposes. g. Property that the debtor has sold, mortgaged, or conveyed to a trustee or purchaser, provided that the latter party can point out other assets of the debtor sufficient to satisfy the execution. h. Assets in a spendthrift trust that are held for the debtor’s benefit by a trustee. i. Certain insurance benefits. j. Certain savings plans, such as retirement benefits and health savings plans. k. College Savings Plans. l. Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment process to explore the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor for any outstanding debts 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
Garnishment after a judgment can only be used under specific terms. 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must confirm that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not hold enough property in Texas subject to execution to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that when filing for post-judgment garnishment, it is a separate legal action from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant since it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for recovery, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process commences with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, 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. Any judgment, except for one that dissolves the writ, is considered void if the judgment debtor does not receive property notice.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Garnishment writs served on garnishee banks must be delivered to the registered agent address of the financial institution specified in its registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code for proper processing. Out-of-state financial institutions must file an application for registration with the Secretary of State and adhere to the state’s foreign corporation laws, which require 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 who executes a writ of garnishment must submit a return that adheres to the citation rules. It is crucial for the judgment creditor to thoroughly review the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must follow the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns that do not specify the manner and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you come across a bank account or another debt of the judgment debtor that can be garnished and it is financially feasible, file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit must include relevant information, such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates can help you with their contingency-based services to collect your Texas judgment with no upfront fees. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Howard County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.