Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Kaufman County, Texas
Collecting a judgment in Kaufman County, Texas, can be overwhelming, but Busby & Associates is here to help. Our attorneys have the skills to defend, collect, and enforce judgments, including garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. We also offer legal support for consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce, and can assist with both collecting and defending against child support liens. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you collect what you’re owed.
Texas Judgment liens in Kaufman County
A judgment lien, when properly established, acts as a lien on all nonexempt real estate owned by the judgment debtor in Kaufman County. To establish a judgment lien, an abstract of judgment must be recorded and indexed correctly. The abstract must be filed in every county where the lien is being established. The lien remains valid for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment used to establish the lien must be final, not interlocutory. Even 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 establishes a lien before the judgment is appealed, the lien’s effect remains even if the judgment is affirmed. These rules apply only to judgments from Texas state trial courts and not to judgments from other states or foreign countries. To create a lien on such judgments, they must first be domesticated in Texas before an abstract can be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the preparation of abstracts of judgment is allowed to be done by either the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor, his agent, attorney, or assignee for all courts except small claims and justice courts. The judgment creditor is not authorized to prepare their own abstract in these courts. Moreover, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. When abstracting your judgment lien in Kaufman County, Texas, the County Clerk’s office located at 100 W Mulberry St, Kaufman, Texas 75142 is the place to go.
It’s mandatory for a Texas abstract of judgment to contain: (1) the names of the plaintiff and defendant; (2) the defendant’s date of birth, if it’s available to the clerk of justice; (3) the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license, if it’s available; (4) the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number, if it’s available; (5) the number of the suit in which the judgment was rendered; (6) the defendant’s address, or if it’s not displayed in the lawsuit, the nature of the citation, the date, and location of the citation; (7) the date when the judgment was made; (8) the total amount of the judgment, as well as the outstanding balance; (9) the amount of child support arrearage, if any; (10) the interest rate specified in the judgment. Additionally, the abstract of judgment should include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor, and if it doesn’t, a penalty filing fee will be imposed. It’s important to note that the creditor’s attorney must verify the abstract, and unsworn declarations cannot be used.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Kaufman County is the mandatory location for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor possesses real property there. The Kaufman County clerk receives the abstract and enters it into the county’s real property records, indicating the date and time of documentation. Furthermore, the clerk must list the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, displaying the names of both the plaintiff and defendant in the judgment 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 ensure that foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas to the same degree as judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Kaufman County, as the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien encumbers all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
If you want to keep a judgment lien active, you must keep the judgment active and record a new abstract of judgment within ten years of its original recording and indexing. A judgment lien becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within ten years of its rendition, but it can be revived through scire facias or an action of debt filed within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains effective and does not lapse. A properly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s lifespan can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes can make political subdivisions’ judgments inactive, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, permits political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. Consequently, the political subdivision is not precluded 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 exemption to the dormancy statute for judgments of child support, covering all such judgments, whether they were recently made or issued in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution has the authority to seize the judgment debtor’s property, except for the property that is protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. In most cases, the following types 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 such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Execution cannot seize property in the following categories, regardless of whether the debtor is a family or a single adult: a) the homestead, b) personal property from various categories specified by law, with a combined fair market value of up to $100,000.00 for families or $50,000.00 for single adults, c) current wages for personal services (excluding child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, limited to 25% of the $50,000/$100,000 combined limitations, d) professionally prescribed health aids, e) worker’s compensation payments, f) cemetery plots held for burial purposes, g) property sold, mortgaged, or transferred into trust by the judgment debtor if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other debtor property sufficient to satisfy the judgment, h) assets held by the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor, i) specific insurance benefits, j) certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans, k) college savings plans, and l) specific consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
A judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment process to investigate if any 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, compelling the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To employ garnishment after a judgment, specific conditions must be met. Firstly, the creditor must have 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 prevent execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must confirm that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have enough property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is crucial to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal suit from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant since it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be submitted in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment to begin the garnishment action. The defendant in judgment is not a necessary party to the action, but they must receive a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after the garnishee is served. The copy of the writ served to the defendant must include its contents in 12-point typeface and must be written in a manner that informs a reasonably attentive person. Any judgment, except the one that dissolves the writ, is void if proper notice is not given to the defendant.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Garnishee banks must receive garnishment writs at the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including the appointment of an agent for process under Section 201.102. Meanwhile, Texas financial institutions have the option to appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer tasked with enforcing a writ of garnishment is obligated to file a return that complies with the citation guidelines, as outlined in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to carefully review the return before pursuing a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have dismissed returns that fail to indicate 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 owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished, and it is financially worthwhile to pursue it, file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit that is signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include important 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.
Don’t let a judgment collection process discourage you. Busby and Associates can help with their contingency-based services, which means you don’t pay anything upfront. For judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas, they evaluate each case individually and may require a retainer. In Kaufman County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.