Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from King County, Texas
Collecting a judgment in King County, Texas, can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, but Busby & Associates is here to help. Our attorneys are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing 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 to schedule a consultation and let us help you collect what you’re owed.
Texas Judgment liens in King County
An abstract of judgment must be filed and indexed properly to create a judgment lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in King County. The judgment lien will remain effective for ten years from the date of recording and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. The judgment underlying the lien must be final, rather than interlocutory. Even if the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of a final judgment can be filed. The appeal of a judgment won’t nullify the steps taken to secure a lien if the creditor has taken the requisite steps before the appeal. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments and not to the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign countries, for which you must first domesticate in Texas to create a lien, then abstract the judgment after completing the domestication process.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The preparation of the abstract of judgment in Texas is left to the discretion of the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor’s agent, attorney, or assignee. It’s worth noting, though, that in small claims and justice courts, the creditor is prohibited from preparing their own abstract. Furthermore, abstracts of federal court judgments necessitate the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in King County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 800 South Baker Street, Guthrie, Texas 79370.
In Texas, a properly executed abstract of judgment must contain specific details. This includes the names of the plaintiff and defendant, as well as the defendant’s birthdate (if known to the clerk of justice), and the last three digits of their driver’s license and social security number (if available). Additionally, you must include the suit number, defendant’s address or citation details, judgment date, amount owed, child support arrearage (if applicable), and interest rate. The mailing address of each plaintiff or judgment creditor must also be provided; failure to do so may result in a penalty filing fee.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
If the debtor has real property in King County, it is required to record the abstract of judgment there. The King County clerk records the abstract in the county’s real property records and documents the date and time of documentation. Additionally, the clerk must list the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, specifying 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.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas with the same level of enforceability 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
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in King County is affected by the judgment lien, which is enforceable in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
A judgment lien is active for ten years following the date of recording and indexing an abstract, but it becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within ten years of its rendition. To keep the lien active, you must maintain the judgment’s validity and record a new abstract of judgment. Dormant judgments 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 remain in force and do not become dormant. A valid abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s lifespan can be renewed for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, ensuring its enforceability for up to 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes can cause political subdivisions’ judgments to become inactive, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, authorizes political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. Thus, the political subdivision is not limited by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is described in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and applies to all such judgments, irrespective of their date of rendering or issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is open to seizure by execution, provided that it is not 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 do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
If the property falls within one of the categories below, it is exempt from execution, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or a single adult: a. The homestead b. Personal property of various categories specified by statute, with a total fair market value of up to $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, up to 25% of the $50/$100,000 aggregate limitations d. Health aids prescribed by a professional e. Worker’s compensation payments f. Cemetery lots for sepulchral purposes g. Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property owned by the debtor that is sufficient to satisfy the execution h. Assets held by the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor i. Certain insurance benefits j. Certain savings plans, including retirement and health savings plans k. College savings plans l. Certain consigned artwork
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
To investigate whether a third party owes any funds or property to a judgment debtor, a judgment creditor can use the post-judgment garnishment process. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, instructing the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor rather than to the debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To employ garnishment after a judgment, specific conditions must be met. 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 suspend execution on the judgment. Finally, the creditor must confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have adequate property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is important to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant since it is an ancillary lawsuit. It should be submitted in the same court that issued the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishee should receive the writ of garnishment. The defendant in the judgment does not need to participate in the garnishment process, but they must receive a copy of the writ, along with the application, affidavits, and court orders, as soon as possible after the garnishee has been served. It is also required that the defendant’s copy of the writ clearly and effectively communicate its contents to them, using 12-point font or larger. Failure to provide proper notice of the garnishment to the defendant renders any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, invalid.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Garnishment writs served on garnishee banks shall be delivered to the address of the financial institution’s registered agent, as designated 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 appointing an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions may appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for enforcing a writ of garnishment must submit a return that conforms to citation regulations. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to thoroughly review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same regulations as citations in general. Courts have dismissed returns that fail to specify the manner and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once a bank account or another debt to the judgment debtor that is garnishable is identified and it is determined that pursuing it is financially feasible, file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit that is signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include all necessary information, including original suit and judgment information, garnishee name, officers for service and address for service, and any available account names and numbers.
If you’re struggling to collect a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can assist you. They offer contingency-based services that only require payment if they successfully 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 King County, they can also help you garnish a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.