Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Knox County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand how frustrating it can be to try to collect a judgment in Knox County, Texas. That’s why our experienced 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 Knox County
A judgment lien that has been correctly fixed will act as a lien on all the nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Knox County. To create a judgment lien, an abstract of judgment must be filed and indexed in each county where the lien is sought to be fixed. This lien will remain valid for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing unless the judgment becomes dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. An abstract can be filed on a final judgment even if it is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed. Taking the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the appeal will not affect the validity of the lien in case of affirmance. These rules apply only to Texas state trial court judgments, and for other state or foreign judgments, domestication in Texas is required before creating a lien.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, an abstract of judgment can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, judgment creditor, his agent, attorney, or assignee, except for judgments rendered in small claims and justice courts, where the judgment creditor is not authorized to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, it’s important to remember that abstracts of federal court judgments necessitate the certification of the clerk of the court. If you’re in Knox County, Texas, you can abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 100 W Cedar St 1st Floor, Benjamin, Texas 79505.
The required details in a Texas abstract of judgment include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if possible), the case number, the defendant’s address or service of citation, the date of judgment, the amount awarded, the balance due, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and the mailing address of each plaintiff or judgment creditor. The abstract must also be verified by the creditor’s attorney to be valid.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Knox County, it is necessary to record the abstract of judgment there. The Knox County clerk records the abstract in the county’s real property records, stating the date and time of documentation. Additionally, the clerk must list the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing 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 are enforceable in Texas to the same extent as judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must fulfill 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 Knox County, where it is attached.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues for ten years after recording and indexing an abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within ten years of its rendition. To ensure the lien remains valid, you must keep the judgment active 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.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency remain active and do not become dormant. A valid abstract of judgment establishes a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s duration can be renewed for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to go inactive, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. Therefore, the political subdivision is not barred 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 contains a provision that excludes judgments for child support from the dormancy statute and applies to all child support judgments regardless of when they were rendered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
If the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule does not exempt it, the execution has the authority to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Typically, 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 such as stocks, bonds, or notes; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
For both families and single adults, execution cannot be carried out on property belonging to certain categories, which are: a) the homestead, b) personal property of various categories, specified by statute, whose total fair market value does not exceed $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for a single adult, c) current wages and unpaid commissions for personal services not exceeding 25% of the aggregate limitations of $50/$100,000, except for child support payments, d) professionally prescribed health aids, e) worker’s compensation payments, f) cemetery lots for sepulcher purposes, g) property that the debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property of the debtor that is sufficient to satisfy the execution, h) assets in the hands of the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the debtor, i) certain insurance benefits, j) certain savings plans, including retirement and health savings plans, k) college savings plans, and l) certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment process is a legal tool that allows a judgment creditor to investigate the association between a third party and the judgment debtor to establish if there are any debts or property owed. If any debts are revealed, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring 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 upon fulfilling particular prerequisites. Firstly, the creditor must have 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 verify that, based on 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 understand that a post-judgment garnishment action is not part of the main case it is meant to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant because it is an ancillary legal action. It should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment for collection, but with 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 action. Although the defendant in judgment is not a necessary participant in the action, they must receive a copy of the writ, application, affidavits, and court orders as soon as practical 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 way 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
When delivering garnishment writs to garnishee banks, 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 must be used. Out-of-state financial institutions must follow the state’s foreign corporation laws, including appointing an agent for process under Section 201.102, to register with the Secretary of State. In contrast, 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 provide a return complying with citation regulations. It is wise for the judgment creditor to inspect the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must adhere to the same citation rules as other citations. Courts have voided returns that do not indicate the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you have discovered a bank account or other debt that can be garnished from the judgment debtor and it is financially practical to pursue it, you should file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit that is signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should provide the necessary details, such as the original suit and judgment information, garnishee name, officers for service and address for service, and any available account names and numbers.
Collecting a judgment in Texas is no easy task, but Busby and Associates can make it easier for you. They offer contingency-based services that allow you to recover what you’re owed without paying anything upfront. Judgments from other states with the debtor in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require a retainer. In Knox County, they can also assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the amount owed.