Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Lavaca County, Texas
Seeking a reliable partner to aid you in the collection of a judgment in Lavaca County, Texas? Look no further than Busby & Associates. Our team of legal professionals are skilled in the defense, collection, and enforcement of judgments, focusing primarily on garnishment of bank accounts and financial institutions. Moreover, we offer our services as consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, catering to the needs of both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. In addition, we possess the knowledge and capabilities to assist you in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Lavaca County, Texas. If you are a judgment creditor encountering difficulties in receiving payment, particularly when you have access to the debtor’s bank account number, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will gladly discuss the process with you, providing comprehensive guidance to help you successfully collect your judgment from a debtor residing in Lavaca County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens in Lavaca County
A judgment lien, when properly affixed, asserts its hold on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Lavaca County. The creation of this lien necessitates the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. It is crucial to file the abstract in each county where the lien’s fixation is sought. As long as the judgment remains active and does not enter a dormant state, the lien remains enforceable for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. It should be noted that the underlying judgment must be final, excluding any interlocutory judgments. Even in cases where the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, the filing of an abstract of a final judgment is still permissible. Furthermore, if a judgment creditor has undertaken the requisite steps to establish the lien before the appeal, the appeal itself will not diminish the efficacy of those actions in the event of affirmance. These regulations exclusively pertain to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions. In such instances, it is necessary to domesticate the judgment in Texas prior to creating a lien, followed by the potential filing of an abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by various individuals, including the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, such as their agent, attorney, or assignee. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Moreover, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Lavaca County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office at 412 N Texana St, Hallettsville, Texas 77964.
In Texas, a comprehensive abstract of judgment must contain essential particulars to meet legal requirements. These particulars encompass the identification of both the plaintiff and defendant by name, the inclusion of the defendant’s birthdate (if known to the clerk of justice), and the disclosure of the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if available). Furthermore, it is necessary to indicate the suit number associated with the judgment, specify the defendant’s address, or provide details about the nature of citation along with the date and place of service. The date on which the judgment was rendered should be clearly stated, as well as the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the outstanding balance. If applicable, any child support arrearage must be mentioned, along with the interest rate specified in the judgment. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. It is important to note that failure to provide the mailing address may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Lastly, the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney must be verified, and the use of unsworn declarations is not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Lavaca County serves as the designated repository for the abstract of judgment when the debtor possesses real property there. Recording the abstract involves submitting it to the Lavaca County clerk, who duly records it in the real property records of the county. Furthermore, the clerk must meticulously document the date and hour of recordation on the abstract, while simultaneously entering it into the alphabetical index of real property records, providing comprehensive details regarding the plaintiffs, defendants, and the page number of its official recording.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act provide foreign judgments with the same enforceability as local judgments, enabling their enforcement in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when domesticating the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Lavaca County is encumbered by the judgment lien that takes effect in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The duration of the judgment lien extends for 10 years following the date of recording and indexing the abstract. However, if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien ceases to exist. Therefore, it is crucial to (1) maintain the judgment’s viability and (2) acquire and record a new abstract of judgment. Dormant judgments can be reactivated through the utilization of scire facias or the initiation of an action of debt within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not expire or become dormant, as their enforceability remains intact throughout the entire duration of the lien. A valid abstract of judgment, once filed, establishes a lien that endures for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be renewed for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant due to dormancy statutes, the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, enables 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.
The provision in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code carves out an exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were granted or issued.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless protected by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule, the execution retains the ability to seize the judgment debtor’s property. In most cases, the following types of property are not protected: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, including their motors and trailers; c. Collections of items like stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution of property is not applicable to the following categories, whether for a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specified statutory categories, with a cumulative fair market value not exceeding $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 (excluding child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, limited to twenty-five percent (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 sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies alternative property of sufficient value 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) Designated savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
When seeking information regarding the existence of any funds or property owed to a judgment debtor by a third party, a judgment creditor can employ the post-judgment garnishment. Through this process, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, commanding the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor in lieu of the judgment debtor, provided there are outstanding debts.
Requirements to Issue
The availability of garnishment following a judgment is contingent upon meeting certain requirements. 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. Lastly, the creditor must affirm, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action constitutes a separate legal proceeding unconnected to the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, reflecting its status as an additional lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that issued the judgment to be collected, albeit under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To initiate the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment. However, it is important to note that the judgment defendant is not a necessary party to the garnishment proceedings. Nonetheless, they must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as possible after the garnishee has been served. This rule also mandates that the copy of the writ served to the defendant must include its contents in 12-point type and must be presented in a manner that effectively notifies a reasonably attentive person. Failing to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment deprives any judgment, except one that dissolves the writ, of its validity.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Garnishment writs served on garnishee banks shall be delivered to the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions are obligated to apply for registration with the Secretary of State, adhering to the laws applicable to foreign corporations conducting business in the state. This includes designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. On the other hand, Texas financial institutions have the option to file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for process under Section 201.103.
Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 mandates that the officer executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that adheres to the citation rules. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to examine the return carefully before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as other citations. Courts have held returns to be fatally defective if they fail to show the manner of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the event that you locate a bank account or another debt owed by the judgment debtor, conduct a cost-effectiveness evaluation to determine if garnishment is viable. If the assessment yields positive results, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit should include necessary details such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
When it comes to judgment collection, Busby and Associates knows the drill in Texas. Their contingency-based services eliminate the need for upfront payments. Should you be dealing with judgments from other states involving a debtor in Texas, each case receives individual consideration, possibly requiring a retainer. As an added advantage, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution if the judgment debtor or judgment itself is tied to Lavaca County.