Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Leon County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand the complexities involved in collecting a judgment in Leon County, Texas. That’s why our dedicated attorneys are skilled in the defense, collection, and enforcement of judgments, with a particular focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we are well-equipped to assist both obligors and obligees facing child support lien cases. Additionally, we offer our support in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Leon County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens in Leon County
Leon County recognizes the significance of a properly established judgment lien, which operates as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The creation of this lien requires the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. It is crucial to file the abstract in each county where the lien is intended to be fixed. As long as the judgment remains active and does not enter a dormant state, the lien will remain effective for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. It is important to note that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final, not interlocutory. Even in cases where the judgment is currently under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still possible to file an abstract of a final judgment. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to establish the lien prior to the appeal, the appeal will not nullify the effect of those steps in the event of affirmance. These regulations solely apply to judgments rendered by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions. To create a lien in such cases, it is mandatory to first domesticate the judgment in Texas, followed by the potential filing of an abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The abstract of judgment in Texas can be prepared by 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 permitted to prepare their own abstract. Furthermore, abstracts of federal court judgments necessitate the certification of the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Leon County, Texas, make a visit to the County Clerk’s office situated at 155 N Cass St F 1, Centerville, Texas 75833.
In compliance with Texas laws, an abstract of judgment must incorporate specific details. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if available), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address or information regarding the citation’s nature, date, and place of service, the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the remaining balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and the mailing address of each plaintiff or judgment creditor. It is essential to verify the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney and refrain from using unsworn declarations.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor possesses real property in Leon County, it is incumbent upon the parties involved to record the abstract of judgment there. The abstract is submitted to the Leon County clerk, who then records it meticulously in the county’s real property records. Simultaneously, the clerk is obliged to indicate the specific day and time of recordation on the abstract itself, while also incorporating the abstract into the alphabetical index of the real property records, featuring the names of the plaintiffs, defendants, and the relevant page number of the abstract’s official recording.
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 in a manner equivalent to judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must fulfill the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Leon County is where the judgment lien attaches to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien’s continuation persists for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract. However, if the judgment is deemed dormant, the lien ceases to exist. Thus, it is necessary to (1) maintain the judgment’s active status and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment’s dormant state can be reversed through the utilization of scire facias or the initiation of an action of debt within two years of its dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments remain legally enforceable and do not become dormant. Upon filing a properly prepared abstract of judgment, a lien is established for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s duration can be prolonged for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments can go dormant under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute, Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006, allows political subdivisions to revive the judgment at any time. Thus, the political subdivision is not prohibited by the statute of limitations and can revive the judgment even 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.
Execution can seize the judgment debtor’s property unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal rule. In most instances, the following kinds of property will not be exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and associated motors and trailers; c. Collections of items like stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not possess any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property falling into certain categories is exempt from execution, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or a single adult. These categories include: a) The homestead b) Personal property categorized by statute, with a total 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, up 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 sufficient to satisfy the execution h) Assets held by the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor i) Specific insurance benefits j) Designated savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Consigned artwork meeting specific criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
In pursuit of uncovering any funds or property owed to a judgment debtor by a third party, a judgment creditor can employ the post-judgment garnishment procedure. Upon identifying such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to divert payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment after a judgment can be employed only if certain conditions exist. 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. Lastly, the creditor must swear that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action embodies a separate legal action distinct from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, given its role in an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that delivered 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 receive the writ of garnishment. However, it is important to note that the judgment defendant is not considered an essential party to the garnishment action. Nevertheless, they must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically feasible after the garnishee has been served. Furthermore, it is required that the copy of the writ served to the defendant contains its contents in 12-point type and is presented in a manner that advises a reasonably attentive person effectively. Failing to provide the judgment debtor with proper notice renders any judgment, with the exception of one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To deliver garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they should be sent to the address designated 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 must undergo the registration process with the Secretary of State, following the laws applicable to foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which necessitate designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions have the flexibility to appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
Pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer who carries out a writ of garnishment must submit a return that meets the citation requirements. It is recommended for the judgment creditor to carefully review the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the rules governing citations in general. 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
Upon discovering a bank account or another debt owed by the judgment debtor, determine its suitability for garnishment and evaluate its cost-effectiveness. If it is determined to be feasible, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, which should be signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Include vital information in the affidavit, such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
Seeking assistance in the collection of your Texas judgment? Look no further than Busby and Associates. With their contingency-based services, you can proceed without any upfront financial commitments. Judgments originating from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas undergo meticulous evaluation, occasionally involving a retainer. Furthermore, if the judgment debtor or judgment is tied to Leon County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution.