Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Lubbock County, Texas
When it comes to the collection of judgments in Lubbock County, Texas, Busby & Associates has a proven track record of success. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a primary 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 involved in child support lien cases. Moreover, we offer our services for the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Lubbock County, Texas. Reach out to us today, and let our team provide you with the guidance and support you need to effectively collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Lubbock County
The proper fixation of a judgment lien guarantees its status as a lien on all nonexempt real property belonging to the judgment debtor in Lubbock County. To establish this lien, it is essential to accurately record and index an abstract of judgment. It is required to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is sought to be fixed. The lien remains enforceable for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. It is important to emphasize that the judgment underlying the lien must be final and cannot be interlocutory. However, even in cases where the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still possible to file an abstract on a final judgment. Furthermore, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal itself will not diminish the effect of those steps in the event of affirmance. These regulations exclusively apply to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions. For the enforcement of such judgments, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to establish a lien, and subsequently, the abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The abstract of judgment in Texas 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 permitted 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 Lubbock County, Texas, you can go to the County Clerk’s office situated at 904 Broadway St # 207, Lubbock, Texas 79401.
Ensuring compliance with Texas regulations, a Texas abstract of judgment must contain specific information. This information includes the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if it is known to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license (if available), the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number (if available), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address (or citation details and the date and place of service if the address is not provided in the suit), the date on which the judgment was rendered, the amount for which the judgment was rendered, the balance due, the amount of any child support arrearage, and the interest rate specified in the judgment. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. Failure to include the mailing address may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. It is crucial to verify the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney, as unsworn declarations are not admissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Lubbock County becomes the designated location for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor possesses real property there. The abstract is submitted to the Lubbock County clerk, who diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the date and time of entry. Additionally, the clerk is required to incorporate the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of each plaintiff and defendant involved in the judgment, along with the respective page number where the abstract is filed.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act possess equal enforceability as judgments filed in the court of origin. The foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Lubbock County is the jurisdiction where the judgment lien takes effect on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains enforceable for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within a decade of its rendition. To maintain the lien’s effectiveness, it is crucial to (1) keep the judgment active and (2) secure and record a new abstract of judgment. Dormant judgments can be revived through scire facias or an action of debt filed within two years from the date of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains unaffected and does not lapse. By properly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is created that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
The dormancy statutes can render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) explicitly states that the political subdivision is not subject to the statute of limitations. Hence, the political subdivision possesses the authority to revive the judgment at any point, not just within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments are exempted from the dormancy statute under section 34.001, subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which encompasses all such judgments regardless of their age.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution retains the power to seize the judgment debtor’s property, unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other legal provision. Generally, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, including 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 protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property falling within the following categories is exempt from execution, whether for a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specified statutory categories, up to a cumulative fair market value of $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, not exceeding twenty-five percent (25%) of the aggregate limitations of $50/$100,000 d) Professionally prescribed health aids e) Worker’s compensation payments f) Cemetery lots held for sepulcher purposes g) Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property of the debtor sufficient 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) Certain savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor can investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to identify any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. In the event that such debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following a judgment, garnishment may be utilized if specific prerequisites are met. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 suspend execution on the judgment. Lastly, the creditor must assert, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not hold sufficient property subject to execution in Texas to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is important to recognize that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal action from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it is an additional lawsuit. The application for post-judgment garnishment should be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
In order to initiate the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment. Although the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party to the garnishment, they must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically possible after the garnishee has been served. This rule further specifies that the copy of the writ served to the defendant must contain its contents in 12-point type and be presented in a manner calculated to inform a reasonably attentive person. Failure to give the judgment debtor proper notice of the garnishment renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
When serving garnishment writs on garnishee banks, they must be delivered to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution, as stated in its registration statement filed under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State are required to comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including the appointment of an agent for process under Section 201.102. Conversely, Texas financial institutions have the ability to appoint an agent for process by submitting a statement to the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that complies with the citation regulations. It is advisable for the judgment creditor to carefully review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, especially in the case of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the rules applicable to other citations. Courts have found returns to be fatally defective if they do not indicate the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once you discover a garnishable bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor and it is determined to be economically viable, proceed by submitting an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The affidavit must contain relevant details, including original suit and judgment information, garnishee’s name, officers for service and address, and any available account names and numbers.
Are you facing challenges in collecting your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates are here to help. They offer contingency-based services, eliminating the need for upfront payment. For judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor, each case is examined individually, and a retainer may be necessary. Moreover, in Lubbock County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to ensure you receive the judgment amount.