Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Madison County, Texas
If you’re dealing with the challenging task of collecting a judgment in Madison County, Texas, Busby & Associates is here to offer professional assistance. Our dedicated team of attorneys are skilled in the defense, collection, and enforcement of judgments, focusing specifically on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As skilled consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also provide support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we can assist with the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Madison County, Texas. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you navigate the process of collecting your judgment effectively.
Texas Judgment liens in Madison County
In Madison County, the proper fixation of a judgment lien grants it the authority to act as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The establishment 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 judgment lien is to be fixed. The lien remains in effect for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, as long as the judgment does not become dormant. It should be noted that the judgment underlying the lien must be final and cannot be interlocutory. However, in cases where the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract can still be filed 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 rules exclusively apply to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions. In the case of enforcing such judgments, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to establish a lien, and subsequently, an abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, including their agent, attorney, or assignee. However, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract in small claims and justice courts. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Madison County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 103 W Trinity St #104, Madisonville, Texas 77864.
When drafting a Texas abstract of judgment, it is essential to incorporate specific details in accordance with legal requirements. These details encompass the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if obtainable), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address, or citation details along with the date and place of service if the address is not provided in the suit, the date of judgment, the amount awarded in the judgment, the outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and 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. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and the use of unsworn declarations is not permissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be documented in Madison County, where the debtor holds real property. It is the responsibility of the Madison County clerk to receive the abstract and record it meticulously in the county’s real property records, making sure to note the day and hour of recordation. Additionally, the clerk must include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of both the plaintiff and defendant in the judgment, along with the page number in the records where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act carry the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, thereby enabling their enforcement in Texas. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Madison County is affected by the judgment lien, which applies to all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains active for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless the judgment becomes dormant. In order to preserve the lien, it is necessary to (1) maintain the judgment’s active status and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. If the judgment enters a dormant state, it can be revived through scire facias or by initiating an action of debt before the second anniversary of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments does not diminish and remains valid throughout the entire lifespan of the lien. A properly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments may become dormant under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not barred by the statute of limitations. Consequently, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are excepted from the dormancy statute by § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which applies universally to all child support judgments irrespective of their age.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other relevant rule of law, the execution retains the authority to seize the judgment debtor’s property. In most cases, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, along with their motors and trailers; c. Collections of items such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Irrespective of whether it concerns a family or an individual, the execution of the following property categories is exempt: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specific categories defined by statute, up to a combined fair market value of $100,000.00 for a family or $50,000.00 for an individual who is not part 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 the purpose of sepulcher g) Property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, provided the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other 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) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment procedure offers a legal avenue for a judgment creditor to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, seeking to establish if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering any debts, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to remit payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following the attainment of a judgment, garnishment becomes an option only if certain prerequisites are met. Firstly, the creditor must have 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 declare, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not hold 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 is an independent legal proceeding distinct from the main case it aims 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 issued the judgment to be collected, but with 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. While the judgment defendant is not a necessary party in the garnishment proceedings, it is crucial to serve them with a copy of the writ of garnishment, along with the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders, as soon as practically possible after the garnishee has been served. Moreover, this rule specifies 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 calculated to inform a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment results in any judgment, except one dissolving the writ, being null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks requires directing them to the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement under Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must complete the registration process with the Secretary of State by complying with the state’s foreign corporation laws, including 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.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for carrying out a writ of garnishment is obligated to provide a return that adheres to the citation requirements. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to thoroughly review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, particularly if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are subject to the same rules as other citations. Courts have invalidated returns that fail to specify the manner and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the case of locating a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that qualifies for garnishment and is deemed cost-effective, take the necessary steps to file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit contains relevant details such as the original suit and judgment information, garnishee’s name, officers for service and address, and if applicable, account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates have the expertise to help you collect your judgment in Texas. With their contingency-based services, there’s no need for upfront payment. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are examined individually and may require a retainer. Additionally, in Madison County, they can provide assistance in garnishing a bank account or financial institution to recover the owed amount.