Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Martin County, Texas
Don’t let the complexities of collecting a judgment in Martin County, Texas overwhelm you. Busby & Associates is here to provide the support you need. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, placing a particular focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As knowledgeable consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also offer our services to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we can assist you with the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Martin County, Texas. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you navigate the process and successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Martin County
An adequately fixed judgment lien serves as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Martin County. To establish this lien, it is essential to accurately record and index an abstract of judgment. The abstract must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is intended to be fixed. As long as the judgment remains active and does not become dormant, the lien remains in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. It is important to emphasize that the judgment underlying the lien must be final and not interlocutory. However, if the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract can still be filed on a final judgment. Moreover, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the judgment is appealed, the fact of appeal will not negate the impact of those steps in the event of affirmance. These rules specifically apply to judgments rendered 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 initial step is to domesticate the judgment in Texas to create a lien, followed by the potential filing of an abstract.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by different parties, 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, the judgment creditor is not authorized 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. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Martin County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 301 N Saint Peter St, Stanton, Texas 79782.
When creating a Texas abstract of judgment, it is essential to include specific details to meet legal requirements. These details consist of the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known to the clerk of justice), the last three numbers 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 the nature of citation along with 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 and the outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, and the interest rate specified in the judgment. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must contain the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. It is important to note that failure to include the mailing address may result in a penalty filing fee. Additionally, the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney must be verified, and unsworn declarations are not permissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Martin County, it is necessary to record the abstract of judgment in that jurisdiction. The Martin County clerk receives the abstract and records it in the county’s real property records, taking care to note the precise date and time of recordation. Furthermore, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing comprehensive information such as the names of 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 grant foreign judgments the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, thus facilitating their recognition in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must satisfy the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Martin County, being the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien is attached to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
In order for the judgment lien to remain valid, it must be recorded and indexed in an abstract for a period of 10 years. If the judgment becomes dormant, the lien will no longer have any effect. Therefore, it is essential to (1) keep the judgment active and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment enters a dormant state if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years from its rendition. However, it can be revived through scire facias or by initiating an action of debt within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains intact and does not expire. When an abstract of judgment is filed properly, it creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may lead to political subdivisions’ judgments going dormant; however, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) grants political subdivisions the ability to revive the judgment without being constrained by the statute of limitations. Thus, political subdivisions can revive judgments at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exemption to the dormancy statute for judgments related to child support, encompassing all such judgments, whether recently rendered or issued in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless protected by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law, the execution has the power to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Typically, the following types of property are not protected: 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. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not have any exemption for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution of property shall not apply to the following categories, 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 (except for child support payments) 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 that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other 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.
The post-judgment garnishment serves as a legal recourse that allows a judgment creditor to investigate the connection between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the aim of determining whether there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. In the event that any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After a judgment is rendered, garnishment can be pursued if certain requirements 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 verify that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to fulfill the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a distinct legal proceeding separate from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, as it is an ancillary lawsuit. The application for post-judgment garnishment should be submitted in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process commences with the serving of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee. While the judgment defendant is not a necessary party to the garnishment action, it is necessary to serve them with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders promptly after the garnishee has been served. Additionally, this rule mandates that the copy of the writ served to the defendant contains its contents in 12-point type and is presented in a manner designed to inform a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment renders any judgment, except one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks is contingent upon sending them to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State in accordance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with the state’s foreign corporation laws, which require them to file an application for registration with the Secretary of State and designate an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions have the option to appoint an agent for process by filing a statement with the Secretary of State under Section 201.103.
The officer tasked with executing a writ of garnishment is required to file a return that meets the citation requirements, as specified in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to thoroughly review the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must conform to the rules governing citations in general. Courts have deemed returns as fatally defective if they fail to indicate the manner and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is located, and it is determined to be cost-effective, proceed by filing an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit should be signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney and include necessary information, such as the original suit and judgment details, garnishee’s name, officers for service and address, and if provided, account names and numbers.
Having trouble collecting your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates can be your solution. With their contingency-based services, you won’t have to pay anything upfront. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo a thorough evaluation on an individual basis, sometimes requiring a retainer. Furthermore, in Martin County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.