Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Mason County, Texas
Collecting a judgment in Mason County, Texas requires the expertise of a trusted legal team. At Busby & Associates, our dedicated attorneys are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a specific emphasis on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we extend our services to assist both obligors and obligees in child support lien cases. Furthermore, we can provide support for the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Mason County, Texas. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us guide you through the process of effectively collecting your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Mason County
A judgment lien, when appropriately fixed, assumes the role of a lien on all nonexempt real property of the judgment debtor in Mason County. The establishment of this lien necessitates the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. It is imperative to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is to be established. The lien remains effective for a duration of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. It is essential to note that the judgment serving as the basis for the lien must be final, excluding any interlocutory judgments. However, in cases where the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still permissible to file an abstract of a final judgment. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary measures to obtain a lien prior to the appeal, the appeal itself will not nullify the effect of such actions in the event of affirmance. These guidelines 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, it is mandatory to first domesticate the judgment in Texas in order to create a lien, and subsequently, the abstract of judgment may be filed upon completing the domestication process.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The preparation of the abstract of judgment in Texas is allowed by various 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, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Furthermore, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Mason County, Texas, you can visit the 201 Fort McKavitt St, Mason, Texas 76856.
To comply with Texas regulations, a Texas abstract of judgment must contain specific elements. These elements include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three numbers of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if accessible), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address or the details of citation including the date and place of service if the address is not indicated 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. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must include the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. It is crucial to note that failure to include the mailing address may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Moreover, 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
Proper recording of the abstract of judgment involves its documentation in Mason County, where the debtor has real property. The Mason County clerk receives the abstract and proceeds to record it meticulously in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate notation of the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk must enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of both the plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the corresponding page number where the abstract is officially recorded.
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 the same manner as judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Mason County, the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in force for a duration of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract. However, if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien will cease to be effective. Therefore, it is crucial 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, but 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.
State or state agency judgments remain legally binding and do not become dormant. By correctly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien’s lifespan can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, ensuring its enforceability for up to 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions can become inactive under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not bound by the statute of limitations. As a result, political subdivisions have the flexibility to revive judgments at any time, not just within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is outlined in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and applies broadly to all child support judgments, irrespective of their date of rendering or issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution is authorized to levy the judgment debtor’s property, provided it is not exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. In most cases, the following types of property are not exempt: 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 protected 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.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment procedure, a judgment creditor gains the ability to examine the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the objective of identifying any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, instructing the third party (garnishee) to redirect payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The availability of garnishment subsequent to a judgment is contingent upon fulfilling specific criteria. 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 attest that, to the best of their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess enough property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is crucial to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal suit apart from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, as it involves an ancillary lawsuit. It should be filed in the same court that rendered the judgment to be collected, but 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. Although the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party in the garnishment proceedings, it is essential to serve them 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. Moreover, this rule stipulates 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 intended to advise a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To effectuate the delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they must be delivered to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions are required to file an application for registration with the Secretary of State, adhering to the laws governing foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which include designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. Conversely, Texas financial institutions may file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for process under Section 201.103.
Pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that complies with the citation regulations. It is advisable for the judgment creditor to carefully examine the return before seeking 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 do not reveal the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you discover a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished, and it is determined to be financially viable, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit includes important details, such as the original suit and judgment information, garnishee’s name, officers for service and address, and any available account names and numbers.
Don’t let the complexity of collecting a judgment in Texas overwhelm you. Turn to Busby and Associates for assistance. Their contingency-based services allow you to proceed without any upfront expenses. Judgments from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas are carefully examined on a case-by-case basis, potentially involving a retainer. Additionally, in Mason County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful collection of the judgment.