Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Midland County, Texas
In Midland County, Texas, when it comes to the collection of judgments, Busby & Associates is the law firm you can trust. Our dedicated team of attorneys is skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a particular emphasis on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As skilled consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we provide comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Moreover, if you require assistance with the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Midland County, Texas, we are here to guide you through the process. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you effectively collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Midland County
In Midland County, a properly fixed judgment lien operates as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The establishment of this lien involves the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. It is mandatory to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is to be fixed. The lien remains valid for a period 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 on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. However, in cases where the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still possible to file an abstract 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 diminish the effect of such steps in the event of affirmance. These regulations apply specifically to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not extend to the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign jurisdictions. To enforce judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions, it is necessary to first domesticate the judgment in Texas to create a lien, and subsequently, an abstract of judgment may be possible.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
Texas law permits 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, to prepare the abstract of judgment. However, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract in small claims and justice courts. Moreover, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. If you plan to abstract your judgment lien in Midland County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 500 N Loraine St Suite 400, Midland, Texas 79701.
To meet the requirements of a Texas abstract of judgment, certain elements must be included. These elements encompass 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 details regarding citation and the date and place of service if the address is not provided in the suit, the date of judgment, the amount awarded and the remaining balance, any outstanding 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 failing to include the mailing address may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and the use of unsworn declarations is not allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
To ensure proper documentation, the abstract of judgment should be recorded in Midland County when the debtor possesses real property there. The Midland County clerk receives the abstract and proceeds to record it in the county’s real property records, diligently noting the date and time of recordation. Alongside this, the clerk is required to enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing comprehensive details regarding the names of each plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the corresponding page number in which the abstract is 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 to the same degree as judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must satisfy the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Midland 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 remains in force for 10 years after recording and indexing the abstract, but it becomes dormant if no writ of execution is issued within that period. To preserve the lien’s validity, one must (1) keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. A judgment is considered dormant 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 enforceable and do not become dormant. 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, securing its enforceability for a total of 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant in accordance with dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) explicitly states that political subdivisions are not restricted by the statute of limitations. Thus, political subdivisions have the freedom to revive judgments at any given time, even beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is delineated in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and broadly applies 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.
Execution can seize the judgment debtor’s property unless it is exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other rule of law. In most cases, the following types 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 such as 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.
The execution process does not extend to property falling within the following categories, regardless of whether it concerns a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling into various statutory categories, with an aggregate fair market value not exceeding $100,000.00 for families or $50,000.00 for single adults without family affiliation c) Current wages for personal service (excluding child support) and unpaid commissions, capped at 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 sufficient other property owned by the debtor to fulfill the execution h) Assets held by the trustee of a spendthrift trust for the benefit of the judgment debtor i) Certain insurance benefits j) Specific 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 provides a means for a judgment creditor to explore the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, in order to determine if there are any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. In the event of identifying such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to redirect payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The option of garnishment is open after obtaining a judgment, provided that certain prerequisites are met. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 verify that, based on their knowledge, 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
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal action, detached from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it constitutes an ancillary lawsuit. The application for post-judgment garnishment should be filed 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 garnishee is to be served with the writ of garnishment to initiate the garnishment process. Although the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party in the garnishment action, they must receive 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 mandated that the copy of the writ served to the defendant contains its contents in 12-point type and is presented in a manner intended to inform a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment results in any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, being null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The proper delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks necessitates sending them to the address indicated 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 fulfill the registration requirements with the Secretary of State, following the laws applicable to foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which includes designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions have the option 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 responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must submit a return that complies with the citation regulations. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to thoroughly 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 invalidated returns that do not reveal the method of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Upon discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished and is financially feasible, take the necessary steps to file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Include essential details in the affidavit, such as the original suit and judgment information, the garnishee’s name, officers for service and address, and any available account names and numbers.
Let Busby and Associates handle the collection of your Texas judgment. Their contingency-based services ensure you don’t have to pay upfront fees. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo a thorough evaluation, sometimes requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Midland County, they have the capability to assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, maximizing the chances of successful recovery.