Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Mills County, Texas
Seeking professional assistance for the collection of judgments in Mills County, Texas? Busby & Associates is here to provide expert legal support. Our dedicated team of attorneys is skilled 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 also extend our services to assist both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we offer support for the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Mills County, Texas. Reach out to us today, and let us help you navigate the process of collecting your judgment effectively.
Texas Judgment liens in Mills County
When a judgment lien is properly fixed, it functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Mills County. The creation of this lien involves recording and indexing an abstract of judgment accurately. To fix the judgment lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the lien is sought. The lien remains in effect for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. It is important to note that the underlying judgment must be final and not interlocutory. However, if the judgment is being appealed 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 effect of those steps in the event of affirmance. These rules apply specifically to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not cover the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign jurisdictions. To create a lien for the enforcement of judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions, it is necessary to first domesticate the judgment in Texas, and thereafter, it may be possible to abstract the judgment.
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 Mills County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 1011 4th St, Goldthwaite, Texas 76844.
In order to comply with Texas regulations, it is necessary to include specific details when preparing a Texas abstract of judgment. These details 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 obtainable), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address or citation information such as the date and place of service if the address is not mentioned in the suit, the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered, 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 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
When the debtor has real property in Mills County, proper recordation of the abstract of judgment becomes necessary. The Mills County clerk receives the abstract and proceeds to record it in the county’s real property records, carefully noting the date and hour of recordation. Moreover, the clerk is required to enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, showing the names of the plaintiffs and defendants in the judgment, along with the page number where the abstract is documented.
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 the same enforceability as judgments filed in the court where they originated. Fulfillment of the lien requirements is required for the foreign judgment holder to successfully domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is enforceable on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Mills County, as recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
To ensure the judgment lien remains valid, it is necessary to record and index an abstract, which retains its effectiveness for a period of 10 years. However, if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien loses its validity. Hence, it is crucial to (1) keep the judgment alive 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 of 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.
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 endures for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years through the submission of a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes can result in the dormancy of judgments pertaining to political subdivisions, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not precluded from invoking the statute of limitations. As a result, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any given time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are excluded 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.
Unless specifically exempted by the constitution, statute, or any other applicable law, the execution retains the power to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Generally, the following types of property are not exempted: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats along with their motors and trailers; c. Collections of items like stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not enjoy any exemption for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution process does not encompass property in the following categories, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under specific 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, 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 the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property 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) 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 allows a judgment creditor to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the aim of determining if there are any outstanding funds or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, instructing the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment becomes an available recourse following a judgment, but only if certain criteria are met. Firstly, the creditor must hold 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 attest, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have 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 represents a separate legal proceeding from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it involves 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 the garnishment process, the garnishee is to be served with the writ of garnishment. Although the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party to the garnishment action, they must be promptly served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders after the garnishee has been served. Additionally, it is required that the copy of the writ served to the defendant clearly states 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 renders any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the proper 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, as required by Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must adhere to the state’s laws for foreign corporations conducting business within the state and appoint an agent for process under Section 201.102 when registering with the Secretary of State. 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 executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that complies with the citation requirements. It is advisable 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 specify the method and place 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 meets the requirements for garnishment and is considered cost-effective, file an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit should be signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney and include the relevant information, such as the original suit and judgment details, the name of the garnishee, officers for service and their address, and, if provided, account names and numbers.
Don’t let the complexities of collecting a judgment in Texas deter you. Busby and Associates are here to assist you. With their contingency-based services, you can proceed without any upfront costs. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are meticulously evaluated case by case, potentially with a retainer involved. Furthermore, in Mills County, they have the expertise to guide you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.