Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Montague County, Texas
In Montague County, Texas, collecting judgments is our expertise at Busby & Associates. Our team of skilled attorneys are experienced in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a specific focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As proficient 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 provide support for the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Montague County, Texas. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you effectively collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Montague County
A judgment lien, when properly fixed, acts as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Montague County. To establish this lien, it is necessary to accurately record and index an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is sought to be fixed. The lien remains in effect for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. It should be noted that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. However, an abstract can still be filed on a final judgment if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the judgment is appealed, the fact of appeal will not nullify the effect of such 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 and foreign jurisdictions. In the case of enforcing such judgments, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to create a lien, and subsequent filing of an abstract of judgment may be possible upon completing the domestication process.
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. Furthermore, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification of the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Montague County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 11339 TX-59, Montague, Texas 76251.
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
In the event that the debtor holds real property in Montague County, it is essential to record the abstract of judgment in that jurisdiction. The abstract is presented to the Montague County clerk, who proceeds to record it diligently in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Furthermore, the clerk is obligated to note on the abstract the day and hour of recordation and enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of the plaintiffs and defendants in the judgment and the corresponding 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 enforcement in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Montague County is subject to the judgment lien, encompassing all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
In order for the judgment lien to remain in effect, it must be recorded and indexed in an abstract for a period of 10 years. However, if the judgment becomes dormant, the lien ceases to have any legal impact. Thus, it is necessary to (1) actively preserve the judgment 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains intact and does not diminish. Upon filing an abstract of judgment correctly, a lien is established for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant under dormancy statutes, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) affirms that political subdivisions are not constrained by the statute of limitations. Hence, political subdivisions have the authority to revive the judgment at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Section 34.001, subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides a waiver to the dormancy statute for judgments related to child support, covering all such judgments whether they were 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. In most cases, 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 exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution of property does not apply to the following categories, regardless of whether it involves a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specified statutory categories, with a total 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 that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out sufficient other property belonging to the debtor to satisfy the execution h) Assets held by 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 provides a procedural mechanism for a judgment creditor to inquire into the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. In the event of identifying such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, obliging the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
To pursue garnishment after obtaining a judgment, certain conditions must be fulfilled. 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 adequate property in Texas subject to execution that can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a distinct legal suit apart from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, reflecting its involvement in an ancillary lawsuit. The application for post-judgment garnishment should be submitted in the same court that delivered the judgment to be collected, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The writ of garnishment is to be served on the garnishee to initiate the garnishment action. Although the judgment defendant is not a necessary party to the garnishment, it is necessary to serve them with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically feasible after serving the garnishee. Moreover, this rule requires that the copy of the writ served upon the defendant includes its contents in 12-point type and is presented in a manner calculated to inform a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding their property being subject to garnishment renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks requires sending them to the address designated 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 comply with the state’s laws for foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including the appointment of an agent for process under Section 201.102 when applying for registration with the Secretary of State. On the other hand, 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 submit 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, especially in the case of 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 of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you locate a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment and it is found to be cost-effective, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Make sure that the affidavit provides the necessary information, including the details of the original suit and judgment, the name of the garnishee, officers for service, address for service, and any available account names and numbers.
If you’re struggling to collect a judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates can provide valuable support. With their contingency-based services, there’s no need for upfront payments. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are carefully reviewed individually, potentially with a retainer required. Additionally, in Montague County, they have the expertise to assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful recovery of the owed amount.