Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Nolan County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we take pride in providing comprehensive judgment-related services in Nolan County, Texas. Our dedicated team of attorneys is well-versed 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 offer assistance to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Moreover, we can support you with the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Nolan County, Texas. If you’re struggling to collect a judgment or need guidance on the process, reach out to us today for a personalized consultation.
Texas Judgment liens in Nolan County
A judgment lien that is properly fixed operates as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Nolan County. To establish this lien, it is crucial to accurately record and index an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is intended to be fixed. 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 emphasize 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, an abstract can still be filed based on a final judgment. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to secure a lien prior to the judgment being appealed, the fact of appeal will not invalidate the impact of those steps in the event of affirmance. These rules specifically pertain to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass 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 in order to create a lien, following which the filing of an abstract of judgment may be possible.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The state of Texas allows for the abstract of judgment to be prepared by various individuals, such as 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, it is important to note that the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract in small claims and justice courts. Moreover, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate issued by the clerk of the court. If you wish to abstract your judgment lien in Nolan County, Texas, you can do so by visiting the County Clerk’s office located at 100 E 3rd St #108, Sweetwater, Texas 79556.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is essential to ensure that specific elements are included to meet legal requirements. These elements encompass stating the names of the plaintiff and defendant, providing the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), disclosing the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if obtainable), mentioning the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, specifying the defendant’s address or detailing citation information and the date and place of service if the address is not indicated in the suit, stating the date on which the judgment was rendered, accurately stating the awarded amount and the outstanding balance, addressing any child support arrearage, highlighting the interest rate specified in the judgment, and including 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 prohibited.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Nolan County becomes the designated location for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor holds real property there. Upon receiving the abstract, the Nolan County clerk proceeds to record it meticulously in the county’s real property records, making careful note of the recordation day and hour. Additionally, the clerk is required to enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing comprehensive details such as the names of each plaintiff and defendant mentioned in the judgment, along with the corresponding page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act enjoy equal enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, making them eligible for enforcement in Texas. To domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property, officially recorded in Nolan County, bears the impact of the judgment lien encompassing all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
A judgment lien maintains its validity for 10 years from the time of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. To preserve the lien, one must (1) keep the judgment in force and (2) obtain and record a fresh abstract of judgment. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years of its rendition. However, it can be revived through scire facias or by taking legal action in the form of debt within two years from the date the judgment becomes dormant.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains unaffected and does not go dormant. By properly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments may go dormant in accordance with dormancy statutes, yet the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not bound by the statute of limitations. Therefore, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, not solely within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are exempted from the dormancy statute under § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which applies universally to all child support judgments regardless of their age.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless otherwise exempted by the constitution, statute, or other legal rules, the execution has the power to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Typically, 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, including stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not enjoy any protection for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Regardless of whether it concerns a family or a single adult, the execution process does not apply to property falling under the following categories: a) The homestead b) Personal property belonging to various categories as specified by statute, 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 services (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 identifies other property sufficient 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.
By initiating the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the ability to delve into the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to identify any funds or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to transfer payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The option of garnishment is available exclusively after a judgment is obtained, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. 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 attest, to the best of their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess in Texas sufficient property subject to execution that can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a distinct legal suit separate from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, as it involves an additional legal action. It is important to file the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that issued the judgment to be collected, but with 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, initiating the garnishment action. Although the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party to the garnishment, they must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders promptly after the garnishee has been served. Moreover, it is mandatory 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 advise 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
To ensure the proper delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they must be directed 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 governing foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which includes designating 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.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must submit a return that satisfies the citation requirements. It is advisable for the judgment creditor to carefully inspect 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 declared returns fatally defective when they do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the case of discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that qualifies for garnishment and is economically viable, proceed by filing an Application for Garnishment accompanied by a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit includes the essential information required for the application, such as the original suit and judgment information, credits to the judgment, the correct garnishee name, officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
Let Busby and Associates handle the collection of your judgment in Texas. Their contingency-based services mean you don’t have to worry about upfront fees. Judgments from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas are reviewed on an individual basis, potentially requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Nolan County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the judgment.