Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Orange County, Texas
In Orange County, Texas, Busby & Associates is your trusted ally for all matters related to judgment defense, collection, and enforcement. Our primary focus is on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, but as versatile 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 are skilled in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Orange County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or need assistance with any judgment-related issue, give us a call. We’ll walk you through the process, offering guidance and support to help you collect what you’re owed, particularly when the debtor resides in Orange County, Texas.
Texas Judgment liens in Orange County
When properly fixed, a judgment lien operates as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Orange County. The creation of a judgment lien requires the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. To establish the lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is intended to be fixed. As long as the judgment does not become dormant, the lien remains in effect for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing. It is important to emphasize that the underlying judgment must be final and not interlocutory. However, in the case of an appealed judgment or the filing of a supersedeas bond, it is still permissible to file an abstract based on a final judgment. Furthermore, 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 impact of those steps in the event of affirmance. These rules specifically apply to judgments issued by Texas state trial courts and do not encompass the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign jurisdictions. In order to create a lien for judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions, it is necessary to first domesticate the judgment in Texas, after which an abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In the state of Texas, individuals authorized to prepare the abstract of judgment include the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the designated representative of the judgment creditor, such as their agent, attorney, or assignee. However, it is worth noting that in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certification provided by the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Orange County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office at 801 W Division St, Orange, Texas 77630.
When preparing an abstract of judgment in Texas, it is crucial to present specific details that satisfy legal requirements. These details 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 information regarding citation, including the date and place of service if the address is not provided in the suit, the date of judgment, the awarded amount and remaining 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 a penalty filing fee. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations are not permissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be officially recorded in Orange County, specifically in cases where the debtor possesses real property. The Orange County clerk receives the abstract and proceeds to record it diligently in the county’s real property records, taking care to note the date and time of recordation. Simultaneously, the clerk is obliged to enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing comprehensive information such as the names of each plaintiff and defendant mentioned 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 establish that judgments filed under these Acts are enforceable in Texas on par with judgments in the court where they were filed. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements to successfully domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Orange County is where the judgment lien is recorded, encumbering all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to have legal effect for a duration of 10 years from the recording and indexing of the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Therefore, it is essential to (1) ensure the judgment remains active and (2) obtain and record a fresh abstract of judgment. If the judgment enters a dormant state, it can be revived either through scire facias or by initiating an action of debt within two years of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments rendered by the state or a state agency do not go into dormancy and maintain their enforceability. The filing of a properly executed abstract of judgment establishes a lien for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be extended for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions may go dormant in accordance with dormancy statutes, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) clarifies that the political subdivision is exempted from the statute of limitations. As a result, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Section 34.001, subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code establishes a specific provision that excludes judgments related to child support from the dormancy statute, covering all such judgments regardless of when they were rendered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution possesses the ability to levy the judgment debtor’s property, unless it is exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or any other applicable law. Generally, the following types of property are not exempted: a. Cash held in hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, including their motors and trailers; c. Collections of items such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investment assets; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not possess any property that is exempt from execution.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Execution does not apply to property falling within the following categories, whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property belonging to various categories as specified by statute, up to a cumulative fair market value of $100,000.00 for families or $50,000.00 for single adults without family affiliation c) Current wages earned from personal service (excluding child support) and unpaid commissions, not exceeding 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 the purpose of sepulcher g) Property sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust by the judgment debtor, provided 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) Specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Consigned artwork meeting specific criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
Through the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor can scrutinize the connection between a third party and the judgment debtor, seeking to determine if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After a judgment is secured, garnishment can be pursued if the following conditions are present: a) 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. b) The debtor should not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. c) The creditor must assert, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not hold sufficient property subject to execution in Texas to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action should be treated as a distinct lawsuit separate from the main case for which it seeks to enforce the judgment. The third-party garnishee should be pursued as the defendant in this ancillary legal action. When filing for post-judgment garnishment, it should be done in the same court that originally issued the judgment, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
In the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment to initiate the process. While the judgment defendant is not a necessary party to the garnishment, they must receive a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically possible after the garnishee has been served. Additionally, it is essential that the copy of the writ served to the defendant includes 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
Garnishee banks shall receive garnishment writs through delivery at the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution, as indicated in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State in accordance with Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must follow the state’s laws for foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including 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.
The officer carrying out a writ of garnishment must submit a return that adheres to the citation regulations, as per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is crucial for the judgment creditor to thoroughly assess the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially in cases of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as other citations. Courts have deemed returns fatally defective if they fail to indicate the method of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Upon the discovery of a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment and deemed financially viable, proceed by submitting an Application for Garnishment accompanied by a supporting affidavit, duly signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit includes the necessary information for the application, such as details of the original suit and judgment, credits applied to the judgment, the correct garnishee name, officers authorized for service, service address, and, if available, relevant account names and numbers.
Seeking assistance in collecting your Texas judgment? Look no further than Busby and Associates. With their contingency-based services, you can proceed without any upfront costs. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo a thorough case-by-case evaluation, often requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Orange County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution and secure the owed amount.