Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Polk County, Texas
In Polk County, Texas, Busby & Associates stands ready to offer top-notch legal services for all your judgment-related needs. Our skilled attorneys have extensive experience in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, focusing primarily on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As seasoned consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also provide comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Moreover, we are well-versed in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Polk County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor facing difficulties in recovering your funds, we are here to help. Contact us today for a personalized consultation, and let us assist you in navigating the complexities of the process, ensuring a successful outcome.
Texas Judgment liens in Polk County
When properly established, a judgment lien acts as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Polk County. The establishment of a judgment lien involves the accurate recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. To fix the judgment lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the lien is sought to be established. The duration of the lien extends for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. It is crucial to emphasize that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final, not interlocutory. However, even in cases where the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still permissible to file an abstract of judgment based on the 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 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. 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, and then an abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The state of Texas permits the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, including their agent, attorney, or assignee, to prepare the abstract of judgment for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Polk County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 101 W Mill St #216, Livingston, Texas 77351.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is crucial to include specific details in order to meet legal requirements. These details include stating the names of the plaintiff and defendant, indicating the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), disclosing the last three numbers 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 providing information about citation and the date and place of service if the address is not shown in the suit, stating the date of judgment, accurately specifying the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the remaining balance, addressing any child support arrearage, highlighting the interest rate mentioned in the judgment, and including the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. It is crucial to note that the absence of the mailing address may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Moreover, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations are not admissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
In cases where the debtor possesses real property, the abstract of judgment should be recorded in Polk County. Upon receiving the abstract, the Polk County clerk records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Additionally, the clerk is obligated to enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of each plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the corresponding page number where the abstract is officially 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 carry the same enforceability as judgments filed in the court where they were issued, enabling their enforcement in Texas. Fulfilling the lien requirements is a prerequisite for the foreign judgment holder to 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 Polk County, as recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to be effective for a period of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. To ensure the lien’s continuity, it is vital to (1) maintain the judgment’s active status and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. Dormancy occurs if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years from the judgment’s rendition, but the judgment 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 established that remains valid 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.
While dormancy statutes can render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) provides political subdivisions with the authority to revive the judgment without being restricted by the statute of limitations. Hence, political subdivisions can revive judgments at any time, not just within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments are excluded from the dormancy statute under § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which universally applies to all child support judgments irrespective of their age.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or any other relevant rule of law, the execution retains the authority 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 of items like 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.
The execution process 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 falling under various specified categories as designated by statute, up to a combined fair market value not exceeding $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, 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 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.
By engaging in the post-judgment garnishment procedure, a judgment creditor gains the ability to examine the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the intention of identifying any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can secure a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to redirect payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following a judgment, garnishment may be pursued if specific conditions are met. Firstly, the creditor must have 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, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas subject to execution to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s important to note that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal proceeding separate from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, emphasizing their involvement in this ancillary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, 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, commencing the garnishment action. While 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. 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 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, void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the delivery of garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they should 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 seeking registration with the Secretary of State 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. 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.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer 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 event that a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment is found and deemed financially advantageous, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, 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, any credits applied to the judgment, the proper garnishee name, officers authorized for service, service address, and, if available, account names and numbers.
In need of professional help in collecting your judgment in Texas? Turn to Busby and Associates. Their contingency-based services ensure you won’t have to pay upfront fees. Judgments from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas are carefully examined on a case-by-case basis, potentially requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Polk County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.