Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Reagan County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we take pride in offering a wide range of services for judgment matters in Reagan County, Texas. Our skilled attorneys are well-versed in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also provide valuable assistance to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we specialize in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Reagan County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to secure payment, contact us today. We’ll assess your situation and provide you with tailored guidance to help you successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Reagan County
Reagan County recognizes the power of a properly fixed judgment lien, which serves as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The creation of a judgment lien entails the proper recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. To establish the judgment lien, it is required to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the lien is to be fixed. The duration of the lien is ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. It is important to highlight that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final and conclusive, excluding interlocutory judgments. However, in cases where the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment can still be filed based on the 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 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
In Texas, the responsibility of preparing the abstract of judgment rests with either the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, which includes their agent, attorney, or assignee. It is important to note, however, that 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 provided by the clerk of the court. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Reagan County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office situated at 300 N Plaza Ave, Big Lake, Texas 76932.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is crucial to include specific information to adhere to legal requirements. This includes providing the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three digits 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, if not indicated, the nature of citation and the date and place of service of citation, the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the remaining balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. Keep in mind that the absence of the mailing address may lead to the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations may not be used.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Reagan County is the designated location for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor has real property. The abstract is delivered to the Reagan County clerk, who meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Additionally, the clerk must note on the abstract the day and hour of recordation and enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, highlighting the names of each plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the page number where the abstract is officially recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act ensure that foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas to the same extent as judgments filed in the originating court. Meeting the lien requirements is necessary for the foreign judgment holder when seeking to domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and registered in Reagan County is encumbered by the judgment lien, which is recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to be valid for a duration of 10 years following the recording and indexing of the abstract, except in cases of dormancy, where the lien becomes null and void. Hence, it is crucial to (1) actively maintain the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment. If the judgment enters a dormant state, 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.
State or state agency judgments do not lose their legal force and retain their enforceability throughout the entire duration of the lien. An abstract of judgment, when properly filed, establishes a lien that remains valid for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be extended for an additional 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause political subdivisions’ judgments to go inactive, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not barred by the statute of limitations. Thus, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The provision in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code creates an exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were granted or issued.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property can be subject to execution levy unless it is exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other rules of law. Typically, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and their motors and trailers; c. Collections such as stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations have no exemption for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution process exempts property falling within the following categories from seizure, regardless of 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 cumulative 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) Specific consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
The post-judgment garnishment process provides a mechanism for a judgment creditor to delve into the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to ascertain if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts exist, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to remit payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment becomes an available recourse once a judgment is obtained, but only if certain criteria are satisfied. These criteria are as follows: a) 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. b) The debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. c) The creditor must provide a sworn statement affirming that, based on their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that can be executed to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a distinct legal suit that is separate from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, highlighting their role in this supplementary litigation. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that issued the judgment for collection, but under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process is initiated by serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, while the judgment defendant, though not a necessary party, 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 imperative 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 advise a reasonably attentive person. Failure to provide adequate notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, void and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement, filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code, shall be the delivery point for writs of garnishment served on garnishee banks. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must comply with the state’s laws for foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including the designation of an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions may file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for process under Section 201.103.
The writ of garnishment must be executed by an officer who will submit a return conforming to citation regulations, as stated in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is important for the judgment creditor to carefully review the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must adhere to the same rules as citations in general. Courts have voided returns that do not indicate the method and location of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is subject to garnishment is found and considered cost-effective, proceed by filing an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit, signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Include the necessary information in the affidavit, such as details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the appropriate garnishee name, designated officers for service, service address, and, if applicable, account names and numbers.
Let Busby and Associates assist you in collecting your judgment in Texas. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are no longer a concern. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor are carefully evaluated case by case, sometimes requiring a retainer. Moreover, in Reagan County, they possess the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful recovery of the owed amount.