Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Refugio County, Texas
In Refugio County, Texas, Busby & Associates is your trusted partner for all your judgment-related needs. Our experienced attorneys are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a primary focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As knowledgeable consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also provide comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we are well-versed in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Refugio County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment, contact us today. We’ll work closely with you to navigate the legal process and help you collect your judgment successfully.
Texas Judgment liens in Refugio County
Refugio County recognizes the significance of a properly established judgment lien, which functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The establishment of a judgment lien requires the proper recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. To establish the judgment lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the lien is sought to be fixed. The duration of the lien spans ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, provided that the judgment does not become dormant. It is important to note that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final and conclusive, not interlocutory. However, even if 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 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
In Texas, the abstract of judgment for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor or his agent, attorney, or assignee. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, it should be noted that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you are in Refugio County, Texas, you can abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 808 Commerce St #203, Refugio, Texas 78377.
Ensuring compliance with Texas regulations, an abstract of judgment must encompass specific information. This includes the plaintiff and defendant names, the defendant’s birthdate (if accessible to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license and social security number (if obtainable), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address or citation details and the date and place of service if the address is not displayed in the suit, the date of judgment, the awarded amount and the outstanding balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and 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. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations may not be used.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Refugio County serves as the official jurisdiction for recording the abstract of judgment in cases where the debtor has real property there. The abstract is submitted to the Refugio County clerk, who meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, taking care to note the recordation date and time. Additionally, the clerk must 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 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 establish that judgments filed under these Acts are enforceable in Texas to the same degree as judgments filed in the court of origin. The foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements to properly domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Refugio County is affected by the judgment lien that applies to all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains intact for a period of 10 years starting from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, except in the event of dormancy, where the lien is no longer applicable. Thus, it is crucial to (1) keep the judgment alive 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 not later than the second anniversary of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
Judgments issued by the state or a state agency do not lose their legal validity and maintain their enforceability. A duly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that remains in force for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Political subdivisions’ judgments may go dormant under dormancy statutes, yet the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations. As a result, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any given time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code establishes a specific exemption for judgments related to child support from the dormancy statute, encompassing all such judgments regardless of when they were rendered.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless constitutionally, statutorily, or by any other rule of law exempted, the execution has the power to levy the judgment debtor’s property. Generally, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on 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 investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not possess any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following property categories are exempt from execution, regardless of whether they belong to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under various specified categories, 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 sepulcher purposes g) Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, provided the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out 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) Consigned artwork meeting specific criteria.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the ability to investigate whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. Upon discovering any debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following the receipt of a judgment, garnishment may be pursued if certain conditions exist. These conditions include: a) 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. b) The debtor must 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 possess sufficient property in Texas subject to execution, which can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
When initiating a post-judgment garnishment action, remember that it is a separate legal suit from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be treated as the defendant, acknowledging their involvement in this ancillary litigation. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that issued the judgment, but with a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process begins with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant, although not a necessary party to the garnishment action, must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically feasible after the garnishee has been served. Moreover, it is required that the copy of the writ served to 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 the garnishment renders any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of writs of garnishment served on garnishee banks necessitates directing them to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State as per Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must adhere to the state’s laws for foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including designating an agent for process under Section 201.102 when filing an application for registration with the Secretary of State. Conversely, Texas financial institutions have the option to file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for process under Section 201.103.
The officer who performs the execution of a writ of garnishment is obligated to make a return that conforms to the citation rules specified in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is essential for the judgment creditor to review the return thoroughly before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly if it is a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as other citations. Courts have declared returns as 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
Once a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that can be garnished is located and determined to be cost-effective, initiate the process by filing an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit. The affidavit, to be signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor, should contain the essential information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the proper garnishee name, designated officers for service, service address, and, if available, account names and numbers.
When it comes to collecting your judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates are the experts you need. Their contingency-based services mean you don’t have to worry about upfront fees. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor are carefully examined individually, sometimes requiring a retainer. Moreover, in Refugio County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, facilitating the recovery process.