Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Runnels County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are dedicated to providing effective solutions for judgment matters in Runnels County, Texas. Our experienced team of attorneys is skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a primary focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As accomplished 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 possess the expertise to handle the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Runnels County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor facing challenges in receiving payment, contact us today. We’ll work tirelessly to ensure the successful collection of your judgment, providing you with the support and guidance you need.
Texas Judgment liens in Runnels County
A properly fixed judgment lien holds authority over all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Runnels County. The establishment of a judgment lien requires 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 remains active and does not become dormant. It is crucial to note that the judgment on which the lien is based must be final, excluding interlocutory judgments. 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. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to secure a lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal itself will not invalidate the effectiveness 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. To enforce judgments from other states or foreign jurisdictions, it is necessary to first domesticate the judgment in Texas to create a lien, and subsequently, an abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In the state of Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by either 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. It is also important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Runnels County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office located at 613 Hutchings Ave #106, Ballinger, Texas 76821.
Meeting the requirements of a Texas abstract of judgment necessitates the inclusion of specific details to ensure legal compliance. 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 citation details, such as the nature of citation and the date and place of service if the address is not mentioned in the suit, the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the balance due, 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 the abstract prepared by the creditor’s attorney must be verified, and unsworn declarations are not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor has real property in Runnels County, it is essential to document the abstract of judgment in that jurisdiction. The abstract is presented to the Runnels County clerk, who proceeds to record it in the county’s real property records, carefully documenting the recordation date and time. Simultaneously, the clerk is required 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 page number in the records where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. Satisfying the lien requirements is crucial for the foreign judgment holder to successfully domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien applies to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Runnels County, the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains effective for a period of 10 years starting from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Hence, it is crucial to (1) actively maintain the judgment’s status 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 retain their enforceability and do not become dormant. When an abstract of judgment is filed correctly, it creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, securing its enforceability for up to 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant in accordance with dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not subject to the statute of limitations. Consequently, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is outlined in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and applies broadly to all child support judgments, irrespective of their date of rendering or issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The execution is authorized to seize the judgment debtor’s property unless it is exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other rule of law. Generally, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and associated 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 have any protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property falling within the following categories is exempt from execution, regardless of whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under specified statutory categories, up to an aggregate 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, 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, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property sufficient to fulfill 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) Artwork consigned under specific circumstances.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By engaging in the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the ability to explore the association between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the intention of determining if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts exist, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment can be pursued subsequent to the attainment of a judgment, provided that certain conditions exist. These conditions are as follows: 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 must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. c) The creditor must declare, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess enough property in Texas subject to execution that can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a separate legal proceeding distinct from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, signifying their involvement in this ancillary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, under 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. While the judgment defendant is not considered a necessary party to the garnishment, it is necessary to serve them with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders as soon as practically feasible after serving the garnishee. Moreover, it is stipulated that the copy of the writ served to the defendant contains 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, invalid and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
Delivery of writs of garnishment served on garnishee banks necessitates sending them to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, as required by 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 for foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. 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.
Pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must furnish a return that complies with the citation regulations. It is advisable for the judgment creditor to carefully examine 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 held returns to be fatally defective if they do not reveal the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Upon discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is eligible for garnishment and is deemed to be cost-effective, the subsequent step involves submitting an Application for Garnishment accompanied by a supporting affidavit. The affidavit, bearing the signature of the judgment creditor’s attorney, should encompass the necessary information, including the original lawsuit and judgment information, any credits applied to the judgment, the appropriate garnishee name, designated officers for service, service address, and, if applicable, account names and numbers.
If you’re struggling to collect your judgment in Texas, rely on Busby and Associates for assistance. Their contingency-based services mean you won’t have to worry about upfront fees. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo individual evaluation, sometimes involving a retainer. Additionally, in Runnels County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the judgment.