Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Sabine County, Texas
In Sabine County, Texas, Busby & Associates is the premier choice for judgment-related matters. Our skilled attorneys excel in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a primary focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also offer comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases. Additionally, we specialize in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Sabine County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to recover what is owed to you, contact us today. We’ll provide you with the personalized attention and effective strategies you need to successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Sabine County
In Sabine County, a properly fixed judgment lien functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The creation of a judgment lien involves accurately recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. It is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is sought to be established. The lien remains in effect for a period of ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. The judgment on which the lien is based must be final and not interlocutory. However, if the judgment is being appealed or a supersedeas bond has been filed, it is still possible to file an abstract of judgment based on the final judgment. Furthermore, if the 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 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, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to create a lien, and subsequently, an abstract of judgment may be filed.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, either the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, including their agent, attorney, or assignee, can 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 have a judgment lien in Sabine County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 280 Main St, Hemphill, Texas 75948.
In order to comply with Texas regulations, an abstract of judgment must contain specific information. This information encompasses the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the birthdate of the defendant (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license (if accessible), the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number (if obtainable), the suit number in which the judgment was rendered, the defendant’s address or, if not specified in the suit, the nature of citation and the date and place of citation service, the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered 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 essential to note that the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and the use of unsworn declarations is not permissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
In the case of real property owned by the debtor, it is imperative to register the abstract of judgment specifically in Sabine County. The Sabine County clerk assumes responsibility for recording the abstract in the county’s real property records, diligently documenting the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, indicating the names of all plaintiffs and defendants involved in the judgment, as well as the page number of the record where the abstract is entered.
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 have enforceability in Texas equivalent to judgments filed in the court of origin. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements to effectively domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Sabine County, being the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien is attached to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The effectiveness of the judgment lien lasts for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Hence, it is imperative to (1) actively maintain the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to preserve the lien. If the judgment becomes dormant, it can be revived through scire facias or by initiating an action of debt within two years from the date of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
State or state agency judgments do not become inactive and retain their enforceability throughout the entire duration of the lien. An abstract of judgment, when filed correctly, establishes a lien that remains in force 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.
Judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant under dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations. Thus, political subdivisions have the freedom to revive judgments at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are exempted from the dormancy statute under section 34.001, subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which applies universally to all child support judgments irrespective of their age.
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 any other rule 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.
Property falling within the following categories is exempt from execution, whether owned by a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under various specified categories as defined by statute, 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, provided 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.
When a judgment creditor wishes to determine if a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, they can initiate the post-judgment garnishment process. Upon discovering any outstanding debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to transfer payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following the obtainment of a judgment, garnishment may be pursued provided that certain conditions exist. Firstly, 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. 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 adequate property in Texas subject to execution to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s crucial to recognize that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal proceeding separate from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, signifying their involvement in this supplementary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that delivered the judgment, but under a unique cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Commencing the garnishment action involves serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, while the judgment defendant, though not a necessary party, must be promptly served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders after the garnishee has been served. Moreover, it is mandatory 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 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
The address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, in accordance with either Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code, must be utilized for the delivery of garnishment writs served on garnishee banks. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State are required to comply with the state’s laws governing foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which encompasses designating an agent for process under Section 201.102. In contrast, Texas financial institutions have the option to file a statement with the Secretary of State appointing an agent for process under Section 201.103.
As per Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer executing a writ of garnishment must provide 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 invalidated returns when they do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee, considering them fatally defective.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that fulfills the criteria for garnishment is identified and determined to be cost-effective, proceed by filing an Application for Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit from the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit contains the necessary information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the accurate garnishee name, officers authorized for service, service address, and, if provided, account names and numbers.
Busby and Associates can provide the necessary assistance in collecting your judgment in Texas. With their contingency-based services, you won’t have to worry about upfront fees. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are individually evaluated, sometimes requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Sabine County, they have the capabilities to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.