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Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Shelby County, Texas


Seeking professional assistance for judgment-related matters in Shelby County, Texas? Look no further than Busby & Associates. Our team of skilled attorneys is experienced in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a strong focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced 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 possess specialized knowledge in the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Shelby County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to secure payment, contact us today. We’ll guide you through the process and provide you with effective solutions to collect your judgment.

Texas Judgment liens in Shelby County

An adequately established judgment lien in Shelby County functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The process of creating a judgment lien involves accurately recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. It is essential to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is to be established. The duration of the lien is ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. The judgment serving as the basis for the lien must be final and not interlocutory. However, if the judgment is currently under appeal 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 nullify 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, 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

Texas law allows for the preparation of the abstract of judgment by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the authorized representative of the judgment creditor, such as their agent, attorney, or assignee, for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted 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 need to abstract your judgment lien in Shelby County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office located at 200 San Augustine St suite B, Center, Texas 75935.


Fulfilling the requirements of a Texas abstract of judgment necessitates the inclusion of specific information. This information comprises 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 indicated 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 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 crucial to include the mailing address, as failure to do so may result in the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Additionally, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations are not permitted.

Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract

The abstract of judgment must be recorded in Shelby County, where the debtor’s real property is situated. The Shelby County clerk receives the abstract and meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Moreover, the clerk is required to note on the abstract the specific day and hour of recordation and enter the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing a comprehensive listing of 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 are enforceable in Texas to the same extent as judgments filed in the originating court. Adhering to the lien requirements is mandatory for the foreign judgment holder to successfully domesticate the judgment.

Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property

The judgment lien secures the defendant’s nonexempt real property in Shelby County, where it is recorded as the county of recordation.

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 recording and indexing of the abstract, except if it becomes dormant. Thus, it is crucial to (1) keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the validity of the lien. If the judgment enters a dormant state, 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 remain effective and do not become dormant. Upon the proper filing of an abstract of judgment, a lien is established 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, ensuring its enforceability for a total of 40 years.

3.      Political Subdivisions.

Under dormancy statutes, judgments of political subdivisions can become dormant; however, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) specifically states that the political subdivision is not bound by the statute of limitations. Hence, political subdivisions retain the right to revive the judgment at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.

4.      Child Support Judgments.

The exemption to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is set forth in section 34.001, subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, encompassing all such judgments irrespective of their date of rendering or issuance.

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, whether owned by a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under specified statutory categories, with 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 sepulcher purposes g) Property that the judgment debtor sold, mortgaged, or conveyed in trust, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out other property adequate 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 that meets specific criteria.

Shelby County


Through the post-judgment garnishment procedure, a judgment creditor has the opportunity to investigate the correlation between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the objective of uncovering any funds or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to remit payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.

Requirements to Issue

Following the successful rendering of a judgment, garnishment becomes a viable option only when specific conditions are fulfilled. These conditions include: a) The creditor must hold 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 provide an affidavit stating that, to the best of their knowledge, the judgment debtor does not possess sufficient property in Texas that is subject to execution and 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 distinct cause number.

Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.

The writ of garnishment is to be served on the garnishee to initiate the garnishment action. While the judgment defendant is not 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 promptly after the garnishee has been served. 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

To deliver garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they must be directed to the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, as outlined by Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must adhere to the state’s laws applicable to foreign corporations conducting business in the state, including the designation of 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.

Officer’s Return.

The officer who carries out a writ of garnishment is obligated to make a return in accordance with the citation rules, as stated in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is essential for the judgment creditor to thoroughly review the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in the case of a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as other citations. Courts have deemed returns 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

If a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is eligible for garnishment and is deemed cost-effective is discovered, the subsequent step involves filing an Application for Garnishment with a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. Ensure that the affidavit encompasses the essential information required for the application, such as details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the appropriate garnishee name, officers designated for service, service address, and, if provided, account names and numbers.

Busby and Associates are your trusted partners in collecting your judgment in Texas. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are not a concern. Judgments from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas are evaluated on an individual basis, often requiring a retainer. Moreover, in Shelby County, they possess the necessary expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, facilitating the successful recovery of the owed amount.

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Michael Busby is a Houston divorce lawyer who has been in practice for over 20 years and appears daily in the Family Law Courts of Harris County and Fort Bend County Texas

Busby & Associates , have two Houston Offices, one in Chinatown, Houston Texas and another in Independent Heights, Houston, Texas. Michael Busby is Board Certified in Family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.