Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Smith County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we are dedicated to providing effective solutions for judgment matters in Smith 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 Smith 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 Smith County
An appropriately fixed judgment lien in Smith County serves 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. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is sought to be established. The lien remains valid for 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, an abstract of judgment can still be filed based on the final judgment. Additionally, 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, 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 Texas, the abstract of judgment for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts can be prepared by 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. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, it is important to obtain the certificate of the clerk of the court for abstracts of federal court judgments. If you have a judgment lien in Smith County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 200 E Ferguson St, Tyler, Texas 75702.
To comply with Texas regulations, a Texas abstract of judgment must contain specific details. These details include 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 mentioned 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 important to note that the inclusion of the mailing address is crucial to avoid the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and the use of unsworn declarations is not permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Proper recordation of the abstract of judgment necessitates its documentation in Smith County, where the debtor possesses real property. The abstract is submitted to the Smith County clerk, who diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate notation of the recordation date and time. Moreover, the clerk is required to include 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 grant foreign judgments the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, guaranteeing their recognition and enforceability in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Smith County is affected by the judgment lien, which takes effect in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to hold for a period of 10 years starting from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Hence, it is essential to (1) keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to preserve the lien’s continuity. 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 lifespan of the lien. An abstract of judgment, when filed correctly, creates a lien that remains effective 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 lead to political subdivisions’ judgments going dormant; however, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) guarantees that political subdivisions are not limited by the statute of limitations. Therefore, political subdivisions have the ability to revive judgments at any time, not solely within the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exemption to the dormancy statute for judgments related to child support, covering all such judgments whether they were recently rendered or issued in the past.
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, 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 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) Artwork consigned under specific circumstances.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
When seeking to determine whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, a judgment creditor can resort to the post-judgment garnishment process. If any debts are uncovered, 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
Garnishment becomes available after the acquisition of a judgment, but it is subject to meeting specific prerequisites. Firstly, 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. Secondly, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. Lastly, the creditor must attest, based on their knowledge, that 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
When initiating a post-judgment garnishment action, remember that it is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be treated as the defendant, acknowledging their role in this supplementary litigation. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, but with a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process commences with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant, although 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 mandated 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 adequate notice to the judgment debtor concerning the garnishment renders any judgment, except for one dissolving the writ, void and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, as outlined under either Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code, serves as the designated delivery address for garnishment writs served on garnishee banks. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must comply with the state’s laws governing foreign corporations conducting business in the state, which includes 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.
According to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that satisfies the citation requirements. It is prudent 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 declared returns fatally defective when they do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Should you discover a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that satisfies the requirements for garnishment and is considered cost-effective, file an Application for Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit from the judgment creditor’s attorney. Make sure that the affidavit provides all the necessary information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the accurate garnishee name, designated officers for service, service address, and any available account names and numbers.
Need help collecting your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates have the solution. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are not a concern. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are individually assessed, sometimes involving a retainer. Furthermore, in Smith County, they possess the necessary skills to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful recovery of the owed amount.