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Stephens County, Breckenridge, Texas

Stephens County

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

 

In Stephens 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 dedicated support to 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 Stephens County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive 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 Stephens County

In Stephens County, a judgment lien properly fixed operates as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor. The establishment of a judgment lien requires accurately recording and indexing an abstract of judgment, which must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is sought. The lien’s validity lasts 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, even 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. Moreover, 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, 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

The state of Texas grants the authority to prepare the abstract of judgment to various parties, such as 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, it is important to be aware that in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. To abstract your judgment lien in Stephens County, Texas, you can visit the County Clerk’s office at 200 W Walker St, Breckenridge, Texas 76424.

Contents

To ensure compliance with Texas regulations, an abstract of judgment must accurately display specific details. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if available to the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license (if obtainable), the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number (if accessible), 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 citation service, if the address is not provided in the suit), the date of judgment, the amount for which the judgment was rendered and the remaining 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 include the mailing address, as the absence of this information 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

Stephens County stands as the official jurisdiction for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor has real property there. The abstract is submitted to the Stephens County clerk, who meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate notation of the recordation date and time. Furthermore, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, displaying the names of each plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the corresponding page number where the abstract is 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 court where they originated. The foreign judgment holder must fulfill 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 in Stephens County, as registered in the county, is subject to the judgment lien that encompasses all properties.

Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive

1.      Non-governmental Judgments

The judgment lien holds its validity for a period of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Thus, it is crucial to (1) keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to ensure the continuity of 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 remain enforceable 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, securing its enforceability for a total of 40 years.

3.      Political Subdivisions.

While dormancy statutes can render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not limited by the statute of limitations. Consequently, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, not just within the two-year dormancy period.

4.      Child Support Judgments.

All judgments for child support are exempted from the dormancy statute under § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which universally applies to all child support judgments irrespective of their age.

Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.

1.      Property Subject to Execution.

Unless protected by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other legal rules, the execution has the right to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Generally, the following types of property are not protected: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and 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.

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 diverse 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, not exceeding 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 meet the execution requirements 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.

Stephens County

WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.

By employing the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the ability to investigate the connection between a third party and the judgment debtor, seeking to determine if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. In the presence of such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to transfer payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.

Requirements to Issue

The availability of garnishment arises once a judgment is obtained, subject to meeting certain prerequisites. Firstly, the creditor must possess 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 provide an affidavit stating that, based on 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 constitutes a separate legal action distinct from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, underscoring their involvement in this ancillary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that issued the judgment, using a different 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, 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 crucial 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, void and without effect.

Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment

Delivery of garnishment writs 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 prescribed under either 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 applicable to 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.

Officer’s Return.

Pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must provide a return that complies with the citation regulations. 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 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

In the case of locating a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that meets the requirements for garnishment and is considered cost-effective, it is necessary to file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Make sure that the affidavit contains all the necessary information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the appropriate garnishee name, officers authorized for service, service address, and, if available, relevant account names and numbers.

Collecting your judgment in Texas is a complex task, but Busby and Associates are here to simplify the process. With their contingency-based services, upfront costs are not a concern. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are meticulously evaluated on a case-by-case basis, occasionally involving a retainer. Additionally, in Stephens County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful recovery of the judgment.

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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.