Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Sterling County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand the complexities of judgment collection in Sterling County, Texas. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a particular 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 the expertise to handle the domestication of foreign child support liens specific to Sterling County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment, contact us today. We’ll work closely with you to navigate the legal process and help you collect your judgment successfully.
Texas Judgment liens in Sterling County
A judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Sterling County can be subject to a lien when a judgment lien is properly fixed. The creation of a judgment lien entails recording and indexing an abstract of judgment in the respective counties where the lien is sought. The lien’s duration is ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. For the lien to be valid, the judgment on which it is based must be final and not interlocutory. In cases where 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. Additionally, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the judgment is appealed, the fact of appeal will not negate the effect of those steps if the judgment is ultimately affirmed. These rules specifically pertain to Texas state trial court judgments and do not cover the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign jurisdictions. To create a lien for out-of-state or foreign judgments, domestication in Texas is required, followed by the filing of an abstract of judgment.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, individuals authorized to prepare the abstract of judgment include 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. However, it is important to note that in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Moreover, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Sterling County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office located at 609 4th St, Sterling City, Texas 76951.
The presentation of specific details is necessary to meet the requirements of a Texas abstract of judgment. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known by 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 should be noted that including the mailing address is crucial to avoid 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
In cases where the debtor possesses real property, it is imperative to document the abstract of judgment in Sterling County. The abstract is presented to the Sterling County clerk, who records it meticulously 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act establish that judgments filed under these Acts are enforceable in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must adhere to the lien requirements to properly domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Sterling County is where the judgment lien is recorded, encumbering all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
To uphold the judgment lien’s validity, it endures for 10 years following the recording and indexing of 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. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years from its rendition, but 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 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, ensuring its enforceability for up to 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause political subdivisions’ judgments to become inactive, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations. As a result, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The provision in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code creates an exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were granted or issued.
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.
The following categories of property are exempt from execution, regardless of whether they pertain to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under specified statutory categories, with a total 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 adequate 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) Certain consigned artwork.
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
Garnishment can be sought after obtaining a judgment, but it requires satisfying specific requirements. 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 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
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a separate legal suit distinct from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, emphasizing their involvement in this ancillary litigation. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that delivered the judgment, utilizing a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To initiate the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, while 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 serving the garnishee. Furthermore, 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, other than 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, as stated in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State under either Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code, is the designated delivery point 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, 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.
The officer who carries out a writ of garnishment is required to make a return in accordance with the citation rules set forth in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is recommended 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
Upon discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is suitable for garnishment and is determined to be cost-effective, file an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Make sure that the affidavit provides the necessary information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the correct garnishee name, officers authorized for service, service address, and, if available, account names and numbers.
When it comes to collecting your judgment in Texas, Busby and Associates have the experience and expertise you need. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are not an issue. Judgments from other states involving a Texas-based judgment debtor are individually assessed, sometimes necessitating a retainer. Additionally, in Sterling County, they possess the necessary skills to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring the successful recovery of the owed amount.