Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Sutton County, Texas
Seeking professional assistance for judgment-related matters in Sutton 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 Sutton County, Texas. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to secure payment, contact us today. We’ll work diligently to protect your rights and help you collect your judgment effectively.
Texas Judgment liens in Sutton County
When accurately fixed, a judgment lien acts as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Sutton County. The establishment of a judgment lien requires the proper recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is sought. The lien’s validity extends for ten years from the date of recordation and indexing, unless the judgment becomes dormant. The judgment that serves as the basis for the lien must be final and not interlocutory. However, even 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. 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 if the judgment is ultimately affirmed. 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 allows either the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor or his agent, attorney, or assignee to 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 are in Sutton County, Texas, you can abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 300 E Oak St # 3, Sonora, Texas 76950.
Adhering to the requirements set forth by Texas law, an abstract of judgment must exhibit certain elements. These elements 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 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, if absent, 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 crucial to include the mailing address 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 admissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
Proper recordation of the abstract of judgment necessitates its documentation in Sutton County, the jurisdiction where the debtor has real property. The abstract is submitted to the Sutton County clerk, who diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring precise 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, showcasing the names of each plaintiff and defendant mentioned in the judgment and the corresponding page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. Satisfying the lien requirements is crucial for the foreign judgment holder to successfully domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is enforceable on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Sutton County, as recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in effect for a period of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Therefore, it is necessary to (1) actively maintain the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to preserve the lien. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years from its rendering, 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains unaffected and does not go dormant. By properly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may cause judgments of political subdivisions to go inactive, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) guarantees that political subdivisions are not restricted by the statute of limitations. Hence, political subdivisions have the authority to revive judgments at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are excepted from the dormancy statute by § 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.
The execution is entitled to seize the judgment debtor’s property unless it is exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or any other rule of law. In most cases, the following types of property will not be exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and associated 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 have any protected property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The execution process does not apply to property falling within the following categories, 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) Consigned artwork under specific circumstances.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the ability to explore whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are found, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to pay funds 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
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action constitutes a distinct legal action separate from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, acknowledging their involvement in this ancillary litigation. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that issued the judgment, utilizing a unique cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Initiating the garnishment action involves serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, 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. It is further 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, other than one dissolving the writ, void and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the delivery of garnishment writs served on garnishee banks, they must be directed to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to either Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions must comply with the state’s laws governing 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.
The officer entrusted with executing a writ of garnishment is duty-bound to file a return that meets the citation requirements, as outlined in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is essential for the judgment creditor to carefully examine the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially in the case of default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must conform to the rules governing citations in general. Courts have deemed returns as fatally defective if they fail to indicate the manner of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor that is eligible for garnishment and is deemed cost-effective is located, proceed by filing an Application for Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. 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 accurate garnishee name, designated officers for service, service address, and, if available, account names and numbers.
Having trouble collecting your judgment in Texas? Put your trust in Busby and Associates. With their contingency-based services, you can proceed without any upfront payments. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor are carefully reviewed, sometimes requiring a retainer. Moreover, in Sutton County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.