Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Trinity County, Texas
Busby & Associates is dedicated to offering comprehensive judgment-related services in Trinity County, Texas. Our experienced attorneys are skilled in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a primary focus on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also provide assistance to both obligors and obligees under child support liens, helping with collections prosecution and defense. Additionally, we have the knowledge and capability to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Trinity County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or dealing with a civil matter involving a debtor in Trinity County, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will explain the process, offer guidance, and work with you to successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Trinity County
When properly established, a judgment lien functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Trinity County. The creation of a judgment lien requires accurately recording and indexing an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the judgment lien is sought. The validity of the lien extends 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 under appeal 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 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, followed by the potential filing of an abstract of judgment.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor or their authorized representative, such as an agent, attorney, or assignee, for all types of courts except small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. It’s important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Trinity County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office located at 162 W 1st St, Groveton, Texas 75845.
In compliance with Texas regulations, a Texas abstract of judgment must accurately present specific details. These details encompass 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 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 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
The abstract of judgment should be officially recorded in Trinity County, the jurisdiction where the debtor holds real property. It is the responsibility of the Trinity County clerk to receive the abstract and meticulously enter it into the county’s real property records, accurately noting the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing a comprehensive listing of the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ names in the judgment, along with the page number where the abstract is officially recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act hold the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, enabling their enforcement in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is secured on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant in Trinity County, the county of recordation.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
To maintain the judgment lien’s effectiveness, it continues for 10 years following the recording and indexing of the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Thus, it is essential to (1) actively preserve the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to ensure the continuity 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 of dormancy.
2. State or State Agency Judgments.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains unaffected and does not expire. By correctly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established that remains valid 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.
While judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant according to the dormancy statutes, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) provides that the political subdivision is not constrained by the statute of limitations. Therefore, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All judgments for child support are exempted from the dormancy statute as per § 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 exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other relevant rules of law, the execution retains the authority to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Typically, the following types of property are not exempted: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats along with their motors and trailers; c. Collections of items like stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not enjoy any protection for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property falling within the following categories is exempt from execution, irrespective of whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling under various specified categories, up to the aggregate fair market value not exceeding $100,000.00 for families or $50,000.00 for single adults without family affiliation c) Current wages for personal service (except child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, not to exceed 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 that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee points out 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) Designated savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
Through the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the authority to investigate the connection between a third party and the judgment debtor to determine whether there are 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 redirect payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment is a potential course of action after a judgment is obtained, but certain prerequisites must be satisfied. These prerequisites include: a) The creditor possessing a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being deemed final and subsisting from the date of rendition. b) The debtor not having filed an approved supersedeas bond to halt execution on the judgment. c) The creditor attesting, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have sufficient Texas property subject to execution to meet the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is important to understand that a post-judgment garnishment action constitutes a distinct legal proceeding independent of the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be pursued as the defendant in this ancillary lawsuit. Ensure that the application for post-judgment garnishment is filed in the same court that issued the judgment for collection, but under a separate cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To commence the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served 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 serving the garnishee. Additionally, 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 proper notice to the judgment debtor regarding the garnishment renders any judgment, other than one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
In order to deliver 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 tasked with executing a writ of garnishment is obligated to furnish a return that complies with the citation regulations outlined in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is essential for the judgment creditor to examine the return thoroughly before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in the case of a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings must adhere to the same rules as other citations. Courts have deemed returns as fatally defective if they fail to indicate the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment is located, and it is deemed cost-effective due to sufficient funds being involved, proceed by filing an Application For Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit from the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Make sure that the affidavit encompasses the required 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, if provided, account names and numbers.
Need professional guidance in collecting your judgment in Texas? Rely on Busby and Associates. With their contingency-based services, upfront payments are not required. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor are carefully examined, sometimes involving a retainer. Additionally, in Trinity County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, maximizing your chances of recovering the owed amount.