Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Van Zandt County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, our priority is to provide comprehensive judgment-related services in Van Zandt County, Texas. With expertise in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, we are skilled in garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As experienced consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also offer valuable assistance to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, including collections prosecution and defense. Moreover, we possess the necessary knowledge to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Van Zandt County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or encountering difficulties in collecting your judgment, particularly if the debtor resides in Van Zandt County, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will explain the process thoroughly, provide personalized guidance, and support you in successfully collecting your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Van Zandt County
A judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Van Zandt County can be subject to a lien when a judgment lien is properly fixed. The proper recording and indexing of an abstract of judgment create a judgment lien. To fix the judgment lien, it is required to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the lien is sought. The lien remains in effect 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, excluding interlocutory judgments. Even if the judgment is under appeal or a supersedeas bond has been filed, an abstract of judgment can still be filed if the judgment is final. Moreover, if a judgment creditor has taken the necessary steps to obtain a lien before the judgment is appealed, the appeal itself will not nullify the effect of those steps if the judgment is affirmed. These rules specifically apply to Texas state trial court judgments and do not cover the enforcement of judgments from other states and foreign jurisdictions. To enforce such judgments, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to establish 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. Please note that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Van Zandt County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 121 E Dallas St #202, Canton Texas 75103.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is essential to include specific details as mandated by the regulations. This information includes 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, 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 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 to avoid the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
In cases where the debtor possesses real property, it is necessary to document the abstract of judgment in Van Zandt County. The abstract is presented to the Van Zandt County clerk, who records it meticulously in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate notation of the date and time of recordation. Moreover, 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 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 possess the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, allowing for their enforcement in Texas. Fulfilling the lien requirements is necessary for the foreign judgment holder when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The defendant’s nonexempt real property recorded in Van Zandt County is affected by the judgment lien that applies to all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
To ensure the judgment lien’s continuity, it remains valid for a period of 10 years from the recording and indexing of the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Thus, it is essential to (1) actively maintain the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to preserve 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 dormancy statutes can render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that political subdivisions are not restricted by the statute of limitations. Hence, 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 exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other relevant rules of law, the execution has 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 comprising stamps, coins, etc.; d. Stocks, bonds, notes, and other investments; e. f. Airplanes. Corporations do not enjoy any exemption for their property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
The following categories of property are exempted from execution, whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specified categories, 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 (except child support) and unpaid commissions for personal services, 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, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property sufficient to satisfy the execution h) Assets in the hands of 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.
The post-judgment garnishment procedure allows a judgment creditor to investigate the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to determine if there are any outstanding debts or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts exist, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Following the successful rendition of a judgment, garnishment can be pursued, provided that the following conditions are met: a) The creditor has a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. b) The debtor has not filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment. c) The creditor asserts, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have enough property in Texas that can be executed upon to satisfy 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 stipulated that the copy of the writ served to the defendant includes its contents in 12-point type and is presented in a manner calculated to advise 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
The 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 required by 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.
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 prudent for the judgment creditor to meticulously review the return before seeking a garnishment judgment, particularly 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 fail to reveal the manner of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If you discover a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment and determine that sufficient funds are involved to make it cost-effective, proceed by filing an Application For Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit from the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Make sure that the affidavit covers the required information for the application, including details of the original lawsuit and judgment, any credits applied to the judgment, the proper garnishee name, officers for service, service address, and, if available, account names and numbers.
Having difficulties in collecting your judgment in Texas? Turn to Busby and Associates for assistance. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are not required. Judgments from other states involving a judgment debtor in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, often requiring a retainer. Furthermore, in Van Zandt County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, streamlining the collection process.