Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Victoria County, Texas
Looking for professional judgment-related services in Victoria County, Texas? Turn to Busby & Associates, where we excel in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments. Our dedicated team of attorneys specializes in garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions, with a primary focus on providing support in consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce cases. We also assist both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, offering collections prosecution and defense. Additionally, we have the expertise to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Victoria County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or facing challenges in collecting your judgment, especially if the debtor resides in Victoria County, reach out to us. We will provide you with detailed guidance and support throughout the process.
Texas Judgment liens in Victoria County
In Victoria County, a judgment lien that has been properly fixed acts 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. To fix the judgment lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment lien is sought. The lien remains valid 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. 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 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 filing of an abstract of judgment.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
Texas law allows for the preparation of the abstract of judgment by either 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, for judgments rendered in all but small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Additionally, it’s important to note that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you are in Victoria County, Texas, you can abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 15 N Bridge St #103, Victoria, Texas 77901.
In Texas, a valid abstract of judgment must contain specific elements to ensure compliance. These elements consist of 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 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 indicated 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 permitted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment should be recorded exclusively in Victoria County when the debtor has real property. The abstract is submitted to the Victoria County clerk, who diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the date and time of recordation. Additionally, the clerk is obligated 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 where the abstract is officially recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act establish that foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must fulfill the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Victoria County is where the judgment lien attaches to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to be enforceable for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Therefore, it is necessary to (1) actively preserve the judgment and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to maintain the validity 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.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not lose their enforceability and remain legally binding. The proper filing of an abstract of judgment creates a lien that remains effective for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien can be extended for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant in accordance with dormancy statutes, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) guarantees that political subdivisions are not precluded by the statute of limitations. Consequently, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any given time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
Subsection (c) of § 34.001 of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code establishes a specific exemption for judgments related to child support from the dormancy statute, encompassing all such judgments regardless of when they were rendered.
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. Generally, the following types of property are not exempted: 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.
Property falling within the specified categories is exempt from execution, regardless of whether it belongs to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within various categories as defined by statute, up to an aggregate fair market value of $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 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) Specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
When seeking to determine whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, a judgment creditor can invoke the post-judgment garnishment process. If any debts are uncovered, 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
Garnishment becomes an option after obtaining a judgment, provided specific conditions are met. These conditions include: a) The creditor holding 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 suspend execution on the judgment. c) The creditor affirming, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas subject to execution that can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
A post-judgment garnishment action should be treated as an individual lawsuit, separate from the main case for which it seeks to enforce the judgment. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant in this supplementary legal action. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, but with a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Commencing the garnishment action involves serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant, though not a necessary party, must receive a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders promptly after serving the garnishee. Additionally, it is required 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 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, void and unenforceable.
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 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 when applying for registration with the Secretary of State. 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 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 must conform to the rules governing citations in general. Courts have held returns to be fatally defective if they do not specify the method of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
In the event that a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment is located and it is considered cost-effective due to sufficient funds being involved, file an Application For Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit. The affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, should encompass 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 for service, service address, and, if provided, account names and numbers.
Need help collecting your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates are here to support you. With their contingency-based services, upfront expenses are not a barrier. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo individual assessment, usually involving a retainer. Additionally, in Victoria County, they have the necessary skills to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring successful judgment collection.