Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Waller County, Texas
In Waller County, Texas, Busby & Associates is your trusted source for all your judgment-related needs. Our skilled attorneys specialize in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, focusing primarily on garnishing bank accounts and financial institutions. As consumer bankruptcy, family law, and divorce lawyers, we also extend our services to assist both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, providing collections prosecution and defense. Additionally, we possess the expertise to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Waller County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or facing difficulties in collecting your judgment, especially if the debtor resides in Waller County, contact us. We’ll work closely with you, explain the process, and help you successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Waller County
The presence of a properly fixed judgment lien can establish a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Waller County. 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. Additionally, 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 filing of an abstract of judgment.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
The abstract of judgment in Texas 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, for all types of courts except small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted 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 Waller County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 836 Austin St # 318, Hempstead Texas 77445.
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
Proper recordation of the abstract of judgment necessitates its documentation in Waller County, the jurisdiction where the debtor possesses real property. The abstract is submitted to the Waller County clerk, who diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring precise notation of the date and time of recordation. Furthermore, the clerk is required to include 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 grant foreign judgments the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, ensuring their recognition and enforceability in Texas. Compliance with the lien requirements is mandatory for the foreign judgment holder when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
All nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and recorded in Waller County is encumbered by the judgment lien, which takes effect in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien persists for a period of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Therefore, 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 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains intact and does not diminish. By properly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established that lasts for 20 years from the date of filing, 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) ensures that the political subdivision is not restricted by the statute of limitations. Hence, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, surpassing the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exemption to the dormancy statute for judgments concerning child support, covering all such judgments, whether recently rendered or issued in the past.
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 execution of property is exempted for the following categories, whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within diverse 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 (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 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) Specific savings plans, including retirement benefits and health savings plans k) College Savings Plans l) Certain consigned artwork.
WRITS OF GARNISHMENT.
By utilizing the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor gains the authority to investigate whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment 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, subject to satisfying specific requirements. These requirements include: a) The creditor having 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 asserting, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not have sufficient property in Texas that is subject to execution and can satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It’s crucial to recognize that a post-judgment garnishment action is an independent legal suit apart from the main case it seeks to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be identified as the defendant, underscoring their role in this supplementary legal action. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that delivered the judgment, using a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment action is initiated by serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, while the judgment defendant, though 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. Moreover, it is mandated 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, invalid and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The address specified 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 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 adheres to the citation requirements. 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 are subject to the rules governing citations in general. Courts have invalidated returns when they do not specify the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee, considering them fatally defective.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
When a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment is located and it is determined that sufficient funds are involved so as to make it cost-effective, file an Application For Garnishment with a supporting affidavit. The supporting affidavit should be signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney and should contain the necessary 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.
Trust Busby and Associates to handle the collection of your judgment in Texas. With their contingency-based services, upfront payments are not a burden. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor undergo careful evaluation, typically involving a retainer. Additionally, in Waller County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, streamlining the judgment collection process.