Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Wichita County, Texas
Seeking effective judgment-related services in Wichita County, Texas? Busby & Associates is here to assist you. Our team of skilled attorneys specializes 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 comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, offering collections prosecution and defense. Furthermore, we possess the knowledge and capabilities to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Wichita County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or facing difficulties with a debtor who has a bank account number, contact us. We’ll explain the process, guide you through it, and help you successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Wichita County
When properly established, a judgment lien functions as a lien on all nonexempt real property belonging to the judgment debtor in Wichita County. The creation of a judgment lien involves the accurate recording and indexing of 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 being appealed 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 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
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 judgment creditor or 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 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 Wichita County, Texas, you can abstract your judgment lien at the County Clerk’s office located at 900 7th St #250, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301.
To meet the requirements of a Texas abstract of judgment, it is necessary to provide specific details. These details include the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant’s birthdate (if known 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 stated 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. Failure to include the mailing address may result in 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 allowed.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment must be recorded in Wichita County, where the debtor’s real property is located. Upon receipt of the abstract, the Wichita County clerk promptly records it in 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 record of the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ names in the judgment, as well as the page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act ensure that foreign judgments are enforceable in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. 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
The defendant’s nonexempt real property in Wichita County, as registered in the county, is subject to the judgment lien that encompasses all properties.
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. Hence, it is crucial 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.
State or state agency judgments do not become inactive and retain their enforceability throughout the entire duration of the lien. An abstract of judgment, when filed correctly, establishes a lien that remains in force for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be extended for an additional 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 the political subdivision is not limited by the statute of limitations. Thus, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, extending beyond the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The provision in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code establishes an exception for child support judgments from the dormancy statute and applies to all such judgments, regardless of when they were granted or issued.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless protected by constitutional provisions, statutes, or any other applicable law, the execution retains the authority to seize the judgment debtor’s property. Generally, the following types of property are not protected: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and their 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 possess any exempt property.
2. Property Exempt from Execution.
Property falling within the following categories is exempted from execution, irrespective of whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within specified statutory categories, with a total 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 identifies 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.
The post-judgment garnishment process allows a judgment creditor to investigate the association between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to ascertain if there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor in place of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The availability of garnishment arises once a judgment is obtained, provided specific conditions are fulfilled. These conditions 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 verifying, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess adequate property in Texas subject to execution that can 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 rendered the judgment, utilizing 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 includes 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, invalid and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To ensure proper delivery, garnishment writs served on garnishee banks must be delivered to the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, in accordance with 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 designating 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.
Tex. R. Civ. P. 663 mandates that the officer executing a writ of garnishment must file a return that complies with the citation regulations. The judgment creditor should conduct a thorough examination of the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, especially in the case of 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 fail to indicate the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
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 to make it cost-effective, file an Application For Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Ensure that the affidavit includes all the necessary information for the application, such as 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.
Struggling to collect your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates are here to assist you. With their contingency-based services, upfront costs are not a concern. Judgments from other states involving a judgment debtor in Texas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, usually requiring a retainer. Furthermore, in Wichita County, they possess the necessary skills to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, ensuring successful judgment collection.