Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Willacy County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand the complexities of judgment enforcement in Willacy County, Texas. 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 provide comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, offering collections prosecution and defense. Additionally, we possess the expertise to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Willacy County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or dealing with a debtor who has a bank account number, contact us. We’ll explain the process, guide you through it, and help you collect your judgment successfully, particularly if the debtor resides in Willacy County.
Texas Judgment liens in Willacy County
In Willacy 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. It is important to note that the judgment underlying the lien 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 negate 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
In Texas, individuals authorized to prepare the abstract of judgment include 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. However, it is important to note that 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 have a judgment lien in Willacy County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office located at 576 W Main Ave #153, Raymondville, Texas 78580.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is essential to include specific details as mandated by the regulations. These details consist of 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 remaining balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. Please note that including the mailing address is crucial 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
Willacy County serves as the official jurisdiction for the recordation of the abstract of judgment when the debtor has real property within its boundaries. The abstract is presented to the Willacy County clerk, who meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, carefully documenting the date and time of recordation. Simultaneously, 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 corresponding page number where the abstract is recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas with the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court. Adhering to the lien requirements is crucial for the foreign judgment holder to successfully domesticate the judgment in Texas.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien covers all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Willacy County, where it is registered.
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 necessary to (1) actively keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to ensure the continuity 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 remain effective and do not become dormant. Upon the proper filing of an abstract of judgment, a lien is established for 20 years from the date of filing, and the lien can be renewed for an additional 20-year period by filing a renewed abstract of judgment, securing its enforceability for a total of 40 years.
3. Political Subdivisions.
While judgments of political subdivisions can go dormant under the dormancy statutes, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) states that the political subdivision is not bound by the statute of limitations. Therefore, judgments of political subdivisions can be revived at any time, not just within two years of dormancy.
4. Child Support Judgments.
The exception to the dormancy statute for child support judgments is delineated in § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code and broadly applies to all child support judgments, irrespective of their date of rendering or issuance.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless specifically exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other applicable law, the execution has the power 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.
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 for 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, if the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property of the debtor sufficient to satisfy the execution h) Assets in the possession 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 grants a judgment creditor the ability to inquire about the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the purpose of ascertaining whether there are any funds or property owed to the debtor. Upon discovering any such debts, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to transfer payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment becomes a viable option after the acquisition of a judgment, subject to meeting specific conditions. 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 swearing, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess in their possession in Texas enough property subject to execution to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
Keep in mind that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a separate legal proceeding distinct from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be designated as the defendant, signifying their involvement in this ancillary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, under a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Initiating the garnishment action necessitates serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment, while the judgment defendant, though not a necessary party, must be promptly served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders after the garnishee has been served. Moreover, it is crucial 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, void and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
For the delivery of garnishment writs served on garnishee banks, they should be sent 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 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.
Pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 663, the officer responsible for executing a writ of garnishment must file a return that complies with the citation regulations. It is prudent for the judgment creditor to carefully examine the return before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in the case of 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 indicate the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Once 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, filing an Application For Garnishment with a supporting affidavit is the appropriate course of action. The supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney, should contain all the necessary 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 assistance in collecting your judgment in Texas? Busby and Associates are here to support you. With their contingency-based services, upfront payments are not necessary. Judgments from other states wherein the judgment debtor is in Texas are carefully evaluated, often involving a retainer. Moreover, in Willacy County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, streamlining the judgment collection process.