Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Williamson County, Texas
Seeking professional judgment-related services in Williamson County, Texas? Look no further than Busby & Associates. 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 extend our expertise to assist both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, providing collections prosecution and defense. Furthermore, we possess the knowledge and capabilities to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Williamson County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or needing assistance with a civil matter, especially if the debtor resides in Williamson County, contact us. We’ll explain the process, guide you through it, and help you collect your judgment successfully.
Texas Judgment liens in Williamson County
A judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Williamson 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
The state of Texas allows either the judge, justice of the peace, clerk of the court, or the judgment creditor or their authorized representative, such as an agent, attorney, or assignee, to prepare the abstract of judgment 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. It’s important to obtain the certificate of the clerk of the court for abstracts of federal court judgments. If you have a judgment lien in Williamson County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 405 Martin Luther King Jr St, Georgetown, Texas 78626.
In compliance with the regulations in Texas, an abstract of judgment must present specific information accurately. This information includes 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 specified 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
In cases where the debtor holds real property, it is necessary to record the abstract of judgment in Williamson County. The Williamson County clerk receives the abstract and diligently records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Simultaneously, the clerk is obliged 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 corresponding 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 specify that judgments filed under these Acts carry enforceability in Texas equivalent to judgments filed in the originating court. To domesticate the judgment in Texas, the foreign judgment holder must meet the lien requirements.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Williamson 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 remains intact for a period of 10 years starting from the recording and indexing of 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 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.
Judgments made by the state or a state agency do not lose their legal effect and maintain their enforceability. A duly filed abstract of judgment creates a lien that remains in effect 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.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes can lead to the dormancy of judgments of political subdivisions, but the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not barred 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.
Child support judgments are specifically excluded from the dormancy statute by § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, applicable to 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 exempted 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.
By engaging in the post-judgment garnishment process, a judgment creditor acquires the opportunity to investigate whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor. If any debts are uncovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to pay funds to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After obtaining a judgment, garnishment can be sought, but only if certain conditions are fulfilled. These conditions include: a) The creditor possessing a valid and subsisting judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered 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 stating, to the best of 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
A post-judgment garnishment action should be treated as an individual legal action separate from the main case it intends 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 different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
The garnishment process commences with the service of the writ of garnishment on the garnishee, and the judgment defendant, while not a necessary party, must be served with a copy of the writ of garnishment, the application, accompanying affidavits, and court orders promptly after the garnishee has been served. It is further stipulated that the copy of the writ served to the defendant must contain its contents in 12-point type and be 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, except for one dissolving the writ, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To ensure proper delivery, garnishment writs served on garnishee banks should be delivered to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, as stipulated by 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.
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, particularly 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
In the case where a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment is located and the funds involved are sufficient to make it cost-effective, proceed by filing an Application For Garnishment with a supporting affidavit. The supporting affidavit, signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor, should include the essential information for the application, such as 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.
Busby and Associates specialize in assisting with judgment collection in Texas. With their contingency-based services, there’s no need to worry about upfront costs. Judgments from other states involving a judgment debtor located in Texas undergo careful evaluation, usually requiring a retainer. Furthermore, in Williamson County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, increasing the chances of successful judgment collection.