Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Wilson County, Texas
In Wilson County, Texas, Busby & Associates is your reliable partner for comprehensive judgment-related services. 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 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 Wilson County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or facing difficulties in collecting your judgment, especially if the debtor resides in Wilson County, contact us. We’ll explain the process, guide you through it, and help you successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Wilson County
The presence of a properly fixed judgment lien can establish a lien on all nonexempt real property of the judgment debtor in Wilson County. An abstract of judgment, accurately recorded and indexed, is essential for the creation of a judgment lien. To fix the judgment lien, the abstract of judgment must be filed in each county where the lien is sought. The lien’s validity persists 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 cannot be interlocutory. 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 prior to the judgment’s appeal, the appeal itself 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, the judgment must first be domesticated 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 all types of courts except small claims and justice courts. However, in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not allowed to prepare their own abstract. Please note that abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate issued by the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Wilson County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office situated at 1420 3rd St #105, Floresville, Texas 78114.
To meet the necessary requirements, a Texas abstract of judgment must include specific information. This information comprises 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 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 remaining balance, any child support arrearage, the interest rate specified in the judgment, and the mailing address for each plaintiff or judgment creditor. 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
Wilson County becomes the designated jurisdiction for recording the abstract of judgment when the debtor has real property there. The abstract is delivered to the Wilson County clerk, who proceeds to record it meticulously in the county’s real property records, making careful note of the recordation date and time. Moreover, the clerk is required to include the abstract in the alphabetical index to the real property records, providing a comprehensive listing of the names of each plaintiff and defendant in the judgment and the corresponding page number where the abstract is officially recorded.
Abstracts of Domesticated Judgment Liens.
Judgments filed under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act possess the same enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, allowing for their enforcement in Texas. Compliance with the lien requirements is necessary 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 recorded in Wilson County is encumbered by the judgment lien that applies to all properties.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien endures for a period of 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Thus, it is necessary to (1) keep the judgment alive and (2) obtain and record a new abstract of judgment to preserve the lien. A judgment becomes dormant if a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years from its rendition, but 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 unaffected and does not expire. By properly filing an abstract of judgment, a lien is established that remains valid for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years through the submission of a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Judgments of political subdivisions may go dormant under the dormancy statutes, yet the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) guarantees that the political subdivision is not precluded by the statute of limitations. Therefore, political subdivisions have the authority to revive judgments at any time, not limited to the two-year dormancy period.
4. Child Support Judgments.
All child support judgments are exempted from the dormancy statute under § 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, which universally applies to all child support judgments irrespective of their age.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by constitutional provisions, statutes, or other relevant rules of law, the execution has the authority 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.
The following categories of property are exempted from execution, whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within 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 (except 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, provided that the purchaser, mortgagee, or trustee identifies other property sufficient to satisfy the execution h) Assets in the hands 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 process provides a means for a judgment creditor to examine the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, with the aim of identifying any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts are discovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, requiring the third party (garnishee) to transfer payments to the garnishor in lieu of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
Garnishment is available after a judgment is secured, subject to meeting specific criteria. These criteria 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 confirming, based on their knowledge, that the judgment debtor does not possess enough property in Texas that can be executed upon to satisfy the judgment.
Procedure for Securing Issuance Jurisdiction and parties
It is important to understand that a post-judgment garnishment action constitutes a distinct lawsuit separate from the main case it aims to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, highlighting their role in this supplementary legal action. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment, under 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 mandatory 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 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
For the delivery of garnishment writs served on garnishee banks, they must be directed to the address designated as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to 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. 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 required to provide a return that meets the citation requirements specified 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 comply with 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
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, file an Application For Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Ensure that the affidavit includes 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? Seek the expertise of Busby and Associates. With their contingency-based services, upfront expenses are not a burden. Judgments from other states with a Texas-based judgment debtor are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, often involving a retainer. Furthermore, in Wilson County, they can assist you in garnishing a bank account or financial institution, facilitating the collection process.