Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Winkler County, Texas
Seeking reliable judgment-related services in Winkler County, Texas? Busby & Associates is here to assist you. Our team of experienced 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 offer comprehensive support to both obligors and obligees involved in child support lien cases, including collections prosecution and defense. Furthermore, we possess the expertise to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Winkler County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or needing guidance on a civil matter, especially if the debtor resides in Winkler County, contact us. We’ll provide you with the necessary support, explain the process, and help you collect your judgment effectively.
Texas Judgment liens in Winkler County
A judgment debtor’s nonexempt real property in Winkler County can be subject to a lien through the proper fixing of a judgment lien. An abstract of judgment, accurately recorded and indexed, is necessary for the creation of a judgment lien. To establish the judgment lien, it is necessary to file the abstract of judgment in each county where the judgment 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 underlying the lien must be final and not interlocutory. 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. Moreover, 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 such judgments, the judgment must first be domesticated in Texas to establish a lien, followed by the filing of an abstract of judgment.
Texas Abstract of Judgment
In Texas, the abstract of judgment can be prepared by 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, 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. Additionally, it’s important to obtain the certificate of the clerk of the court for abstracts of federal court judgments. If you need to abstract your judgment lien in Winkler County, Texas, you can do so at the County Clerk’s office located at 100 E Winkler St 1st floor, Kermit, Texas 79745.
A valid abstract of judgment in Texas must adhere to specific criteria. These criteria include the inclusion of certain information, such as the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the birthdate of the defendant (if known by the clerk of justice), the last three digits of the defendant’s driver’s license (if available), the last three digits of the defendant’s social security number (if obtainable), 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 outstanding 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 permissible.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
The abstract of judgment must be recorded in Winkler County, where the debtor’s real property is situated. The Winkler County clerk receives the abstract and meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, ensuring accurate documentation of the recordation date and time. Furthermore, the clerk is required to note on the abstract the specific day and hour of recordation and enter 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 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 ensure that foreign judgments can be enforced in Texas to the same extent as judgments filed in the originating court. The foreign judgment holder must fulfill the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
The judgment lien is enforceable on all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant and located in Winkler County, as recorded in the county.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien remains in place 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 enters a dormant state, 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 lifespan of the lien. An abstract of judgment, when filed correctly, creates a lien that remains effective 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.
While dormancy statutes can render judgments of political subdivisions inactive, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) ensures that the political subdivision is not constrained by the statute of limitations. Hence, political subdivisions have the freedom to revive judgments at any time, surpassing 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, encompassing all such judgments regardless of when they were granted or issued.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
The judgment debtor’s property is liable to be seized through execution unless it is exempted by the constitution, statutes, or other rule of law. Generally, the following types of property are not exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats and associated 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.
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 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.
When seeking to determine whether a third party owes any funds or property to the judgment debtor, a judgment creditor can invoke the post-judgment garnishment process. If any debts are uncovered, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, compelling the third party (garnishee) to remit payments to the garnishor rather than the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
After securing a judgment, garnishment can be pursued, but only if certain conditions are met. These conditions include: a) The creditor having 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 swearing, 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
Remember that a post-judgment garnishment action represents a separate suit from the main cause, with the purpose of enforcing the judgment. The third-party garnishee should be brought in as the defendant in this ancillary action. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that rendered the judgment to be collected, but under a distinct cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
Serving the garnishee with the writ of garnishment initiates the garnishment process, 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 as soon as practically feasible after serving the garnishee. It is further 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, except for one dissolving the writ, void and unenforceable.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
The address designated 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 seeking registration with the Secretary of State 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. 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 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 reveal the method and place of service on a corporate garnishee.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
If a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment is located, and it is deemed cost-effective due to sufficient funds being involved, proceed by filing an Application For Garnishment supported by a signed affidavit from the attorney representing the judgment creditor. Make sure that the affidavit encompasses the required 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.
Collecting your judgment in Texas can be a complex process, but with Busby and Associates by your side, you can navigate it successfully. With their contingency-based services, upfront fees are not a concern. Judgments from other states involving a judgment debtor in Texas undergo individual assessment, typically requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Winkler County, they have the expertise to help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, maximizing the chances of successful judgment collection.