Texas Writs of Garnishment to Collect Judgment Liens from Wise County, Texas
At Busby & Associates, we understand the complexities involved in judgment matters in Wise County, Texas. Our team of skilled attorneys specializes in defending, collecting, and enforcing judgments, with a particular 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, including collections prosecution and defense. Additionally, we possess the expertise to domesticate foreign child support liens specific to Wise County. If you’re a judgment creditor struggling to receive payment or facing difficulties in collecting your judgment, especially if the debtor resides in Wise County, contact us. We’ll work closely with you, explain the process, and help you successfully collect your judgment.
Texas Judgment liens in Wise County
The establishment of a properly fixed judgment lien results in a lien on all nonexempt real property owned by the judgment debtor in Wise County. To create a judgment lien, it is necessary to accurately record and index an abstract of judgment. The abstract of judgment must be filed 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. Additionally, 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 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 authorized representative of the judgment creditor, such as their agent, attorney, or assignee, for all courts except small claims and justice courts. It’s important to note that in small claims and justice courts, the judgment creditor is not permitted to prepare their own abstract. Furthermore, abstracts of federal court judgments require the certificate of the clerk of the court. If you have a judgment lien in Wise County, Texas, you can abstract it at the County Clerk’s office located at 200 N Trinity St, Decatur, Texas 76234.
When preparing a Texas abstract of judgment, it is crucial to include specific elements to ensure compliance. These elements 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 provided 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 essential to avoid the imposition of a penalty filing fee. Furthermore, the abstract of judgment must be verified by the creditor’s attorney, and unsworn declarations are not accepted.
Recordation of Judgment Liens Abstract
When the debtor possesses real property in Wise County, the abstract of judgment must be documented in that jurisdiction. The abstract is presented to the Wise County clerk, who meticulously records it in the county’s real property records, carefully noting the recordation date and time. Additionally, the clerk is mandated 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.
The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act and the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act grant foreign judgments the same level of enforceability as judgments filed in the originating court, ensuring their recognition and enforceability in Texas. The foreign judgment holder must comply with the lien requirements when seeking to domesticate the judgment.
Property To Which Lien Attaches Non-Exempt Real Property
Wise County, as the county of recordation, is where the judgment lien is attached to all nonexempt real property owned by the defendant.
Keeping the Judgment and Judgment Lien Alive
1. Non-governmental Judgments
The judgment lien continues to be effective for 10 years from the date of recording and indexing the abstract, unless it becomes dormant. Hence, it is crucial to (1) actively keep the judgment alive 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.
The enforceability of state or state agency judgments remains intact and does not diminish. When an abstract of judgment is filed correctly, it creates a lien that lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and the lien’s duration can be extended for another 20 years by filing a renewed abstract of judgment.
3. Political Subdivisions.
Dormancy statutes may result in judgments of political subdivisions going dormant; however, the revival statute (Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.006) affirms that the political subdivision is not bound 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.
- 34.001 Subsection (c) of the Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code provides an exemption to the dormancy statute for judgments related to child support, encompassing all such judgments whether they were recently rendered or issued in the past.
Property Subject to and Exempt from Execution.
1. Property Subject to Execution.
Unless exempted by constitution, statutes, or other rules of law, the execution retains the power to levy the judgment debtor’s property. In most cases, the following types of property will not be exempt: a. Cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; b. Pleasure boats, including 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.
The execution of property is exempted for the following categories, whether it pertains to a family or a single adult: a) The homestead b) Personal property falling within diverse 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 (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 identifies other property sufficient to fulfill 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 procedure serves as a mechanism for a judgment creditor to explore the relationship between a third party and the judgment debtor, aiming to identify any funds or property owed to the debtor. If any such debts exist, the creditor (garnishor) can obtain a garnishment judgment, directing the third party (garnishee) to make payments to the garnishor instead of the judgment debtor.
Requirements to Issue
The option of garnishment arises after the creditor has obtained a judgment against the debtor, with the judgment being considered final and subsisting from the date of rendition. Additionally, the debtor must not have filed an approved supersedeas bond to suspend execution on the judgment, and the creditor must attest, 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’s crucial to recognize that a post-judgment garnishment action is a separate legal proceeding from the main case it intends to enforce. The third-party garnishee should be named as the defendant, indicating their involvement in this supplementary lawsuit. File the application for post-judgment garnishment in the same court that delivered the judgment, under a different cause number.
Service of the writ of garnishment/notice to judgment debtor.
To commence the garnishment action, the garnishee must be served with the writ of garnishment, and the judgment defendant, although 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. Additionally, it is stipulated 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, null and void.
Banks as Garnishees for Writs of Garnishment
To deliver garnishment writs to garnishee banks, they must be directed to the address specified as the registered agent of the financial institution in its registration statement filed with the Secretary of State, as outlined by Section 201.102 or 201.103 of the Finance Code. Out-of-state financial institutions seeking registration with the Secretary of State must adhere to 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 performing the execution of a writ of garnishment is mandated to make a return that adheres to the citation rules specified in Tex. R. Civ. P. 663. It is of utmost importance for the judgment creditor to review the return thoroughly before obtaining a garnishment judgment, particularly in the case of a default judgment. Returns in garnishment proceedings are governed by the same rules as other citations. Courts have declared returns as fatally defective if they fail to indicate the method of service on a corporate garnishee or the place of service.
Forms for the form and Practical Procedure
Upon discovering a bank account or other debt owed by the judgment debtor subject to garnishment and determining that sufficient funds are involved to make it cost-effective, the next step is to file an Application For Garnishment along with a supporting affidavit, signed by the judgment creditor’s attorney. The supporting affidavit should contain 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 available, account names and numbers.
Trust Busby and Associates to handle the collection of your Texas judgment. With their contingency-based services, upfront payments are not required. Judgments from other states with a judgment debtor in Texas are carefully examined, often requiring a retainer. Additionally, in Wise County, they can help you garnish a bank account or financial institution, streamlining the judgment collection process.