Options For Collecting Judgments In Texas
Although the process may appear difficult at first glance, creditors in Texas should remember that they have rights.
It might be easy to think that winning a judgment at trial is the end of the end of the litigation process. Unfortunately, however, in many cases, creditors who have won a judgment face a longer battle to collect the money they are owed. While the situation may seem daunting, creditors in Texas should remember that they do have options when it comes to collecting judgments.
In many instances, the first step in collecting a judgment is to make sure that steps have been taken to perfect what is called a judgment lien, which in Texas can only be attached to real property. In this context, real property includes not only land, but also homes and any other buildings owned by the debtor, with the exception of property designated as a homestead. Generally speaking, after winning a judgment, a creditor’s attorney will record an abstract of judgment in each county in the state where the debtor owns or is believed to own real property. Recording an abstract of judgment in a county places a lien on any real property owned by the debtor in that area. A judgment lien will remain on the debtors property for up to 10 years.
Another option for creditors who have won a judgment is to file for a writ of execution. Thirty days after receiving a judgment, a creditor can ask a court to issue a writ of execution, which allows law enforcement in Texas to seize real and personal property – including cash – belonging to the creditor in order to help satisfy the judgment. Note that the real and personal property seized in this way will be sold by law enforcement. The creditor is generally responsible for some of the costs associated with sales conducted in accordance with a writ of execution.
Finally, in some situations, creditors may choose to pursue what is known as a writ of garnishment. A writ of garnishment is particularly useful in situations where a debtor does not have enough real or personal property in the state to satisfy the judgment. Accounts subject to a writ of garnishment can include not only bank accounts, but also some investment accounts.
While the process may seem arduous, the reality is that creditors in Texas have options when it comes to collecting a hard-earned judgment. An experienced creditor’s rights attorney can explain your options under Texas law and what steps to take next. To learn more, schedule an appointment with an attorney today.
Keywords: judgments, creditors’ rights, liens