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Enforcing a judgment in Texas: what you need to know

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Creditors' Rights |

If you have obtained a monetary judgment order against a debtor in a Texas court, you may wonder how to collect that judgment. Collecting a monetary judgment in Texas can be complex and may require the assistance of an attorney experienced in creditors’ rights.

Steps to collecting a monetary judgment in Texas

There are several steps you can take to collect a monetary judgment in Texas:

  • Obtain a writ of execution: A writ of execution is a court order directing the sheriff or constable to seize and sell the debtor’s assets to pay off the judgment.
  • Garnish bank accounts: You may be able to freeze and seize the debtor’s bank accounts to pay off the judgment.
  • Place a lien on real property: If the debtor owns non-exempt real property, you may be able to place a lien on the property, and have the property sold.
  • Obtain a charging order: A charging order is obtained against the debtor’s ownership interest in a limited partnership or a limited liability company, designed to capture any distributions made.
  • Obtain a turnover order: A turnover order requires the debtor to turn over non-exempt assets.
  • Garnish amounts owed: Texas law prohibits the garnishment of wages (except with respect to certain divorce obligations). However, you may be able to garnish amounts owed to the debtor as an independent contractor.

Considerations for collecting a monetary judgment in Texas

Creditors’ rights involving judgment collection in Texas requires a few things to consider:

  • Statute of limitations: In Texas, you have ten years to collect a monetary judgment before the judgment becomes dormant. You should renew the judgment before the ten years elapses.
  • Exempt assets: Some of the debtor’s assets may be exempt from seizure, such as their primary residence (homestead), certain personal property, and tools of the trade.
  • Ability to pay: It is essential to consider whether the debtor can pay off the judgment. If they do not have the means to do so, it may not be worth pursuing collection efforts.

Collecting a monetary judgment in Texas can be a complex process. It is advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in creditors’ rights to help you understand your options and ensure that you can successfully collect the judgment. With the right approach and legal guidance, you can effectively enforce a judgment and recover the money owed to you.

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