Judgment and Debt Collection Attorney

Judgment Collection in the State of Texas against individual debtors is a difficult proposition. This is because most debtors are "judgment proof." In other words, they do not have assets which can be seized to satisfy a judgment. The Texas Property Code contains a list of items that are exempt from execution to satisfy a judgment (with a few exceptions, including child support and tax debt).  For a judgement and debt collection attorney in the Collin County area, please contact us at: (972) 705-9911

Individual debtors in Texas can exempt 100% of the equity in their house and up to $30,000 of personal property if the debtor is single or $60,000 if the debtor is married. In most cases, the most a creditor who has obtained a judgment can do is abstract that judgment and obtain a writ of execution.

These two procedures keep the judgment alive for 10 years and allow it to be renewed for another ten (by re-abstracting the judgment and obtaining another writ of execution before expiration of the original ten year period). An abstract of judgment places a judgment lien on non-homestead property owned by the debtor in the county in which the abstract is filed. Since there are 254 counties in Texas, the judgment is typically abstracted in the county where the debtor resides or is believed to own property.

If the debtor does own non-homestead property - a vacation home, for instance - the debtor would have to pay off the judgment if he or she decided to sell the property. The judgment lien follows the non-exempt property, and it is unlikely a new buyer would agree to buy a property with a lien attached.

If the debtor has non-exempt assets in the State of Texas, the creditor can attempt to seize those assets through a writ of attachment. The assets are typically seized by the county sheriff or constable and are auctioned off.

If any money remains after paying the storage and transportation costs, that money goes to the creditor.

Another option available to creditors holding a judgment is the writ of garnishment, which is typically used to seize money held by the debtor in a bank. If the creditor knows that the debtor has a bank account, and no other assets can be found in the State of Texas to satisfy the judgment, the creditor can garnish the bank account. The risk of garnishing an account is that it may contain no money, and the creditor would still be responsible for paying the bank’s reasonable attorney’s fees for having to answer the garnishment.

If you have an out of state judgment against a debtor who now lives in the State of Texas, we can also help you domesticate that judgment and attempt to collect.

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