COLLECTION OF JUDGMENTS IN TEXAS LAWSUITS–SMALL CLAIMS AND JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
If a party in a Texas lawsuit obtains a Judgment against the Defendant and the Defendant does not file a Motion for New Trial within five (5) days, does not file an Appeal within ten days, or does not pay the Judgment within ten (10) days you may seek other remedies to collect the Judgment. The Justice Court cannot assist a party in collection of that Judgment. Below are listed some remedies that are available to the parties:
ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT: A party may obtain an Abstract of Judgment any time after the 11th day from the date of Judgment. The cost of an original Abstract is Five Dollars, and the party may obtain them from the Small Claims or Justice Court. The Abstract may then be filed in the office of the County Clerk in any County where you think the Judgment Debtor may own real property. The Small Claim or Justice Court can also provide a short list of the surrounding County Clerk’s offices where a party can file the Abstract.
WRIT OF EXECUTION: A party may obtain a Writ of Execution any time after the 30th day from the date of Judgment. A Writ of Execution allows a Sheriff or Constable to try and seize certain non-exempt property from the Defendant. If property is seized, an auction will be held and the proceedings from the sale will satisfy your Judgment. The cost of a Writ of Execution varies from County to County, and the party may also want to contact the Constable or Sheriff in that County to discuss what items are considered non-exempt and may be subject to execution.
WRIT OF GARNISHMENT: A Writ of Garnishment is available 7 Days after the date of Judgment. This is a new lawsuit and is a complicated procedure. It is recommended that a Texas Civil Litigation Attorney be consulted.
TURNOVER WRIT: This process requires a formal court hearing. It is recommended that a Texas Civil Litigation Attorney be consulted.
HOW TO PAY TEXAS JUDGMENTS WHEN THE JUDGMENT HOLDER CANNOT BE FOUND
If a party to whom a judgment is owed cannot be located, it is possible to pay the judgment into the registry of the court on a showing of good faith attempts by the judgment debtor to locate the prevailing party. Once the court is satisfied that the party cannot be located, the payment can be accepted and the court can issue a release. The money is at that point held until claimed by the party to whom it is owed, or the money is forfeited to the State of Texas. It is again recommended that a Texas Civil Litigation Attorney be consulted.
Williams, McClure & Parmelee is dedicated to high quality legal representation of businesses and insurance companies in a variety of matters. We are experienced Fort Worth, Texas collections lawyers in Tarrant County who know Texas courts and Texas law. For more information, please contact the law firm at 817-335-8800. The firm’s office location is 5601 Bridge Street, Suite 300, Fort Worth, Texas 76112.