Motion to Compel - Motion for Contempt - Collecting Judgments in Texas

You’re committed, but debtors can be stubborn.

At this point in the process, you’re working hard to collect your judgment. You’ve made it more difficult for the debtor to get new lines of credit, and you’ve investigated which of their assets could be used to pay off their debt.

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Writ of Garnishment + Foreign Judgment = Paid in Full

Writ of Garnishment + Foreign Judgment = Paid in Full

Some of our most interesting and successful work involves the enforcement and collection of foreign judgments issued by courts in other states. Relying on the Texas Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, we regularly help clients enforce and collect foreign judgments with speed and efficiency.

Typically, debtors are unaware that we have even started the process of domesticating a judgment from another state. Even though they know the judgment has been entered, they are almost always surprised to learn that we have been quietly working behind the scenes to make sure our client gets paid.

One of our favorite (and most reliable) tactics is to file the foreign judgment in a Texas court before waiting a few minutes to file a separate writ of garnishment with the debtor’s bank. When we do this, the debtor has no idea what is coming since the writ of garnishment will be served on their bank before they even know that the judgment has been domesticated in Texas.

That’s the same model we used in one foreign judgment case by domesticating a judgment and filing a writ of garnishment back-to-back. We received a fax the next day from the bank’s lawyer confirming the amount of the foreign judgment and letting us know that the debtor had plenty of funds to cover the full amount.

Within an hour, the debtor’s lawyer called and asked that we dismiss our garnishment in exchange for a payout over 60 days. Naturally, we declined since we already had access to the funds, and it was a good thing we did. We later learned that the debtor had just borrowed a large sum of money to pay off another obligation, which had yet to be funded. Our garnishment froze the account, and the rest is history.

A major factor in this case was the fact that our client had kept copies of the checks from the debtor’s bank account and their credit application. With that information in hand, we collected the entire judgment in 72 hours.

This story provides an important lesson and a question we ask all of our collections clients: “Are you accumulating bank account information for your customers?”

Post-Judgment Deposition – Collecting Judgments in Texas

It all comes down to this: The only way to get the debtor’s attention in debt collection matters is to be the number one item on the debtor’s agenda.

How do you accomplish this?  As we’ve said before, you must be the squeaky wheel that won’t go away. If showing your commitment by employing Post-judgment written discovery doesn’t do the trick, the next step might. The Post-judgment deposition is where many debt settlements often occur.

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Motions to Compel Bring Pressure and Get Clients Paid

Getting Clients Paid with Motions to Compel

We were contacted by a lawyer who had won a significant Texas judgment against a local businessman. The judgment was issued in favor of a California doctor following a dispute over a business loan. This case demonstrates the value of a motion to compel.

Unfortunately, the lawyer who won the case had very little experience collecting judgments and he had already tried and failed to collect this one. After we were hired, we contacted the attorney for the judgment debtor and suggested a reasonable solution that was in everyone’s best interest. However, the other side was similarly unskilled in post-judgment remedies so they rejected our proposal and offered to pay our client zero.

Faced with a defendant who refused even first-level discussions, we launched a three-pronged attack aimed at making sure our client got paid.

First, we contacted the debtor’s lawyer with our written discovery requests, which our team has developed over the past 20 years to help identify hidden assets and potential weaknesses a debtor’s claims.

We then issued third-party discovery requests targeting the Texas companies where the local businessman held an interest.

Finally, we sent subpoena notices to two of the debtor’s family members seeking information about his business dealings because we believed they had direct knowledge of his business dealings.

We were met with resistance once again when the defendant’s third-party business affiliates never responded to our discovery requests and the debtor’s counsel provided wholly insufficient answers.

Undaunted, we then filed a series of motions to compel against both the debtor individually and his third-party business partners. The day the judge was set to decide the issues, the debtor agreed to resolve the case while we were sitting in the courtroom by paying our doctor client the $150,000 he was owed.

This is a good example of the tenacity we bring to each case. Even though our client and his original attorney thought they had no chance of collecting the judgment, our team put enough pressure on the defendant and his business partners to make sure our client was paid while avoiding the time and expense of more advanced post-judgment procedures.

Post-Judgment Discovery – Collecting Judgments in Texas

Sometimes, collecting a debt in Texas is difficult. And you may have experienced this first hand. You may have filed a Texas abstract of judgment. You may have ensured the Abstract found its way into the debtor’s credit score. You may have even obtained a writ of garnishment and began your post-judgment investigation.

So what now? It’s time to make the debtor work. A Post-judgment written discovery does exactly that. It forces the person or company that owes you money to stay active or risk being in contempt of a court’s order.

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