The Texas Writ of Garnishment - Collecting Judgments in Texas

If you’ve already obtained a court judgment and you still haven’t been paid, you’ve got a stubborn or uncooperative debtor who may need more convincing.

Fortunately, there’s an efficient, tried & true system for collecting debt in Texas. You may have already filed an abstract, which is important, but Texas law offers you many avenues to collect your judgment. Now you may need to take things to another level: The Texas writ of garnishment.

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Judgment Proof is just a word.

What does it mean to say someone is “judgment-proof?”

We frequently hear opposing counsel tell us that the debtor is “judgment-proof.” Most of them have no idea what they are talking about. We especially enjoy it when opposing counsel is a family friend of the debtor and tells us something like, “I’ve known these people a long time, I (insert: go to church with them, live next door to their parents, dated their sister, etc.) and they just don’t have anything. They are Judgment-Proof.”

This lawyer isn’t usually a collections specialist. Frequently they are family law attorneys, personal injury attorneys, attorneys who work with a big national firm or even work as in-house counsel for a company. Do you you think they’ve ever seen a client subjected to the forensic accounting that is post-judgment discovery? The answer is no. They have no idea what’s coming. Most of the time, these debtor’s are not judgment-proof. And they cannot withstand the close scrutiny of post-judgment procedures.

But some debtor’s are referred to by us as “judgment-proof.” What does that mean? In simple terms, it means we don’t see an avenue to collect sufficient funds to warrant the client expending resources for now. So we close the file “for now.” We explain our rationale to the client and we’ll come back to it in a year. Or two, or whenever. But the issue isn’t dead.

So fine, tell us you’re judgment-proof. We’re game.

The Abstract and The Credit Score - Collecting Judgments in Texas

Raise your hand if – as a lawyer – you’ve had difficulty collecting a judgment once it’s been rightfully handed down by the courts. I am willing to bet that if I asked this question to a room full of my contemporaries, I would I’d see a lot of hands.

This may be hard to believe, but getting your day in court, against someone who owes you money, may not necessarily be your happy ending. Actually, it can often be the beginning of a long and seemingly endless road ahead.

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Losing the Condo (Foreclosure and eviction)

Foreclosure, eviction and collecting debt.

This case happened in Austin. Foreclosure and eviction is what follows.

We were originally hired to foreclose on a condominium situated on the outskirts of the University of Texas campus. We followed our usual foreclosure procedures and obtained title to the property.

The client then entered into prolonged negotiations with the debtor to resolve the debt. The negotiations continued for over six months. At that point in time the debtor had not made payment on the debt for more than a year. Eventually, no resolution was found and we were instructed to evict the debtor from the property.

Foreclosure eviction in Texas

When the Sheriff puts your stuff on the street.

We filed the eviction in the justice court and prevailed. The debtor appealed. We then went to trial again in the County Court and prevailed again.

We had an agent of ours  stop by the condominium a few days later to see what the debtor’s plans were for moving out. But the debtor said, “there was no foreclosure.” One of the worst cases of denial we have ever seen.

Foreclosure eviction in Texas

When the Sheriff puts your stuff on the street.

We then moved forward with a writ of possession. The debtor retained a lawyer in Austin to seek a temporary restraining order to stop the execution of the writ of possession. Just before the debtor’s property was to be put on the street we appeared before a judge in Austin. The judge denied the temporary restraining order and we went forward with the writ of possession as you can see in the attached photo.

The client then sold the condo at a profit and all’s well that ends well.

You Have a Judgment, Now What?

You Have a Judgment, Now What? Here’s How You Collect.

So, life isn’t always fair. You hired a lawyer. You went to court and won. But, you don’t have your money.

Now, you’re frustrated chasing payment after you did the work you promised to do or loaned money, trusting you’d be repaid. The truth is that unfortunately, many businesses and law firms find themselves in this position.

Don’t worry. We’ve put together this straightforward “how-to” for how you can finally collect the judgment you are rightfully owed.

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