If you have recently won a civil judgment in the state of Texas, you may believe that the hard part of the process is over. Collecting on that judgment, however, could be more challenging than you expect. Retaining the services of a Katy small business attorney is often the best way to pursue collection of a judgment in our area. These legal professionals can offer proven expertise in all phases of civil litigation and collections to help you achieve your objectives more quickly and easily. Here are some of the most important steps to keep in mind when attempting to collect on a civil judgment in Texas.
Wait Until After the Appeal Period Ends
In most cases, debtors have 10 days or less to appeal the judgment of the court. Waiting until this period of time has passed can help you avoid wasted effort and can ensure that your collections process will achieve the most effective results. After 10 days have elapsed, you can request an Abstract of Judgment from the court.
Filing an Abstract of Judgment
Retaining the services of a Katy or Sugar Land real estate law firm can help you navigate the process of filing an Abstract of Judgment in each of the Texas counties in which the debtor owns real estate or other assets. This can allow you to establish a lien against the properties held by the debtor until he or she pays the full amount owed. If payment is not made, the real estate properties affected by these liens cannot be transferred or sold. The cost for filing Abstracts of Judgment is usually $5 plus any recording costs assessed by the County Clerk at the time of filing.
Obtaining a Writ of Execution
If the debt has not been paid 30 days after the judgment was handed down, you may be able to collect by requesting a Writ of Execution. This can allow law enforcement officials within the state of Texas to seize non-exempt property in payment for a court judgment. Home furnishings, food and drink, personal vehicles, pets, and farm equipment and tools of the trade are all exempt from seizure under a Writ of Execution.
Filing a Writ of Garnishment
In some cases, it may be worthwhile to obtain a Writ of Garnishment to seize monetary assets belonging to the debtor, including bank accounts, investment funds and even paychecks. Working with an experienced Katy real estate law and civil litigation firm can help you navigate the requirements of these complex collection techniques.
At the law office of Henry A. Jakob, we specialize in providing Houston residents and businesses with the most effective representation for civil litigation and real estate transactions. We work with you to provide the right solutions for your needs. Call us today at 832-879-2244 to set up an initial consultation. We look forward to serving your legal needs.