If you are owed an outstanding debt and have been unsuccessful in your
attempts at collection, there are several tools available to protect you
against possible fraudulent evasion of payment. By filing and winning
a lawsuit in court against your debtor, you can be awarded a judgement,
which allows you to pursue additional methods of debt collection. A judgement
is a court order which outlines the legal recognition of the debt and
its associated terms. Obtaining this document designates the holder to
be a “judgement creditor.” Typically, judgements can last
for ten years and can, in some cases, be renewed if not paid by the debtor.
Collection methods available to a judgement creditor include:
Abstract of judgement: An abstract is a document that outlines the details of the judgement against
the debtor and creates a lien against non-exempt real property. This lien
will be attached to affected property and generally restricts any sale
until the lien has been cleared. An abstract can be filed and remain active
in any county which the debtor may have a claim to property.
Investigation and deposition: Debtors can be investigated and deposed to discover information to the
extent of assets and income. A debtor must answer questions under oath,
disclosing the exact contents of their financial estate. This can include
information such as bank statements, real estate holdings, and tax information.
It is illegal for a debtor to dishonestly answer questions or attempt
to hide assets. These methods can give a creditor a more accurate picture
of a debtor’s ability to pay.
Bank account garnishment: Issued by a court, a writ of garnishment can freeze funds in a debtor’s
bank account, allowing a creditor to be paid from the available funds.
This is not to be confused with wage garnishment. Texas forbids most creditors
from garnishing wages directly from an employer, however, this protection
does not extend to funds currently deposited in a bank account.
Levies: If a debtor does not turn over property to a legal representative to satisfy
a debt, the creditor can push for a levy on non-exempt property. A legal
representative will arrange for the sale of property under a writ of execution
with the funds going to pay debts. Once property is acquired in this manner,
the debtor no longer exercises control of it and cannot sell it on their
own. This can include all real property outside of the main household
and generally excludes personal possessions.
Maximize Your Chances of Collection – Call (817) 285-8017
At Pritchard Law Firm, we represent clients on both sides of consumer collections
and have helped numerous people in your situation collect what is owed.
Our Fort Worth consumer collections lawyers have more than 45 years of
collective experience and can provide straightforward legal advice concerning
the most cost effective solution for your situation.
Schedule a free case evaluation and speak to a lawyer about your case.