Debt Judgment in Texas

Debt lawsuits in Texas are on the rise and most of the lawsuits end up in default judgments because the consumers fail to respond by filing a written answer.

If you are within a specific timeline you may be able to vacate the judgment even if you were served.  You will need to be able to show that your failure to file an answer was a mistake and not due to conscious indifference. You must also be able to show that you have defenses to the lawsuit and that the vacating of the judgment will not injure the Plaintiff.

Unfortunately many consumers find out about judgments months or years after the judgment.  If you were not properly served, you may be able to vacate the judgment by filing a Bill of Review.  This generally has to be filed within four (4) years of the judgment. 

Many creditors will file what is called an abstract of judgment.  This abstract of judgment is generally filed in the real property records of the county where the judgment was obtained.  In order to release the abstract, you must have the creditor sign a release and have it filed in the real property records to release the abstract of judgment.

The abstract of judgment is filed in the real property records of a particular county and creates a lien on any “non exempt property that the debtor owns in that county.

If you have properly filed your homestead exemption on your home, the lien does not technically attach but it can still cloud title on the homestead.  Most title companies will refuse to give you clear title unless you obtain a partial release of the judgment.  Thus, if you attempt to sell or re-finance your homestead after an abstract of judgment has been filed, the transaction will likely be held up.

A recent amendment to the Texas Property Code allows you to file your own partial release to clear title to your homestead without having to pay the judgment creditor anything.  We have assisted in helping many consumers file this partial release and we may be able to assist you for a flat fee. 
If you own non exempt real property, like rental property, the judgment lien will attach and the creditor can actually force the sale of your property at auction to pay the judgment with a writ of execution. 

Although the lien does not attach to personal property, judgment creditors in Texas can still garnish your bank accounts by filing a writ of garnishment.  Do not confuse this with garnishment of wages.  Creditors can NOT garnish wages in Texas, but once you deposit your paycheck into the bank, it is no longer considered “wages” and is fair game for collection.

Many creditors will agree to settle judgments but it is not advisable to do this without a licensed attorney.  If you settle, you should obtain a properly prepared and filed release of the judgment from the creditor. 

If settlement is simply not possible, the best way to completely discharge a judgment is by filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  To find out more information regarding Bankruptcy please visit our dedicated website: www.Texas-BankruptcyAttorney.com

If you have a judgment that was rendered against you, please contact the law firm of Weston Legal PLLC by calling, emailing, or completing the contact form on this page.  We offer flat fees and payment plans.

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