How Can We Prove That I Do Not Owe A Debt?
How Are Judgments Enforced By The Court In These Cases?
What generally happens is once a party gets a judgment against you or after 30 days, you have to let it sit for 30 days just in case someone tries to file a motion for a new trial. It will give a court a chance to resolve it. However, after 30 days with no motion for a new trial, the plaintiff would go to the clerk’s office and get what’s called an abstract of judgment. They would file that in the county where the judgment was obtained and where the individual debtor lives or has property. It would put a judgment lien on any available property that is not otherwise protected in Texas. The next thing that the prevailing party would do is to seek what’s called a writ of execution, and it is usually done sometime after the abstract of judgment is filed.
That is a writ or an order from the court directing the constable to go to the debtor’s home or workplace to look for property that can be seized and sold to satisfy the judgment. There is not much in Texas that can be seized and sold to satisfy a judgment because the Texas Property Code has a long list of protected items, including your homestead and vehicle. Suppose the constable does not get sufficient enough property and cannot get enough money in the sale to pay off the judgment. In that case, a creditor might go to the next step, bringing the debtor in for a post-judgment deposition, and may send them a post-judgment discovery. This discovery asks things like where they work, how much they earn, how they get paid, and any other financial information that could help them get paid.
Once their discovery is concluded, they may go back to the court and seek what’s called a writ of garnishment. It’s a levy since we don’t garnish wages in Texas except for child support and taxes. If the garnishment gives the court authority, it will issue an order to your bank that locks down your accounts and allows them to take out what they can to satisfy the judgment. There are limits on that, but as you can imagine, a lockdown of your accounts for ten days can be detrimental, especially if it’s a business account.
Can I Appeal A Decision Made By The Court In My Debt Case?
Suppose it’s a debt case, and many of them go through the Justice of the Peace court. In that case, you have a shorter amount of time to request either a new trial or appeal the case up to the county court. Appealing the case out of the Justice of the Peace court requires that you post a bond equal to twice the amount of the judgment. So, if somebody gets a $10,000 judgment in Justice of the Peace court, you will have to post a civil bond in the amount of $20,000 before you could appeal it up to the county court. It can also be appealed using a writ of certiorari, but that requires other court findings and a different process. You will still be forced to post a bond to appeal that case up to the county court.
In all other courts in the state, at the county court or district court level, you have a right of appeal if you file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the date of judgment. The timeframe can be extended if you file a new trial motion asking the same judge to reconsider. If the judge denies it, you would be forced to go forward with your appeal notice. You could then appeal it up to the intermediate courts of appeal, and that’s generally as far as we go in cases like this. Only in rare instances does the Texas Supreme Court hear cases of this kind.
For more information on Proving That You Do Not Owe A Debt In TX, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (940) 440-5250 today.