Texas Judgment Negotiation & Settlement Attorneys
In Texas, debt collection lawsuit judgments have been entered against individuals in record numbers in recent years. If you found this website because a Texas judgment has been entered by a court against you, relax – you have found the website of an affordable law firm that does nothing but debt collection defense and judgment negotiation. We can help.
In its most basic form, a judgment is simply a decision made by a court at the conclusion of a lawsuit. As you may already know, this does not necessarily mean that a case was actually filed and a trial concluded. In fact, the majority of debt collection cases filed in Texas against individual consumers do not ever make it to trial. Most of them are not even active on the court’s “docket” for more than a few weeks. This is because it is very common for people who are served with these lawsuits to disregard them altogether (80–90% by some calculations). When this happens, the court at issue will typically sign off on a “default judgment” against the Defendant. A default judgment is a final and enforceable judgment, no different than if the parties to the lawsuit had a full blown trial in front of the judge. The difference is that the Defendant actually loses without ever getting the opportunity to have his or her date in court, hence the court makes a judgment by “default.”
Texas Judgment Enforcement
There is a myth that in Texas, judgments are worthless and impossible to collect. While that may be the case some of the time, the reality is that credit card companies, debt buyers, and other consumer creditors in Texas have a number of tools at their disposal to use to try to collect their judgments. Contrary to what you may have heard or read elsewhere, bank account garnishment is alive and well in Texas. A creditor with a final judgment may file a “garnishment lawsuit” against a debtor’s bank in an effort to deplete the bank account of cash. When this happens, the bank will usually put a “freeze” on the account until the judge in the case signs off on an order directing the bank to turn over the money to the judgment creditor. This collection technique is harsh. Its very existence is a good reason why it may be a good idea to try to settle any outstanding judgments pending against you.
Abstracts of judgment are another collection tool of choice in Texas. In this scenario, the creditor files an “abstract” of the judgment with the county records custodian. The judgment then creates a lien against property. The idea here is for the creditor to make it difficult or impossible to sell real estate as long as the judgment lien is active. Please note that while an individual in Texas is entitled to a partial release of that lien to the extent that the property at issue is a homestead, the process of obtaining such a release can be difficult, especially if the attorney representing the creditor is unresponsive or uncooperative.
These are just a few of the many ways that a judgment creditor in Texas can attempt to satisfy a judgment. Please click here to read some frequently asked questions. You can read about our attorneys here.