Garnishments

A judgment obtained against you in a debt collection case can have very serious consequences for you and your bank accounts. In Texas, a person with a judgment against you cannot get your wages, but they are able to get to your bank account.

Garnishment Suit

A writ of garnishment is generally brought by the judgment creditor against your bank in the same cause number as your original lawsuit. The lawsuit must be in strict compliance with Texas law and procedure. The writ must be served on your bank by a sheriff or constable. After the lawsuit is filed, the judgment holder must also provide you with notice “as soon as practicable.” While this is a question of fact, Courts have determined that waiting 15 days to provide the Defendant with notice was too long and the writ of garnishment was dissolved.

Challenging a Writ of Garnishment

Making a voluntary appearance challenging the writ of garnishment does NOT mean the judgment holder does not have to give you adequate notice. The best way to attack a garnishment is showing that you were not given proper notice or the debt collector failed to strictly comply with the garnishment procedures.

You can also attack the original judgment. Some methods for attacking this judgment is that you were never properly served or the debt collector does not actually own your judgment.

Money Exempt from Garnishment

There are certain funds exempt from garnishment. If you have a joint account with your spouse or relative, the judgment holder is only entitled to the funds you contributed to the account. If you did not contribute anything to the account, you technically do not own any of the money and it cannot be garnished. Other exempt funds include 2 months of social security benefits, certain retirement accounts, unemployment benefits, and certain insurance proceeds.

Stopping a Judgment Holder

You need to act fast if your bank account is frozen. It can take weeks or months to get a garnishment resolved. During this time, your funds to pay your mortgage, buy food, and provide for your family will be inaccessible. If your bank account is frozen because of a writ of garnishment, call 1.800.862.1260 or 210.222.2288 (in San Antonio). We will work to quickly free up your bank accounts.

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