Timely Collecting Your Texas Judgment
By: Rhonda Allen, Senior Partner Allen, Killgore & White P.C.
After spending all that time and money to win a judgment in a Texas court, did you know that your Texas judgment can become “dormant” and even “die” if you don’t take the steps necessary to protect your rights to collect your Judgment?
A Texas judgment is valid (“alive”) for ten years from the date of rendition. “Rendition” is not necessarily the date the Judge signed your Judgment.
A Texas judgment becomes “dormant” after ten years UNLESS you have requested a writ of execution and have that writ served within that first ten-year period after rendition. If you don’t do this, your Judgment becomes “dormant” and you can not request a writ of execution on a dormant judgment without first “reviving” that dormant judgment.
Once you request and serve the first writ of execution within the first 10-year period, you can keep your Texas judgment “alive” and collectible for successive periods of ten years IF you timely request another writ of execution and have it executed at least once during each of the next ten-year periods following rendition. If you fail to timely request and serve each 10-year writ of execution, your judgment will “die” and you can not collect your Judgment in the future.
IF YOU MISS A TEN-YEAR RENEWAL PERIOD
There is a small window to “revive” your judgment if you do so within two years after it becomes dormant by a process called scire facias or by an action on debt. This is a new court action which requires new service on the Debtor. There are also certain tolling provisions for exception cases for periods of time when the Debtor (the person who owes you money) is not present in Texas, the Debtor dies, bankruptcy, and other circumstances.
BEST TIME TO COLLECT YOUR JUDGMENT
Of course, the BEST time to collect your judgment is immediately after your Judgment is rendered by the Court. You will likely know more information now about the Debtor and his assets right after you get a Judgment. There are other options that can improve your chances of collecting your money judgment such as post-judgment discovery, abstracting the judgment, garnishment, and receivership proceedings. Post-judgment collection is an area not commonly handled by many Texas attorneys
Call my office today for a free consultation and let’s discuss how to preserve and collect your Judgment.