Remember that case that took place so many lives ago? The one you thought was a thing of the past? Perhaps you didn’t receive the proper notices, or didn’t receive notification of a final judgment. Well, it has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inopportune times. It’s a very unpleasant surprise when out of the blue, someone receives a Notice of Garnishment from their employer or bank.
Judgments can lie dormant for years and years and accrue interest all that time. Creditors may renew the judgment every 10 years. Imagine having to cough up $20,000.00 for a $5,000.00 judgment!
MAKE THAT JUDGMENT STAY DEAD NOT JUST DORMANT:
- Open all correspondence
- Show up to all hearings
- Obtain the final disposition from the court
- Appeal within the time allowed under the law
- Settle the judgment (reduction is often possible)
- Determine whether bankruptcy makes sense
OUT OF STATE, OUT OF MIND
Out-of-state judgment creditors sometimes wrongfully submit a garnishment request to your employer or bank. They CANNOT do this without first registering the judgment in a Texas court. You will also hear people refer to this as “domesticating the judgment”. This gives you notification that the old judgment has resurfaced and gives you a chance to handle it.
Judgment creditors CAN and DO get away with not domesticating the judgment because their actions aren’t challenged correctly (or at all). If you receive a Notice of Garnishment from your bank or employer, contact a lawyer asap. You will need professional help to put a stop to it.
NOTE: This post does not address governmental agencies who may garnish wages for child support, student loans and tax liens.