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Can a creditor with a judgement in Texas attach property of the debtor is the debtor moves to another State?

Austin, TX |

If a debtor moves from Texas to Florida, which STATE laws regarding enforcement of a judgement from a Texas County Court are used? Example, Texas exempts one car, Florida exempts only $1000.00 of equity in a car. Texas can seize funds in a bank account, Florida says funds in a bank account can´t be touched for the first 60 days.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

You wrote, "Can a creditor with a judgement in Texas attach property of the debtor [if] the debtor moves to another State?"

A: Yes, if the Texas judgment is registered in the other state.

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Posted

The creditor would have to domesticate the TX judgment in Florida, and then any action it takes to levy, attach, or garnish would be under Florida law.

I do not mind learning new things, so I will be candid when I say that I was not aware of a law that protects bank accounts for the first 60 days money is in it. I am aware of a law that protects the earnings of the head of a family for 6 months while in a bank account. So, if you would, please let me know where you learned of the 60-day rule.

There are other ways to protect equity in a car. If a Florida resident owns a home, another $1,000.00 can be protected as to personal property, and if there is no home ownership, an additional $4,000.00 can be protected as to personal property. Since a car is considered personal property, up to $6,000.00 in equity can be protected, but that would leave other assets unprotected.

By the way, in Palm Beach County where I practice, the sheriff requires a $3,000.00 cost bond to be posted by the creditor before he will levy on a motor vehicle. So, that is a major expense to be incurred by a creditor to levy.

You may want to visit my website at www.jeffblampert.com to review other exemptions that apply to protect judgment debtors.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Lampert for your reply. I think I mis-spoke with regards to the 60 day rule. I was referring to the Federal Statute that protects SSDI, VA and other Federal payments for the first 60 days after deposit. Sorry for the confusion. To protect a motor vehcile asset, if both husband and wife are on a clear title and only one of the title holders (spouses) is the party to the debtors judgement, would this prevent the creditor from seizing the vehicle or attaching a lien so the creditors 50% financial interest in the vehicle could be collected when the vehicle was sold or traded in?

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

I would still like to know the statute, whether Florida or Federal. If the title reflected Joe Blow and Mary Blow, husband and wife, then car is protected as both spouses own 100% of vehicle. It is a tenancy by the entireties. The sheriff would not touch it. If the title sayd Joe Blow, Husband or Mary Blow, Wife, then it is not a tenancy by the entireties, it is held as tenants in common. The sheriff can levy on the car and there is no 50% interest here, it is 100% that can be taken. See, either Joe OR Mary could sell the car without the other signing. The way the title is issued is a huge consideration. PS Same principals apply to bank accounts, stock market accounts, etc..

Asker

Posted

THANK YOU for the answer on the vehicle. I am a disabled veteran so the only way I see around the vehicle issue in Florida will be to title it in both my wife´s name and mine. The judgement is in Texas from 2004 and is in my name only. We will be moving to Florida in Feb 2013. I will save your information and give you a call. Here is a direct link to the Federal statute http://www.fms.treas.gov/greenbook/guidelines_garnish0311.pdf Per Issuance of Title 31, Part 212 of the Code of Federal Regulations, After May 1, 2011 New U.S. Treasury Department rules change the garnishment process for creditors. The new rules only protect federal benefits that are direct deposited into a bank account. Changes listed below are effective on May 1, 2011. •When a bank or credit union gets an order to garnish someone's account, it has two business days to review the debtor's account; The bank or credit union will need to find the amount of protected federal benefits that were direct deposited into the account during the two previous months; and •If federal benefits were deposited during the previous two months, the bank or credit union must protect either: •The total amount of protected benefits deposited over the past two months; or •The current balance, whichever is less. How does the debtor find out what's going on with his or her accounts? The bank or credit union then has three business days after the account review to send the debtor a written notice. The notice must tell the debtor who gets the order all of the following: •What money in the debtor's account is protected and what money is not protected from the garnishment; •The right to request other exemptions from garnishment under state law; and •The right to talk to an attorney. When an account has protected federal benefits, banks and credit unions cannot charge the debtor a garnishment fee unless there are more unprotected funds than protected funds when the account review takes place. Also, the bank or credit union can only charge a garnishment fee to a person who gets federal benefits if the bank or credit union routinely charges all its customers this type of fee. The fees for people with protected benefits must be the same as fees other customers who do not get these types of benefits pay.

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Jeffrey B. Lampert

Posted

Two items: First, thank YOU for providing the regulation. I was aware of the financial institution having the obligation to research and in its response to the Writ advise how much of that was SS or VA benefits, but was not aware that the bank had to allow the account holder access to the funds. Second, I am not sure that I would recommend that you title the vehicle in both names. It could be deemed a fraudulent conveyance as much as if you just sold it to her for $1.00. Now, there may be probate and estate planning purposes involved, and so perhaps a consultation with an estate planning attorney now in TX would be appropriate.

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