Abstract of Judgment in Texas
After a judgment is rendered in Texas, the judgment creditor may file an Abstract of Judgment. This document is filed publicly and summarizes the judgment and creates a lien against all “ non exempt property ” that you own in the county where the abstract was filed.
The abstract usually contains all of the relevant judgment information, such as the total amount of the judgment, costs, attorney’s fees and post judgment interest that was awarded.
The abstract of judgment becomes important because a title company will likely discover the abstract when doing a title search. Thus, any real property transaction will likely be held up if an abstract of judgment is filed against you. The title company will likely require a release of the abstract.
If you have properly filed your homestead exemption on your home, the lien does not technically attach but it can still cloud title on the homestead. Most title companies will refuse to give you clear title unless you obtain a partial release of the judgment.
A recent amendment to the Texas Property Code allows you to file your own partial release to clear title to your homestead without having to pay the judgment creditor anything. We have assisted in helping many consumers file this partial release and we may be able to assist you for a flat fee.
In Texas, a judgment can appear on your credit report for 10 years or longer. This will likely show up in the “public record” section of your credit report. Texas law provides that a judgment is only good for 10 years but it can be renewed by
the creditor for another 10 years so this is why it can report perpetually.
If you discovered a judgment on your credit report or when you tried to sell or re-finance property that you didn’t know about then you may have grounds to file a Bill of Review in Texas . A Bill of Review is an aggressive way to attack the judgment. Basically you are filing a lawsuit against the creditor to try and get the judgment vacated. The primary grounds for a Bill of Review in Texas are that you were not properly served with process.
If you were properly served, you may still be able to settle the judgment. A satisfied judgment on your credit report is better than a judgment that is unsatisfied and owed. Also, if you obtain the proper release from the creditor, you will not have to worry about future collection attempts from the creditor.
You should also be aware of what exactly a judgment creditor can do to you in Texas because the judgment appearing on your credit may not be the biggest issue. Please read my article on Judgment Liens in Texas for more information on some of the aggressive collection tactics that judgment creditors take as well as my article on Post Judgment Discovery.
If you have a judgment that was rendered against you, please contact the law firm of Weston Legal PLLC by calling, emailing, or completing the contact form on this page. We offer flat fees and payment plans.
Michael Weston provides Judgment Defense in all cities of Texas, USA :