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Sister State Judgments

The collection attorneys of The Dushkin Law Firm enforce and collect in Texas money judgments that have been rendered by courts in other states.  (Out of state judgments are often referred to as “sister state judgments”.)  Most out of state judgments are enforceable in Texas under Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the “full faith and credit” clause.   The Texas Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA) provides a streamlined process for domesticating sister state judgments and federal judgments in Texas.  Our attorneys are well versed in the use of the UEFJA because it is usually the most cost-effective method for domesticating sister state judgments as Texas judgments.  On occasion, a judgment does not meet the UEFJA’s requirements, and it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit to domesticate the out-of-state judgment.  Although this is more costly and time consuming than proceeding under the UEFJA, in most cases, our collection attorneys will be able to use summary judgment procedures to avoid the expense of a trial.

Once the sister state judgment is domesticated in Texas, our collection attorneys will assist our clients in the collection of the judgment.  Our collection attorneys will work with our clients to develop a practical and cost-effective action plan for collection, so that our clients understand their options and can make sensible business choices regarding the collection.

Although the handling of each case will depend on the specific facts of the case, our attorneys typically have a variety of tools to collect judgments, including obtaining judgment liens against any non-exempt real property the debtor owns, engaging in post-judgment discovery of the whereabouts, type and value of the debtor’s assets that can be sold to satisfy the judgment, requesting that the constable or sheriff execute on the debtor’s known or discovered non-exempt assets and negotiating with the debtor for payment of the judgment.   Although results will vary depending on the facts, just taking these collection steps will often persuade a debtor to negotiate for a settlement or payment plan to satisfy the judgment.

Our attorneys will also use post-judgment remedies and proceedings to reach a judgment debtor’s non-exempt assets.  Depending on the facts of the case, we can pursue such remedies as applying for post-judgment garnishment, turnover orders, receivership, or charging orders.  (Garnishment reaches non-exempt property held by third parties that is owed to or owned by the debtor, such as a bank account.  Turnover orders are court orders directing a debtor to turn over property that cannot be levied upon by ordinary processes, such as a right to future receivables.  The Texas turnover statutes also allow for the court to appoint a receiver to receive, manage, and liquidate the debtor’s non-exempt assets.  Charging orders will give a creditor a right to receive any distributions that might otherwise be made to the debtor by a partnership or limited liability company in which the debtor owns an interest.)  Our collection attorneys can also handle the fraudulent transfer (also known as a voidable transfer) lawsuit that may be available to reach assets transferred by the debtor to third parties.

Depending on the facts of the collection, The Dushkin Law Firm may provide legal representation on either an hourly or contingency fee basis.  (In our usual contingency fee arrangement, the client will be responsible for paying court costs and other expenses.)  Please feel free to call and discuss your specific collection needs with one of our attorneys.  With certain exceptions, our practice is limited to the collection of judgments exceeding $10,000.