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UEFJA – Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act

The Texas Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (UEFJA) provides a streamlined process for domesticating out-of-state judgments and federal judgments for collection and enforcement as Texas judgments.  Our attorneys are well-versed in the requirements for domesticating out-of-state judgments  and federal judgments under the UEFJA.  We use the procedures provided by the UEFJA whenever possible because it is usually the most cost-effective method for domesticating sister state judgments in Texas. 

Under the UEFJA, the filing of a properly authenticated copy of a valid judgment, final on its face, in the appropriate court, creates a Texas judgment as of the date of filing.  The judgment creditor must also meet requirements of the UEFJA related to giving notice of the filing to the judgment debtor.  If the filing is properly done, the final judgment will become final and enforceable in Texas thirty days later, unless the judgment debtor files an objection to domesticating the sister state judgment.  The grounds on which a debtor can challenge a final judgment from another state or federal court are limited.  Our collection attorneys handle all aspects of domesticating out of state judgments under the UEFJA for our clients, including responding to debtor objections to domestication.

Once a sister state judgment or federal judgment is successfully domesticated under the UEFJA, it can be collected like any other Texas 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.