Garnishment in Texas

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by heather, Aug 18, 2001.

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  1. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    I have a collection agency that is riding me hard, and I do believe they will sue. From what I understand, if a judgement is filed against a person in Texas, the collection agency cannot garnish a paycheck, but they can garnish your bank account? I have been garnished before, and they collection agency got about 30% of our salary, nearly killed us. This was in another state though. Would this mean that they could take whatever they wanted from my bank account any time a deposit was made? Has anyone ever had this happen in Texas?
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    I live in Texas, and I am pretty confident that a collection agency themselves can't garnish anything. It would be scary if they could....
    Now if a court makes a judgement against you, then that is a different story. I am not sure what can happen in that situation. Maybe someone has personal experience with that?
  3. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    I don't understand how you could stop them from getting a judgement against you so that they could garnish you. If you are sued by a collection agency and you owe the debt how is it possible they could not get a judgement? I just don't understand all of this crap. The hospital decided I was not making my payments on time, so sent me to collections, got some nasty letters from them.
  4. MikeB

    MikeB Banned

    If it is a collection agency that is harrassing you, send them a cease and desist letter (do a search for one) to stop contacting you. Collection agencies talk tough to scare you. I would only communicate with the original creditor. Call them and tell them to work out a payment plan with you. Back up everything in writing. If you make regular payments, I would find it hard for them or the collection agency to get a judgement awarded against you. Also, even if you can't make full payments, make a partial payment to show you are trying to make good on the debt. If it is a large sum of money, I would contact a lawyer for advise. You can probably find one that offers a free initial consultation. Good Luck.
  5. Trade4Livn

    Trade4Livn Well-Known Member


    In Texas there is no wage garnishment for any debt except for the following circumstances:

    Child Support
    Certain Federal Taxes
    Government Backed Student Loans

    For confirmation of this check out the CCCS-Gulf Coast site and look under Consumer Rights....hopes this helps.

  6. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    I know, but they can garnish your bank account from what I have found, and that is what I am worried about.
  7. Trade4Livn

    Trade4Livn Well-Known Member


    If the CA gets a judgement on you then they may be able to satisfy that judgement by withdrawing funds from your account. However, that is not wage garnishment, it is simply exercising their right to collect on a judgement. I wonder why you are so sure that they intend to sue you. You must know that it takes quite some time and effort for them to pursue this remedy. Have they filed legal action against you as of yet? What is the amount owed and the reason that you believe that this CA will be successful?
  8. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    I never stated that it was wage garnishment, it is also considered a garnishment when they take from your bank account. The debt is about $1300, there is another sue happy collection agency that sues no matter what the amount is.
  9. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member


    You could do a validation set of letters out to them. They have to stop collection on the account until validation (they can still sue)...

    If they don't respond to the set of letters at least you'd have some sort of defense...

    If you keep as is you have no defense

    If you really think they're going to sue you... why not work out a lump sum payment in exchange for full deletion?

    It's a better solution all around. A collection account is always better than a judgment.

    But if you do sit around til they get a judgment... if you really trust someone you could always close your accounts (or leave $10 if you want to keep the account open) and put your money through someone else's account... or go cash/ money order.

    choice is yours. You have time right now to take action and plan. use it wisely :)
  10. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    I sent for validation already, and I got it.
  11. IncomeHelp

    IncomeHelp Well-Known Member

    Play it safe. Stop any direct deposits. Keep only the minimum amount you need in the bank. Use money orders until you get this under control. They will have to get a judgement before they can serve your bank accounts so you have some time. It hurts big time to find your accounts frozen and about to be sent to the attorney or collection agency.
  12. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    How did you get the validation and what did it consist of?

    If you didn't get it Certified return receipt requested they can't prove you ever got it.

    And if they can't prove you got it then send them an estoppel letter. You can find one here on this forum although it was posted a long time ago.

    See what happens then. I sure won't guarantee you will even get an answer out of them, but it can't do you any harm to see what they do then. Might put a hitch in their git-along if they really believe that you can do something if they don't stop. You can't that I know of, but they just might get spooked over it and do somethng foolish.

    Personally, although I've sent out tons of them, I've never had them even bother to answer me back on one yet. I've gotten another demand for payment after that on some occasions but they never mention having received the estoppel, which is just fine with me. I could care less.
  13. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    Our paycheck comes direct deposit, there is no option to receive a paper check. They did not send the validation certified and it was just a big sheaf of medical bills.
  14. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    Remember Silver Collections we talked about? The sol only has one year left, I am hoping to wait them out until then. The collection agency I am talking about now has pissed me off, I sent them a check back with the contract for payment, it was never cashed, so I missed the first month, according to them, and then made the next two payments. I spoke with the hospital and asked why they would turn it over to collections when I was paying and they searched their records and do not have a record of the first payment and I checked my bank, it was not cashed. They told me if they cashed the first check they could help me, but I was on my own if they did not. We had talked about me paying you to work on one of these, could this one be a candidate?
  15. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I don't see why not.

    But one thing that I would like some comment on from some of the other people on the board is this. It seems to me that if they cashed any check then that would bind them to whatever agreement might have been made, good-bad-indifferent.

    That is one point I am not at all sure about, and I seriously doubt that it would make any real difference in the context of what happens if you really do decide to fight them because once you sstart to fight, the agreements are going to get broken anyway. And they claim that it already has been broken if I understand you correctly. So the point I am trying to get the opinon of others on here really wouldn't seem to make much difference in this case, but it might in some future situation. So for that reason, I'm asking the opinions of others.

    But yes, if you want to fight them over this deal, then it's as good as any other so long as you have not paid them in full.

    Seems to me that they are telling you they really don't want to settle the way you are telling it.
  16. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    I have a little knowledge of this from my experience as a Child Support Enforcement Officer.

    In Texas wages cannot be garnished for a debt, and even in the case of child support it is very difficult.

    Financial accounts can be garnishes, however, the order to garnish the account is only effective on the funds available in the account on the day it is served upon the bank. The funds are then held in most jurisdictions by the bank for 10-14 days and you are allowed an opportunity to respond to the court to contest the garnishment (this is basically to protect any funds in a joint account in which the joint party is not a party to the particular debt). As an example:

    ABC collections has a judgement and gets a garnishment order from the court on your bank account. The order is served on the bank on 1 Jan. The total funds in the account 1 Jan are $100.00. On 2 Jan your paycheck of 1000.00 is deposited. The garnishment only applies to the $100.00.

    In most jurisdictions every time a financial account is garnished it requires a separate order from the court (i.e. 1 Jan and 5 Jan, require separate orders). Even if the collector has your information for your account and is able to determine the amount in your account on a specific date, they may not be able to serve the garnishment in time to get the full amount they believe is available.
  17. jshimmer

    jshimmer Well-Known Member

    Get a new account for your direct deposits, and add another name (unrelated to the garnshment/debt) -- they will then have many more problems trying to take money from that account -- there's no way to tell who's money it is, and when they take money from an account that your mother, for example, has her name on, it's time for a big lawsuit festival ...
  18. Crdt Dfnse

    Crdt Dfnse Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the others will pardon me if I missed something, but wage garnishment is prohibited in Texas (Constitution XVI §28): period, no wiggle-room, no ifs-ands-or-buts! This means the judgment creditor could not attack pay from your employer, but may attempt to capture other funds. Technically, if you have direct deposit and a judgment order is received for bank funds? There may be some argument to be had, if directly deposited wages are attacked (taken from your account).

    Forget trying to play the shell game with bank accounts, Texas Constitution is clear about this issue. So do yourself a favor and seek the help of a Texas attorney, expressly to help you counter any attacks on your bank account. It would be money well spent.

    The court probably wonâ??t do much unless the matter is pleaded, petitioned properly. If youâ??re not skilled in this area, a few hundred dollars in lawyer costs can save much more (and you may get attorney fees back from any offending judgment creditor too).
  19. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Heather, most of the advice you are receiving here is very valid, most notably that given by Anthony.

    Not to disparage any of those who have advised you so far, I must comment that by far that given you by Anthony is outstanding and should be well taken and heeded.

    In addition to that, I beleive that you should go after both Silver Collections as we discussed on the phone at an earilier date and this one of which you speak as well.

    Doing so should not affect what an attorney would do for you in any way, and very well may enhance what he might be able to do for you. In otherwords, you may very well be able to give him some extra ammunition to fire at them in addition to what he might normally do.

    One of the best ways of all is to help an attorney with whatever ammunition and evidence you can come up with and being able to show your attorney how the adversary has broken the law, exactly what law(s) the adversary has broken and how they may have violated your rights just gives them extra ammunition to work with then let him take it from there.

    If you wish to discuss that a bit more you can always call me again or email me.

    Best of luck.
  20. Crdt Dfnse

    Crdt Dfnse Well-Known Member

    While I appreciate the kind although covering words, let me ask you a hypothetical? If the collection agent proposed Heather a settlement offer, and she refused it, then made another (counter) offer which was rejected by the agent? Then she turned around and accepted the first offer proposed by the agent. How would these acts â??not affect what an attorney would do â?¦ in any way?â?

    Iâ??m just trying to understand your logic by on one hand advising Heather to â??helpâ? one whom probably doesnâ??t need it; and on the other agreeing with my prior statement. I donâ??t get it, but maybe Iâ??m missing something?
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