The collection of a judgment in Texas begins by first obtaining a Final Non-Appealable Judgment against the defendant/debtor. Without a Final Non-Appealable Judgment, the collection process cannot begin. Once a Final Non-Appealable Judgment is obtained, a document entitled Abstract of Judgment is requested from District Clerk, usually from the Post Judgment Division.
The District Clerk will then issue an Abstract of Judgment. This document allows you to proceed along various courses of the collection. However, the most effective and most reliable means is to file the Abstract of Judgment in the Real Property Records with Real Property Clerk (located within the County Clerk’s Office) of any county in which the defendant/debtor resides or may have property in which the Plaintiff/Creditor may levy upon. This process is called recordation of the judgment in the county Real Property Records. Recordation of the Abstract of Judgment in the county Real Property Records will also alert any title company to the judgment and will cause an interruption in any transfer or sale of real property in that county.
Another means of collection of a judgment in Texas is to execute upon the judgment. This process begins by again starting with a Final Non-Appealable Judgment. Once a Final Non-Appealable Judgment has obtained a Writ of Execution is requested from the District Clerk, this also is usually done through the post-judgment division. Once a Writ of Execution is issued from the District Clerk, you now have a document that directs any Sherriff or Constable to levy any non-exempt property owned by the Defendant/Creditor in the county in which you requested the Writ of Execution. The Writ of Execution is then given to the Sherriff or Constable to be served and executed upon, usually within 90 days from the date of issuance. The Sherriff or Constable then takes the Writ of Execution to the address of the defendant/debtor and begins to levy or seize non-exempt property.
The levy or seizure continues until the amount of the judgment is satisfied, plus all cost incurred by the Sherriff or Constable and storage of any goods to later be auctioned to satisfy the judgment. Therefore, the Sherriff or Constable will usually seize up to three times the face judgment amount.
All of these procedures apply to foreign judgments in Texas as well; however, you first must domesticate the foreign judgment in order to make it a Texas Final Non-Appealable Judgment and proceed with the above collection processes.