If you've been sued for debt in Texas, and have a judgment against you, the judgment-creditor (the one that has the judgment against you) can find it difficult to collect their judgment. After all, Texas is famous for our "debtor-friendly" exemptions. Exempt property is property that cannot be taken from you to satisfy a judgment for debt.

So, there is a procedure in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code for judgment-creditors to apply and have a "receiver" appointed. A receiver is similar to a bankruptcy trustee. They have powers to liquidate or reduce any of your non-exempt assets to cash, and use it to satisfy the judgment. They can do pretty much anything else that they need to do, to get the judgment paid.

This is under the "turnover" statute. The turnover statute is a way for a court to assist a judgment-creditor to reach judgment-debtor's property that would otherwise be beyond a creditor's reach. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 31.002 (a).  The word "turnover" derives from the trial court judge's ability to order the judgment-debtor to deliver or "turn over" nonexempt assets to an officer or a receiver when the assets cannot readily be attached or levied on by ordinary legal process. 

Recently we had a gentleman wait too long to come see us, and the receiver had served his bank with a turnover order, ordering the bank to send the receiver all of his paycheck, as soon as it was deposited. That's legal. In Texas, wage garnishment for ordinary judgments for debt is not legal, but once the wages are put in the bank, they are considered cash, and are fair game. 

We filed a bankruptcy for this recent client and got the turnover stopped, but he was flat broke for a few days, when if he had only come to see us sooner, it would not have happened at all.

And a turnover is not all that judgment-creditors can do, to try to collect their judgments. They can also get a restraining order to keep you from transferring your property to relatives or friends; they can have your bank or other financial accounts seized under writs of garnishment; and they can sue people  that you have transferred your assets to, to get them back, if you did so with the intent to avoid payment of the judgment.

Here in the Houston area, one firm that specializes in turnover receiverships is Jon Malone LTD. The lawyer is Jon Malone. If you have a judgment against you and Mr. Malone is the receiver, you likely need to act fast, either hire us or another law firm that specializes in debt relief and bankruptcy. These collection attorneys are very competent at what they do, and they want to collect judgments.

To find out your options to get a turnover receivership stopped, call our office 24/7 at 713-772-8037. For more information, request or do an instant download of our Special Report, "How To Deal with Texas Debt Collection Lawsuits! 7 Mistakes That Can Cost You a Lot," which is available on this website.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization