Foreign Judgment Collections

Enforcing your state’s judgment against Texas debtors

Texas law recognizes two methods of enforcing a foreign judgment: (1) filing the judgment in accordance with the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (“UEFJA”), and (2) filing a common law action to enforce the judgment.   A foreign judgment means a judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or any other court that is entitled to full faith and credit in Texas. 

When a judgment creditor proceeds under UEFJA, Chapter 35 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, the filing of the foreign judgment comprises both a plaintiff’s original petition and a final judgment. Walnut Equip. Leasing Co. v. Wu, 920 S.W.2d 285, 286 (Tex. 1996).  

Requirements to domesticate a foreign judgment in Texas:

(1) Final Judgment

Only final judgments are subject to domestication in Texas.  Our firm does not confirm either validity or finality of the judgment in the originating court.    When forwarding a foreign judgment to our office for collection, you are representing that the judgment is valid, final, and enforceable, and that the judgment has not been assigned to a third party.

(2) Exemplified Copy of Foreign Judgment

We need an exemplified copy of the foreign judgment, also referred to as a “triple-sealed” copy, from the court that issued the judgment.   See  28 U.S. Code § 1738.    We sometimes obtain the exemplified copy directly from the clerk in your state.

(3) Last Known Address of Judgment Creditor and Judgment Debtor

At the time a foreign judgment is filed in Texas, the judgment creditor, or its attorney, must file an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor, and  the judgment creditor.  Although we have tools to search debtor’s address, it is helpful to receive address information for creditor and debtor at the beginning of a case.

(4) Any known debtor asset or banking information

Although debtor asset information is not required to domesticate your state’s judgment, asset information is critical to recovery once a Texas judgment is obtained.   We frequently employ the receivership remedy to collect judgments.     It is to creditor’s benefit to provide receiver with as much information as possible about the debtor, including debtor banking information, customers, and business affiliations.