Turnover is the remedy provided by Texas law which entitles the judgment creditor to aid from the courts through injunction or other means, to satisfy its judgment if the judgment debtor owns nonexempt property that cannot readily be levied on or attached by ordinary legal process.
The court may order the judgment debtor to turn over property that is in the judgment debtor’s possession or subject to its control. The court may also appoint a receiver and grant the receiver authority to take possession of the property, sell it, and pay the proceeds to the judgment creditor toward satisfaction of the judgment. The turnover procedure is typically used to obtain accounts receivable, property located outside the state, rents and property being secreted by the judgment debtor.
The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 31.002 provides:
a) A judgment creditor is entitled to aid from a court of appropriate jurisdiction through injunction or other means in order to reach property to obtain satisfaction on the judgment if the judgment debtor owns property, including present or future rights to property, that:
(1) cannot readily be attached or levied on by ordinary legal process; and
(2) is not exempt from attachment, execution, or seizure for the satisfaction of liabilities.
(b) The court may:
(1) order the judgment debtor to turn over nonexempt property that is in the debtor’s possession or is subject to the debtor’s control, together with all documents or records related to the property, to a designated sheriff or constable for execution;
(2) otherwise apply the property to the satisfaction of the judgment; or
(3) appoint a receiver with the authority to take possession of the nonexempt property, sell it, and pay the proceeds to the judgment creditor to the extent required to satisfy the judgment.
(c) The court may enforce the order by contempt proceedings or by other appropriate means in the event of refusal or disobedience.
(d) The judgment creditor may move for the court’s assistance under this section in the same proceeding in which the judgment is rendered or in an independent proceeding.
(e) The judgment creditor is entitled to recover reasonable costs, including attorney’s fees.
(f) A court may not enter or enforce an order under this section that requires the turnover of the proceeds of, or the disbursement of, property exempt under any statute, including Section 42.0021, Property Code. This subsection does not apply to the enforcement of a child support obligation or a judgment for past due child support.
(g) With respect to turnover of property held by a financial institution in the name of or on behalf of the judgment debtor as customer of the financial institution, the rights of a receiver appointed under Subsection (b)(3) do not attach until the financial institution receives service of a certified copy of the order of receivership in the manner specified by Section 59.008, Finance Code. (h) A court may enter or enforce an order under this section that requires the turnover of nonexempt property without identifying in the order the specific property subject to turnover.
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