Sometimes You Can Take Their House
Collecting divorce judgments in Texas has become something of a hobby for us.
In many cases one party is awarded money to equalize the Propeerty between the divorcing parties.
In one of our cases the Court entered a Final Decree of Divorce dissolving our client’s marriage to the debtor and dividing the Marital Estate. In the Final Decree of Divorce, the Court awarded our client a substantial sum of money as her share of what is known as a “community reimbursement.” To secure the award of the community reimbursement the Court granted our client an Equitable Lien against the home that the client and her (now) ex-husband occupied.
The client went to several lawyers trying to collect this community reimbursement. Each of them treated the debt as a traditional judgment and refused to pursue the equitable lien because the lien was held against the ex-husband’s homestead. Homesteads in Texas are exempt from judgment. However, an equitable lien awarded in a divorce can be foreclosed and so when the client retained us we filed a motion to enforce/foreclose the lien.
On the courthouse steps we settled the matter for payment in full of the amounts due. We have no idea why other attorneys were unwilling to seek foreclosure, but it was clearly the answer to collecting this debt.