Monday, December 29, 2008

Texas Charging Orders – Collection Devices Available Against Limited Partnerships

Texas Charging orders are an often overlooked collection device. A charging order is a postjudgment collection device, meaning you must have already obtained a judgment in the underlying lawsuit. Charging orders in Texas are discretionary, and the Court does not have to grant one. With a charging order, a creditor can reach a debtor’s interest in a limited partnership. It is basically a lien on the debtor’s partnership interest. Payment to the creditor is ordered out of the debtor’s interest in the partnership. However, the creditor can only receive distributions that the debtor would otherwise receive. For example, if the debtor is a partner in a limited partnership, the creditor can obtain a charging order ordering the partnership to pay any distributions to which the debtor is entitled in the future to the creditor in satisfaction of the Judgment. For judgments obtained prior to September 1, 2007, the Court may, at its discretion, appoint a receiver, foreclose on the interest, and order a sale of the interest. However, due to recent changes in the law, for Judgments obtained after September 1, 2007, the lien against the debtor’s interest is the exclusive remedy. Appointment of a receiver, foreclose on the interest, and ordering the sale of the interest are no longer available.

Note: A charging order in Texas is unavailable against partners of general partnerships but is available against members of limited liability companies.

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