Arresting the debtor in Texas is a course of last resort, but courts use it more than most people believe.
A writ of attachment in Texas is an order issued to law enforcement personnel to arrest the debtor and is issued as a last resort. Arresting the debtor is only used to compel a debtor to comply with a court’s order, normally involving post-judgment discovery. Arresting the debtor has nothing to do with the debtor’s failure to pay the debt.
A writ of attachment will normally only be issued after the debtor has had multiple opportunities to comply with the court’s orders. Writs of attachment are most often issued when the judgment debtor simply doesn’t show up for hearings.
Once the writ is issued, the debtor will be arrested and brought to court. The court will notify us that the debtor has been arrested and is being held in either the county jail or the courtroom. We then go to court and a hearing is held on the debtor’s contempt. We often resolve, not just the discovery issues, but the entire case at the hearing following the arrest of the debtor. We find that once a debtor ceases communication we need something to jump start the negotiations and getting arrested frequently restarts the process.
Sometimes, a debtor needs to know you are serious and this process delivers that message very clearly.