What Is Service of Process in Texas?

Chloe Meltzer

November 11, 2021

Summary: Worried you're about to get served with a debt collection lawsuit? Learn all about the service of process in Texas.

As defined by the state of Texas, Service of process is “the formal delivery of a writ, summons, or other legal process or notice”. There are numerous Texas statutes that designate the Secretary of State as a process agent and are able to authorize the Secretary of State to accept service on behalf of another person.

Process servers in Texas are responsible for making sure that all of the required documents and citations have been delivered to the right persons. They must also file a “Return Of Citation' form to the local courts. This is considered proof of service.

Service of process in Texas

If you have been sued for a debt in Texas you do need to be officially served with a lawsuit. This service is only considered officially complete once you receive the citation by hand delivery or another authorized means.

In Texas, it is legally required to effectively notify the other party that they have legal action taken against them. This provides the defendant enough time to prepare themselves for court. They also need to be able to secure legal representation and prepare their own defense.

Respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes with SoloSuit.

Who can serve in Texas?

Any neutral party that is over the age of 18 is legally allowed to perform service of process in the state of Texas. Typically though, a professional process server will be employed and they will have received formal training. This allows them to know the laws that dictate this practice and gives them the training to serve. Trained process servers also reduce the margin of error in serving the wrong person or breaking local laws. Otherwise, the serving process may be jeopardized.

When a process server actually serves you with papers, you are not required to sign them, but they may ask you to do this. They are also allowed to ask if you are the name of the person being sued. After you say yes, they will then hand you the documents.

They are required to tell you that what they are handing you is a lawsuit against you and that you are being served. This is the most common type of service for a credit card lawsuit, and you will often be given a type of receipt called a “courtesy copy”, sent through the mail. Despite this, if you did not receive the first service of process then it does not constitute proper service.

Make the right defense the right way with SoloSuit.

What happens a process server can't find you?

If the process server is not able to find you, then the creditor can be issued an order for substituted service under TRCP 106. To be granted this order, the server will need to convince the court that they have made multiple attempts to serve you without success. In this case, they will be allowed to leave the documents with anyone that is over the age of 16. This must be at your residence, attached to your front door, or on your doorstep.

Because of this part of the serving laws in Texas, many people wind up being considered “served” when they never received the lawsuit. It can even occur when the process server gives the lawsuit to the wrong person or leaves it on the door of your previous address. If this occurs, then the creditor will be awarded a default judgment. This means that you will need to go to court and prove that you were never legally served.

Service of process vs. service of subsequent documents

Service of process is a lawful stipulation that involves presenting someone with legal documents. It also requires that person to be notified that there is legal action being taken against them. This law protects defendants and allows them to learn all about their cases to properly defend themselves.

When it comes to the service of subsequent documents, it is a different situation. This process takes place when the defendant is identified as needing to be served, and then receives service of process. Subsequent documents are typically submitted to the court during the trial rather than beforehand. These are pieces of evidence that are used for either side (the plaintiff or defendant). In some cases, these documents won't even be used until the court proceedings are taking place.

Often, these documents won't even be retrieved until the court proceedings are already in session. They can be presented as evidence at any time, the only stipulation is that they must be submitted to the court before being used in a trial.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court