Dena Standley | October 27, 2022
Summary: When you get sued for a debt in Texas, you can check your case status and get access to your case records at the courthouse or online (in most counties). The first step to beating debt collectors in court is to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer. Use SoloSuit to draft and file your Answer in just 15 minutes.
Debt collectors always hope that consumers will not follow up on their cases or fail to show up in court so that they get a favorable judgment. Today, we will help you burst their bubble by assisting you in preparing for court. We will explain how Texas’s judicial system works and how you can access your court records.
Despite Texas having the highest number of counties of any state in America, at 254, the state government has made it fairly easy for its citizens to access their court records online or by visiting the courthouse where the case is filed. This information is good news for consumers facing a debt collection case because accessing your case records can help you prepare for court.
Below, we’ll explain how to access your Texas court case records. But first, let’s break down the Texas court system.
When you know what type of court has jurisdiction over your debt lawsuit, it will be easier for you to find your court case records and stay updated on your case status. Since debt collection lawsuits are considered civil cases, we will focus on the Texas civil court structure in this section.
Texas has a relatively complex court structure compared to other states. The various levels ensure they offer optimal services to all counties—considering it the second most populated state, with approx 29.5 million people. The following are the various courts that handle civil cases and a summary of their jurisdictions.
The graphic below further outlines the Texas court structure:
Your debt collection case will be heard in your county’s Justice Court, County Court, or District Court, depending on the amount in question. It’s likely that the case is filed in the small claims division. The judges fast-track cases at this level, and you may receive a judgment before 60 days are over. Hence, respond to your debt collection lawsuit immediately and prepare to argue your case.
You’re probably thinking you need to hire an attorney to represent you in your debt collection case. Finding a lawyer can be stressful and expensive. Save yourself the anxiety and money by representing yourself with SoloSuit’s help.
Check out this video to learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Texas:
Finding your case number is easy, thanks to the numbering system every court in Texas uses. When your creditor approached the court, the court clerk assessed their matter and assigned it a number. This number is derived from the year the case was filed, the case type, the court's name, and the sequential number for civil claims for that year.
To find your case number, you can either visit the courthouse and make a formal request to the court custodian or go to your county’s online public access portal and look for it using the name search option. See the list of counties below.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Example: Brandon was sued for an $800 credit card debt in Texas by a debt collector called RGS Financial. After doing some research online, Brandon learned that the statute of limitations on his debt had expired just a few weeks ago and that the RGS Financial had no legal right to sue. He used SoloSuit to draft and file a response to the case. In his Answer document, Brandon added the expired statute of limitations as one of his affirmative defenses. Then, Brandon went used the Bexar County case search portal to track the status of his case. After a few months, the case was dismissed.
Viewing your court records at any time can help ease the pressure of appearing in court—you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Let's examine the two main ways you can access your court records: at the courthouse or online.
Making a trip to the courthouse is a viable option if you won't be going off your regular schedule or cause delays in your other activities. The initial step to accessing your records is to find the court’s location.
Use the Texas courts directory to search for your courthouse contact information by entering the county in which you live and the type of court your case is filed into. You'll immediately access the physical address, phone number, and website link.
At the courthouse, you may be required to complete a written request, and the information you give will be used to locate your file. Usually, you can just ask the court clerk to search your records for you. Ensure the details you give are accurate, including the spelling of your name. Notably, some courthouses also provide public self-service terminals to search for the records by yourself.
The online method gives you instant access to your court records. The easiest approach is to use your case number because other options, such as party search, case status search, and attorney search, require you to enter more details. However, you’ll still end up with your case records regardless of the option chosen.
The appellate courts have a site-wide search portal for all appeals, while the other courts have an online public access search portal provided at the county level. The following is an exhaustive list of the court case access portal to each county in Texas (if your county is not listed, there is no online access portal):
SoloSuit is committed to assisting debtors in managing their debt situation by providing helpful information through our youtube videos and hundreds of debt-specific blog articles. We also have documents that you can use to respond to creditors at every stage of your collection process. These documents include a Debt Validation Letter, an Answer, a Motion to Compel Arbitration, and the SoloSettle tool. Visit our page and let SoloSuit help you.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
"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
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.