It’s an unfortunate truth that many people refuse to pay what they owe, and some may even resort to dishonest measures in order to move the assets or money that they owe you out of your reach. In situations like these, it may be necessary to file for a prejudgment writ of attachment when you begin your collection action against them in order to provide yourself and your company with an extra measure of financial protection.
What can it do for me?
A prejudgment writ of attachment is an order by the court that places a lien on the defendant’s assets that are the subject of the lawsuit. The local sheriff typically serves notice of the writ of attachment on the defendant and/or takes possession of the assets in question. If necessary, the sheriff may also appoint a keeper to oversee and enforce the attachment. For example, if you have sufficient evidence of fraud or intent to conceal assets or proof of potential bankruptcy pleadings, the court can order the sheriff to take possession of the debtor’s bank accounts or other assets pending the outcome of the litigation.
The purpose of this attachment is to stop the defendant from giving away or selling the attached property. That way, if your collection action is successful, you are sure to have property to collect, since the defendant will not be able to move the property out of reach of the court.
What is the process for obtaining one?
After your attorney files your initial complaint and serves the defendant with notice of your lawsuit, your attorney can petition the court to issue the writ of attachment. Then the court will hold a hearing to determine whether you have sufficient grounds for the writ to be issued.
The court will consider several factors to determine whether a writ of attachment is appropriate in your situation. For example, the court will decide whether you are likely to succeed on your claim, and whether the property in question is a type of property that is eligible for attachment. They will make sure that the estimated value of the property satisfies the statutory minimum requirement for attachment.
A prejudgment writ of attachment can be one of your most powerful tools for ensuring your ability to collect on unsecured debts. If you qualify for one, and if the situation calls for one, it can give you greater leverage and a wider array of options as your collection action proceeds. A skilled and experienced collections attorney can determine the best tactics for your case.