There are several pre-judgment remedies that are available to a creditor to ensure that assets of the debtor, once located, are not removed or dissipated by the debtor before a judgment can be obtained. These remedies are available any time after the lawsuit is filed, and are best obtained immediately after the lawsuit is filed, in order to protect and preserve the debtor's assets and also to leverage the debtor into entering into a settlement. Pre-judgment remedies are as follows:
Attachment of Assets: In connection with the filing of litigation, we will seek the attachment of assets whenever practical, prior to the entry of judgment. Pre-judgment attachment is available in California and many other jurisdictions on commercial claims once the probable validity of an obligation is established. In California, a bond of $10,000 is usually required prior to issuance of the writ. Real property, personal property, and bank accounts may be attached, depending on the jurisdiction. Emergency writs of attachment may be obtained in many jurisdictions, including California, on a 24 hour notice basis upon a proper showing of necessity, but they are the exception and there is a higher standard to obtain one.
Receivership: Under certain circumstances, we may be able to apply to the court to have a receiver appointed to collect the accounts receivable that are being paid to the debtor¡¦s business and have this money held by the receiver pending the outcome of the trial in the lawsuit we have filed for the creditor.
Injunction/ Temporary Restraining Order: We may be able to apply to the court to obtain an order commanding the debtor not to transfer or assign assets, including money in bank accounts and ownership of real and personal property, nor to encumber the equity that the debtor holds in real and personal property.
Once a judgment has been entered against a debtor, we will make written demand for satisfaction of the judgment. If this is unsuccessful, the creditor has several options to enforce the judgment, including the following:
Debtor Examination: We may obtain a court order for the debtor to appear in court to be questioned by us about his income and assets and the order may include a subpoena issued by the court for the debtor to bring documents evidencing his income and assets, including his bank account records, financial statements which he has submitted for loans or lines of credit, credit card records and employment payment records.
Writ of Execution: We can obtain a writ of execution from the court which allows the Sheriff, Marshall or other law enforcement officer to seize the assets of the debtor, once they have been located.
Placement of a Keeper on the Debtor's Business Premises: We can request that the Sheriff or Marshall send their deputy or representative to the debtor's business to collect all accounts receivable payments that arrive there. This is usually for some limited period of days, but often achieves the desired affect of having the judgment debtor enter into a payment plan to pay off the judgment, rather than have the Sheriff or Marshall sit for several days, without notice, in the debtor's place of business and collect all payments that are received.
Recordation of judgment: Once the judgment is entered, we will record the judgment in the office of the County Recorder of whatever county the debtor possibly has assets. This will constitute a lien on any real property that stands in the name of the debtor. We will also file a personal property judgment lien with the Secretary of State in the state were the debtor is likely to have assets. This will provide a lien against any personal property owned by the debtor in that state.