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Business Collections and the Satisfaction of Judgments
Some collection efforts are straightforward and once the Court enters a judgment, the creditor’s attorney can attempt to garnish (attach) bank accounts, or place liens on vehicles or real property to satisfy the debt. Sheriff’s deputies will execute a recorded judgment and seize whatever assets it finds which belong to the debtor, only if your attorney knows what to do. These are then sold with proceeds applied to the outstanding debt and costs incurred in collection. Business collections aren’t always that easy though. Often there are insufficient assets on the debtor business’ premises to seize and convert into cash. In these situations the help of an experienced collections attorney is necessary to satisfy your judgment.
As businesses get into financial trouble, they may seek to shelter tangible assets by diverting them to relatives or sending them out of state. They may also rely on multiple bank accounts with the majority of funds being kept in an institution beyond the reach of their own state. All these transactions leave a paper trail, so it’s just a matter of some hard-nosed discovery and persistence to track them down.
Once assets are located in a foreign jurisdiction, attorneys have to file a copy of the creditor’s judgment with the court in that state, which is referred to as domesticating the Judgment. A New York Court will recognize a judgment issued by a Massachusetts Court after the domestication procedure. Our firm has contacts with lawyers in most states who can expedite this process and assist with coordinating local collection efforts. We return the favor and regularly file papers to domesticate foreign judgments in Massachusetts as well as work with the sheriff departments in executing on the domesticated judgment.
If you suspect a debtor is transferring assets, it’s best to seek legal help immediately. There are a number of procedures in place to stop this behavior and prevent fraud. Your debts don’t have to go unpaid even if all substantial property is out of state, so contact us to learn how to follow the funds and get your accounts balanced.
Give us a call or send us an email. There is never a charge to evaluate your claim.