Prejudgment Attachment: When and How Can a Creditor Obtain an Attachment Order?
The typical collections process when we receive a new file includes sending a demand letter, filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment, and then beginning post-judgment execution against the debtor’s assets. The process can take several months to more than a year to get to the point where assets can be seized. In some cases, this lengthy process can be devastating to the ability to collect the debt. North Carolina law offers some prejudgment options that can be utilized immediately under the right circumstances. Among these is a prejudgment remedy known as attachment.
Attachment enables a creditor to obtain a court order directing the Sheriff to take possession of the debtor’s property to be applied to the judgment once judgment is entered. This remedy is only available in specific situations, but when it is an option, it provides the creditor protection from a debtor getting rid of all of its assets or fleeing the state prior to a judgment being entered.
The remedy of attachment can be used when the debtor is a non-resident individual or a foreign corporation, is a resident who is fleeing the state or hiding, or is trying to remove, hide, or dispose of property to defraud its creditors. The creditor must file a lawsuit seeking a money judgment and furnish a bond to protect the debtor in the event of a wrongful attachment.
When the circumstances warranting a prejudgment attachment are present, it is imperative that the attorney act quickly to obtain the order so that the Sheriff can take possession of assets before they are gone. The more information that is provided to the attorney, the court, and the Sheriff, the more likely the attachment will be successful.
The attorneys of Vann Attorneys would be pleased to discuss your legal options in further detail. If you have questions about collections strategies and remedies, please contact us.