Oftentimes, lawsuits can take many months, if not years, to resolve. In that time span between when suit is brought and judgment is entered, a defendant may try to put his or her assets beyond the reach of the plaintiff and the court. It becomes impossible to satisfy the claim and the judgment becomes worthless.
This is less of an issue where the suit is based on a debt, which is secured, such as with a real estate mortgage or a lien on a motor vehicle or other personal property.
Still, an unsecured creditor who has no lien on property, or a creditor whose full debt is secured by insufficient property, can find relief before judgment is entered by means of prejudgment attachment.
Under certain circumstances, the court where the lawsuit is pending may impose a lien on property before judgment is even entered.
Prejudgment Attachment Order
In California, a prejudgment attachment order may be entered under limited circumstances, and upon a showing of specific facts. Chief among those, the plaintiff must show entitlement to a judgment on the underlying claim.
Prejudgment attachment may be ordered ex parte, meaning with very short notice to the defendant, if the plaintiff shows that the assets may be unavailable at a later time and the defendant is able to hide, move, or damage his assets.
If you are considering bringing suit to recover money, and believe the defendant might make his assets unavailable, you should consult with our qualified Palm Springs banking law firm as soon as possible.