Pre-judgement claims are also known as a pre-judgement writs of attachment. These claims give creditors the ability to place what’s known as a security interest on the personal property of a debtor. Basically, this is a court order to “attach” or seize an asset.  The most common use of pre-judgement claims in the United States is to protect the creditor.

Secure Property at the Beginning of the Court Process

A major concern when collecting debt is whether or not the debtor has the assets available to pay a money judgment. Another concern is whether or not these funds will be available once the court orders a judgment for the creditor.   A big fear when beginning a trial is that the debtor may sell off assets such as real estate, vehicles and other property.  In addition to selling off property, the debtor may also empty bank accounts. They do this in an effort to make it appear they have less assets available than they do.

This writ of attachment allows the creditor to secure property at the beginning of a lengthy court proceeding. This ensures that the debtor cannot misrepresent their ability to repay. And, this way the creditor knows that if the court rules in their favor, the debtor has the assets available to pay the creditor.

Many court cases take several months to resolve. And, some last up to 12 months or more after filing the lawsuit.  This type of security interest or “attachment” gives the debtor a large incentive to resolve his or her debts and secure the creditor’s interest.   Note that courts do not always grant pre-judgements. The ability to obtain a pre-judgement depends on several factors. Some factors include the nature of the legal claim and the laws of your individual state. A pre-judgement is provisional, and it must be obtained before an actual judgment is made and before the trial begins.

How to File Pre-Judgement Claims

In order to get pre-judgement claims, you have to file a claim stating there was a breach of contract.  The claim should show that someone (the debtor) did not repay as they promised (contracted).  In this claim, you will have to prove that a breach of contract occurred.

Once the court grants pre-judgement claims, the court issues an order to local law enforcement officer, sheriff, or agency. This party will seize property that the courts can use to satisfy the debt.  In the United States, a representative of the creditor will attend the officer. He will assist with identifying property to be seized. In addition, they will answer questions the debtor may have.

Local law enforcement agencies generally hold any seized property in trust.  When this occurs, the courts expect the creditor to provide up-front reimbursement for the costs associated with storing the property.  Sometimes the court will name the creditor as the custodian rather than allowing local law enforcement to store the seized property.  In these cases, the creditor must prove that they have secured adequate, pre-paid storage of the assets in question.

Let Howe & Associates Help You Collect

If your lawyer is considering pre-judgement claims, it is likely they want to ensure that you will receive assets the court awards.  This can be a very technical and procedural motion. Your lawyer can help keep you informed on the status and the nature of the documents that are being filed throughout the case. Get help from one of our professional attorneys at Howe & Associates when going through the process of pre-judgement claims.