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How to Enforce Foreign Judgments in Massachusetts

by | Jul 15, 2018 | Business Debt Collection, Massachusetts Debt Recovery

When it comes to the law, unless you’re a lawyer, things can get very complicated very quickly. Keeping that in mind, the following lines are going to answer some of the most common questions that people have regarding foreign judgments and how to enforce foreign judgments in Massachusetts.

What is a Foreign Judgment?

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at what foreign judgments are and why they are so important. In the US, a foreign judgment is either a domestic judgment from any of the other states or an international judgment, which means, a judgment that’s been made in another country. When it comes to domestic judgments, they are covered by a ‘Full Faith and Credit’ language that’s under Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States. Effective April 1, 2019 Massachusetts adopted the Uniform Enforcement of the Foreign Judgment Act, which basically identifies the requirements and procedures that go into the enforcement of a domestic foreign judgment, Massachusetts also allows commencing a new suit on the judgment. On the other hand, when it comes to international judgments, they are mainly governed by a principle of comity and by various treaties, which is why you need a qualified collections lawyer such as, Alan M. Cohen by your side to make sure you get paid.

Needless to say, any international judgment comes along with an array of complexities that need a qualified collections lawyer to help you navigate through so that you can get the money that’s owed to you. If you have managed to obtain a judgment in some other state (other than Massachusetts) or another country, and the debtor’s assets are located in Massachusetts, then chances are that unless you domesticate your judgment in Massachusetts  you won’t be able to enforce what your jurisdiction has granted under law. That said it doesn’t really matter where you reside, as long as you have an experienced and qualified foreign judgment collections lawyer such as Alan M. Cohen by your side, to guide you every step along the way to maximize your ability to collect your accounts receivables as soon as possible. 

Domesticating a Foreign Judgment

Massachusetts offers two paths to domesticating foreign judgments. The first is through the enactment of the Uniform Foreign Judgment Enforcement Act which requires the filing of an exemplified judgment, an affidavit complying with the statute and a filing fee. The court will then give notice to the defendant and after thirty days will enter the judgment. The second path allows the judgment creditor seeking judgment collection to file a new suit on the foreign judgment. Unlike the registration path, the creditor does not have to wait thirty days to begin attempting to seize assets. Once our aggressive collections attorneys investigate what assets your debtor has in Massachusetts, when appropriate they will seek to attach those assets ex parte or without notice to the debtor thereby hopefully providing a means for judgment collection.

How to Enforce a Judgment

Once your foreign judgment is domesticated by Attorney Alan M. Cohen, then you have the same rights as other Massachusetts judgment holders when it comes to enforcing a Massachusetts judgment. There are many debtors who simply choose to ignore these types of judgments, and prefer to hide away their assets while the attorneys keep sending them “persuasive letters” urging them to pay off their outstanding payments. But, the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, operates differently. Once you have hired experienced, relentless, aggressive and ethical Massachusetts  collections lawyer  Alan M. Cohen, the first thing that will happen is that he will move to not just identify, but also freeze the assets of the judgment debtor before even obtaining a Massachusetts judgment. This is achieved by being relentless with the debtor and using aggressive and effective techniques and other tactics to attempt to ensure that your debtor and their assets do not escape the judgment that you have obtained. More importantly, the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, is able to achieve all that while remaining within the boundaries of the law. 

With the help of pre-judgment and post judgment attachments our top rated Massachusetts collections attorneys diligently seek to attach your debtor’s assets, whether located in a bank, investment institution or real estate. After domestication of the judgment by either means, our collections attorneys don’t stop. They aggressively fight to get judgment satisfaction — get you paid — by having a local deputy sheriff liquidate your debtor’s non-exempt assets.

Law can be a complex and complicated area to navigate through, which is why, at Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, we have experienced and qualified Massachusetts collections lawyers who work with clients who are either out of state or out of the country. At Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, we don’t just handle court dates so that you don’t have to, we are dedicated to do everything within our power to collect the money that you are due  whether in the enforcement of your Massachusetts judgment or your foreign judgment enforcement. In other words, we work diligently to try to cover you from every angle when it comes to foreign judgment enforcement.

Another unusual aspect of the law regarding how to enforce a judgment in Massachusetts is that in order to enforce your judgment, the creditor often needs a ‘Writ of Execution’ or a WOE from the court. You are entitled as a matter of right to an execution within one year of judgment. If it is beyond one year, then a motion to obtain an execution is required.  If this sounds complicated to you, wait till you see the rest of the text regarding this particular law. This is yet another reason why it will be wise to hire an experienced collections lawyer to deal with your foreign judgment in Massachusetts.  Because only a Massachusetts collections lawyer who focuses is collections and foreign judgment enforcement will be able to provide you with the services you need to make sure you get paid by your debtor.

To find out more about the different ways in which we help our clients with their foreign judgments in Massachusetts, please feel free to contact Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, today at www.collections-law.com, or contact us at 508-763-6604. You can also email us at [email protected].