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Can I collect against a Massachusetts debtor if I’m from out of state?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2022 | Foreign Judgment Collection

As a business owner or manager, collecting unpaid debt is likely not your favorite part of your job. At times it may seem frustrating and fruitless. The process becomes even more problematic when your debtor is located in another state. Even if you do achieve a judgment in your own state, you have the added step of needing to domesticate the judgment in the debtor’s state.

As an out-of-state creditor, you do have options for collecting a debt from a debtor in Massachusetts. The experienced commercial collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC regularly assist clients from out of state with the domestication process. The law provides two paths for domesticating this foreign debt, but these paths are by no means equal.

Domestication through registration

Registration is the easier domestication path under the law, but may not be a very strong enforcement tool. To get started, your attorney will file your foreign judgment and affidavit with the court. The court will then notify your debtor of the registration. If the debtor takes no action after 30 days, the court will issue an execution. This allows you to place a levy on the debtors property through a sheriff’s deputy. The downside is that the process can take time and your recovery options are limited to the levy.

Enforcing a judgment through litigation

With the second method, you take your case straight to the court and pursue your money. You do not have to wait the 30 days. You can seek pre-judgment attachments, giving you a wide variety of assets to collect from before you receive your Massachusetts judgement. A pre-judgment attachment identifies specific assets owned by the debtor and secures them for payment.

Contacting a Massachusetts law firm

In order to pursue your collection within the state, you will need an attorney licensed to practice here in Massachusetts. The collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC have been assisting creditors with complex matters in debt collection since 1994. We are prepared to aggressively pursue the money you are owed with skill and efficiency. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office by calling 508-763-6604 or send us an online message.