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Freezing a debtor’s bank account in order to collect a debt

On Behalf of | May 10, 2022 | Pre-Judgment Attachments

When you need to collect on a commercial debt, freezing the debtor’s bank account can be one of the most effective collection methods available. The technical name for this action is a trustee attachment but is commonly referred to as a bank attachment. If approved by the court, your bank attachment sets aside money from your debtor’s bank accounts in order to pay your debt. When you take this action before your judgment hearing, we refer to it as a prejudgment attachment. You may also pursue them after your judgment, if necessary.

At Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, our experienced commercial collection attorneys have sought bank attachments countless times to successfully secure payment for our clients. We prefer to apply for ex parte bank attachments prior to judgment so that the money is ready and waiting for our client once we receive the judgment.

What does ex parte mean?

In legal terms, ex parte means you are asking the court to do something without consulting the other side. This can be quite useful if you think the other side may try to spend or hide their money before you receive your judgment. You do not want to alert your debtor of your intentions unless you must. Courts do not automatically approve such actions, however. You must give the court a reason for your belief that the other side will not cooperate.

Identifying your debtor’s bank account

In order to secure a bank attachment, you must identify your debtor’s account on the complaint you file with the court. The account must belong to your debtor. We always recommend that you make copies of every check from your customers so that you can later track their information, if needed. That way, your collection attorney can list the debtor’s last known bank on your complaint.

Why is it so effective?

When a business owner suddenly finds they cannot access the money in their bank account, they may be much more willing to do whatever is needed to remedy the situation. At Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, we often find that the bank attachment coupled with the fact that our client has hired an aggressive collection firm is enough to spur collection. To discuss how we can help with your collection situation, please call us at 508-763-6604 or send us an online message.