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Pre- vs. post-judgment collections: What is the difference?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2022 | Judgment Collection

When it comes to collecting commercial debt, you have many options. The best path for your situation may depend on several factors. The experienced commercial collection attorneys at Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC have been helping businesses successfully collect outstanding debt since 1994. The first major question we must ask is whether we will pursue an attachment to the debtors assets before we have a judgment from the court, known as a prejudgment attachment. Our other option is to wait until after we receive the judgment from the court, known as post-judgment collection.

The purpose of a prejudgment attachment

When you collect on a debt, you want to ensure that the debtor has the assets to pay you. The best way to do that is to “attach” your claim to a certain asset, such as a bank account, so that the debtor can no longer use that asset for anything else. The sooner you can do this, the better. For that reason, we often pursue these attachments even before the court issues the judgment. Prejudgment attachments come in many varieties, including:

  • Ex parte bank attachments
  • Real estate attachments
  • Personal property attachments
  • Reach and apply injunctions
  • Keeper attachments

Massachusetts courts will not always agree to a prejudgment attachment, however. In that case, you will have to pursue a post-judgment collection tactic.

How do you collect after the judgment?

You still have many collection tools available, even if you must wait until the court issues your judgment. In some cases, the judgment itself will spur the debtor into payment. In other cases, you may still need to fight for your money. In these situations, we will still often pursue an attachment to or seizure of certain property, different types of injunctions or start post-judgment litigation.

Does it matter which one you chose?

Choosing the best path for your situation is a strategic decision and can make a big difference in your outcome. Prejudgment attachments can often save you time and further litigation, meaning you get paid faster and save money on further court costs. If the court will not grant a prejudgment attachment, however, you still have many options. The collections attorneys at Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC can help you discover the most efficient and effective collection method for you.  To schedule an appointment, please call 508-763-6604 or reach out to us online.