When a creditor owes you money, you have many options for how to pursue the debt. The experienced commercial collection attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC have used every method known to Massachusetts law since opening its doors in 1994. Some methods are more common than others. Going after a person’s real estate interests may seem like a straightforward way of collecting debt, but it is not always simple. What can you do if your debtor has an ownership interest in a piece of property, but the title is in someone else’s name? That is where a special real estate attachment comes in.
How does it work?
Our attorneys often use real estate attachments as part of a pre-judgment security strategy. Once your attachment is in place, your interest is secured and will come before any subsequent claims. Then you can pursue your judgment in court, knowing you have protected an asset to pay the debt. Both prejudgment and post-judgment you should also act quickly if you have any reason to believe that the debtor plans to sell or transfer the property. After judgment, you must act quickly to have a sheriff levy your execution within 30 days to secure your spot.
When it comes to a special real estate attachment, your target is an interest in a property to which the debtor does not hold title. A perfect example of this is when a debtor puts property into a trust. Technically, the trust owns the real estate, but the debtor still has an interest. Therefore, you may still be able to pursue your claim against the debtor’s interest in the trust.
In this scenario, you might think that it seems awfully questionable for the debtor to place the property in the trust when they owe money to a creditor. You would be right. Depending on timing and other factors, the court may set aside such a transfer as a fraudulent conveyance.
Could this work for you?
Special real estate attachments are less common than a regular real estate attachment, and not all collections attorneys have experience with them. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC have successfully obtained these for our clients, however. To find out what the best collection method might be for your situation, schedule an appointment with us by calling 508-763-6604 or sending us an online message.