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How a Foreign Judgment Is Enforced in Massachusetts

If you are an out-of-state business dealing with a delinquent debtor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it’s a much more straightforward process than you might think to domesticate your judgment. However, it is still an uphill battle to have such a judgment enforced. Without a timely and efficient plan in place to enforce judgments, you could likely miss out on the monies owed to you, with your debtor feeling no sense of urgency to repay the outstanding accounts receivable.

The experienced  Massachusetts collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC will fight tooth and nail on your foreign judgment case, from the domestication process all the way up until the judgment is enforced and you get paid, or no one else can get you paid. Thanks to over 45 years of combined experience with domesticating and enforcing foreign judgments, we know which methods are likely to yield the best results and when is the best time to use them. 

Attachment of Assets

In many instances, we find preparing and seeking prejudgment and post-judgment attachments on your debtors’ assets to be an effective means of ensuring that you can collect on the judgment that you have won. We may seek to place an attachment on your debtor’s bank accounts, personal property, and/ or real estate. These attachments can be done either with notice or ex parte and can provide a means by which to immediately collect any outstanding monies once you have won your judgment. By no means is it an entitlement to the liquid assets that we attach; it merely serves as a hold so that something is there for you to collect once we help you come out victorious.

Another attachment we may implement is called a keeper attachment, where the sheriff can take custody of your debtor’s cash. Such an attachment helps to level the playing field when dealing with especially difficult debtors, but more often than not can only be done with notice. When evaluating your case, we may determine that using a keeper attachment is a sound method of enforcing your foreign judgment.

Supplementary Process

In some cases, we may have to turn to supplementary process in order to force your debtor’s hand if they are persistent in their refusal to pay. In such an instance, we force your debtor into court to determine any available assets that they may have hidden. If the debtor declines to appear in court or refuses any payment order that comes from the appearance, they may be subject to a bench warrant for the debtor’s arrest. It’s one of the most aggressive and relentless methods of enforcing your judgment in our arsenal, and also one of the most effective.


At the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC, we may opt for an operating or liquidating receivership when it comes to enforcing your foreign judgment. Under this method, a third party is given control of your debtor’s business, including their assets. While your case is not the center of attention with this method (the third party must represent all creditors that are currently dealing with your debtor), it serves as a clear message to your debtor that the time has come to pay up, or else they could be looking at severe repercussions.

Reach and Apply Injunctions

In many cases, the experienced collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC opt for reach and apply injunctions as a means of forcing your debtor to pay what is owed. Such a scenario involves inserting yourself as a “middleman” where your debtor’s debtors will pay you directly, both cutting off your debtor’s stream of income and providing a solidified way for you to receive the monies to which you are entitled. The most common result of such an injunction is for your debtor to enter negotiations for a repayment plan, thereby having your judgment enforced.

The Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC Will Fight For You

With over 45 years of experience in commercial debt recovery, the aggressive, relentless, and ethical collections attorneys at the Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen LLC will leave no stone unturned in the fight to get you paid. Debt collection favors the swift, so turn to a team of attorneys who will move quickly throughout the process and won’t give up until you are paid, or it is impossible for you to get paid. If you are an out-of-state creditor seeking to collect on your judgment on a debtor under Massachusetts jurisdiction, call (508) 620-6900 or email today to find out how we can help domesticate and enforce foreign judgments.

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