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Prejudgment attachment

In this article you find general information on a prejudgment attachment or seizure on assets or bank accounts.

What is a prejudgment attachment?

A prejudgment attachment (or seizure) is a powerful tool to secure your claim prior to a court ruling and prior to starting the main legal proceedings. If successful, you are secured of the claim being paid when the judge renders a positive court ruling.

Will the opposing be informed about the intent to seize assets?

No, in almost all cases the opposing party will not be informed about the prejudgment attachment. Not about the petition filed at the court to ask permission to seize and also not about the result rendered by the judge if the permission is granted. The opposing party will be informed on the moment the bank accounts or assets are seized.

When can you request a prejudgment attachment?

  1. In the event of a monetary / financial claim;
  2. In the event of a default or a wrongful act which caused damages; or
  3. there is any suspicion/ chance that the company who owes the money (the debtor) might sell their assets (for instance property) or transfers funds from bank accounts as soon as they are involved in legal proceedings.

How does it work?

Our law firm will ask the judge for permission to proceed with the attachment as it comes to the prejudgment attachment. This request can be drafted within a couple of hours (highly depending on how urgent it is to make a quick attachment and of course the complexity of the case). This permission is requested by means of a petition submitted by a lawyer of our firm. In this petition, permission to make a prejudgment attachment is requested on your behalf. The petition must state why you wish to make a prejudgment attachment (the claim must be substantiated), why the prejudgment attachment is necessary and what you wish to have preserved. The amount seized can be up to the full amount claimed + 30% for costs and interest.

In most cases the court will decide within 24 – 48 hours if the permission to seize assets and/or bank accounts is granted or not. After the judge has given permission for the precautionary seizure, the bailiff can proceed with the seizure. Once the assets or bank accounts are seized, the debtor cannot sell the assets or transfer funds from blocked amount on the bank account.

Initiation (main) legal procedure and prejudgment attachment

As the person or company levying the attachment, you are obliged to initiate a legal procedure, in which you ask the court for a ruling on the conflict including the claim under which the attachment has been made.

What happens after the decision in the legal proceedings?

If the court grants the claim, the attachment becomes enforceable. This means you can sell the seized assets or claim money at the bank regarding seized bank accounts. If the court rejects the claim, the attachment from the prejudgment attachment becomes null and void. In addition, you could be held liable for the damage caused by the seizure.

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