After an individual has been sucessful in the court and has been awarded a sum of money, it can some times be difficult to actually acquire the judge or jury determined amount. For instance, if a plaintiff sues a defendant for fire damage to her household, and a jury determines that the defendant is responsible in the amount of $300,000.00, what happens when the defendant is unable to pay that amount of money? This is a situation that often occurs in the legal world. Not every defendant, or every matter, has a insurance policy in play that would indemnify the defendant from personally paying funds. In these situations there may be an opportunity to attach the defendant’s real estate to secure the debt that is now owed to the plaintiff.
Real property (or real estate) that is located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be subject to attachment. Attachment is a legal process by which a court of law, at the request of a creditor, designates specific property owned by the debtor to be transferred to the creditor, or sold for the benefit of the creditor. When dealing with attachment of personal property (like items and goods) an officer may take possession of the property immediately. However, when dealing with real estate property, this does not necessarily result in the defendant automatically losing possession. However, once an attachment is made and property recorded at the registry of deeds, the world is put on notice that there is a lien on the property. Continue reading →