Judgment Debtor Won’t Pay? Seek an Assignment of Funds Held in Their Attorney’s Trust Account.

January 26, 2011

When faced with a judgment debtor who is a defendant in multiple cases, there is a high probability that they have turned over significant funds to their attorneys from which to pay out settlements in the various matters.

Such was the case with Asbestos Corporation Limited (ACL), a Canadian corporation that is frequently sued in the United States for personal injuries related to, you guessed it, asbestos.

Believing that ACL had deposited significant funds with the Pennsylvania law firm of Goldfein & Joseph, the judgment creditors obtained an assignment order which then allowed them to seek a turnover of funds held by the judgment debtor’s attorneys.

View the assignment order here


Assignment Orders in Federal Court as a Method For Collecting Out of State Assets

December 20, 2010

Assignment orders can be a useful method of collecting assets which are located outside of a court’s immediate jurisdiction. In two recent decisions federal courts held that once the court obtains jurisdiction over a defendant, the court has jurisdiction over property of the defendant located out of state.

In UMG Recordings v. BCD Music Group a judgment creditor sought an assignment of the right to receive payments from third parties, some of whom were located out of state,  to aid in the recovery of a $7.2 million judgment. The court in UMG held that “When a court has personal jurisdiction over an individual defendant, it also has jurisdiction over the defendant’s property.”
View the opinion granting the assignment order here.

In Global Money Management v. Steven B. McDonnald, the judgment debtor opposed a motion for assignment of rights concerning property located out of state.  Citing UMG v. BCD, supra, the court found that “Because the Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant in this matter, the Court has “the power to affect out-of-state property by means of decree, based on personal jurisdiction over the parties, which determines the parties’ personal rights or equities in that property.” Read the full opinion here.

Assignment Orders

December 20, 2010

Assignment orders are one method of reaching monies which are owed to the judgment debtor by third parties.

Below are two assignment orders, the first order is a general assignment of all rights to payment owed to the judgment debtor. This order can be sent to third parties along with a “Pay me, not them letter”.  An additional advantage to assignment orders is that they can be sent to third parties without the need of being formally served by a process server or sheriff.  These orders can be sent out by mail, fax, or even email, meaning that there are much less cost prohibitive.  The second order specifically reaches funds held by factors.

General Assignment Order

Further Assignment Order Reaching Funds Held By Factors

The successful use of an assignment order can often lead to  settlement.