THE POWER OF THE REACH AND APPLY ACTION AS A POST-JUDGMENT REMEDY

An action to reach and apply is a key, and in many cases, indispensible, procedure for the collection of commercial debts. It is an equitable remedy available to creditors to secure and hold for satisfaction of a judgment all forms of property that by law cannot be attached or taken on execution. There are two basis forms of reach and apply actions, statutory and non-statutory. The critical difference between the two is that the non-statutory form can only be implemented where a debt has first been reduced to a judgment in a separate action. A reach and apply action is initiated by filing what is commonly referred to as a "Complaint on a Judgment." Through the reach and apply action, the judgment creditor is able to request a court order restraining the transfer of property, most often money, due from a third party to the judgment debtor. Once the property is "reached," the judgment creditor can then seek an order "applying" the property held by the third party through a direct transfer to the judgment creditor to satisfy the outstanding judgment, thus resulting in the property never touching the proverbial hands of the judgment debtor.

Situations in which Reach and Apply Actions Can Be Most Effective

If a judgment debtor is a contractor, the mere mention of a reach and apply action can often scare the daylights out of a previously "uncooperative" debtor.

David M. Baker, Esq.- your Massachusetts and Rhode Island Commercial Debt Collection Law Attorney!

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