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Writ of Attachment


A writ of attachment is a court order that allows the seizure of an individual’s or entity’s assets during a pending lawsuit. This procedure is frequently used in cases where the plaintiff fears the defendant might dispose of their assets before the judgment is made. The seized assets can later be used to fulfill the payment of a judgment if the plaintiff wins the case.


The phonetics of the keyword “Writ of Attachment” are: Rit əv əˈtæʧmənt

Key Takeaways

Here are the three main takeaways about Writ of Attachment:

  1. Legal Tool for Creditor: A Writ of Attachment serves as a legal tool used predominantly by creditors. It allows them to attach or seize a debtor’s property or assets before a judgment is passed in a court, therefore, ensuring that assets are not transferred or disappear before judgment can occur.
  2. Securing Payment: The Writ of Attachment is typically used as a method to secure the payment of a judgment, in case the debtor doesn’t pay voluntarily. This can provide a creditor with a higher chance of recovering their debt.
  3. Court Supervision: The process of obtaining and executing a Writ of Attachment is supervised by the court. The creditor must be able to present strong evidence to persuade the court that the debtor will not pay his dues voluntary, and that issuing a Writ of Attachment is the only plausible way to secure the owed money.


The Writ of Attachment is an important concept in business and finance as it represents a court order that allows a creditor to seize or ‘attach’ certain assets or pieces of property owned by a debtor, if the debtor fails to satisfy a significant debt. It serves as a legal mechanism to secure the amount in dispute in the event of non-payment of the debt by the debtor. For businesses, it acts as a security measure to ensure that they can recover their debt. Financially, it can impact a debtor’s credit risk assessment, as it may indicate payment defaults. Hence, both for the creditor and debtor, understanding the concept of Writ of Attachment is crucial in managing financial transactions or legal disputes involving claims for money.


The primary purpose of a Writ of Attachment is to serve as a provisional remedy in scenarios involving financial disputes; it’s essentially a tool utilized to secure a plaintiff’s ability to recover monetary damages should they prevail in legal proceedings. Essentially, a court issues a Writ of Attachment at the request of a party (usually the plaintiff) who believes that the other party (the defendant) owes them a debt. This legal document allows a law enforcement official, frequently a sheriff, to seize a particular property of the defendant — the nature of the property often being specified in the writ — to potentially satisfy a future judgment.A Writ of Attachment plays an essential role and serves an important purpose in the financial landscape by ensuring fairness and security for plaintiffs in a legal proceeding, specifically by reducing the risk of defendants who might hide assets or make them inaccessible to evade their responsibilities. Commonly used in business disputes, it prevents a debtor from disposing of his property until a court has made a final decision. This also keeps the defendant’s non-exempted assets within the jurisdiction of the court until the result of the lawsuit, and in the event of a judgment in favor of the plaintiff, the seized property can be used to offset the owed debt.


1. Real Estate Attachment: A writ of attachment can be applied in real estate cases where a claimant aims to protect their interests against the defendant’s property. For example, if a claimant is owed money by a debtor who refuses to pay, the claimant may file for a writ of attachment. Upon court approval, this would prevent the defendant from selling or leveraging the property until the debt matter is resolved. 2. Company Asset Attachment: In business, a writ of attachment could be used against a company’s assets. For instance, a supplier might be owed a considerable sum of money by a company. If the company refuses to pay or delays payment without valid reasons, the supplier may seek a writ of attachment to freeze bank accounts or seize other assets until the debt is settled, ensuring the company cannot simply rid of its assets before paying its debts.3. Co-signer on Loan: A third real-world example could be a loan co-signer situation. If a primary borrower defaults on a loan, the co-signer is legally obligated to take over the debt. In case the co-signer also refuses to pay instalments, the lending institution might file a writ of attachment on the co-signer’s properties, this compels them to ensure the loan repayment.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Writ of Attachment?

A Writ of Attachment is a legal order issued by a court of law. It authorizes the seizure of assets belonging to a defendant in a lawsuit until the lawsuit can be resolved. The property is often held by the court or by the third party, used as a form of security to cover the potential future judgment to be awarded.

When is a Writ of Attachment typically issued?

A Writ of Attachment is typically issued at the beginning of a lawsuit or shortly after the lawsuit has been initiated. It is used when the plaintiff believes the defendant may hide assets or make them unreachable.

What type of properties can be seized using Writ of Attachment?

Various types of property can be seized, including real estate, personal properties, bank accounts, incomes or any other assets that could satisfy a potential judgment.

Does the plaintiff automatically get a Writ of Attachment?

No, the plaintiff does not automatically get a Writ of Attachment. They must file a motion and display sufficient reasons to the court as to why the Writ is necessary.

Can a Writ of Attachment be lifted or removed?

Yes, a Writ of Attachment can be lifted or removed if the defendant can prove in the court that the Writ was incorrectly issued or if they post a bond covering the value of the attached property.

What is the difference between a Writ of Attachment and Lien?

A Writ of Attachment is a court order that allows assets to be seized before a judge reaches a decision in a case. A lien, meanwhile, is a claim against an asset that has been used as collateral for a loan.

Can a Writ of Attachment include assets that are jointly owned?

Yes, it can. However, laws may vary based on jurisdiction and specific circumstances surrounding the case. It is highly recommended to seek legal counsel in such cases.

Related Finance Terms

  • Debt Litigation
  • Creditor’s Rights
  • Judgement Lien
  • Garnishment
  • Prejudgment Remedy

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