29 Oct

The most powerful weapon a potential adversary has is the ability to freeze your assets. When your bank account is frozen it means zero can be moved. You cannot pay bills nor withdraw money. Your rental property, your business, and the assets of your business all potentially can be attached.

A smart judgment creditor attorney can get a court order even BEFORE a lawsuit is concluded. Such an order is known as a pre-judgment attachment and is commonly granted where the dispute is over a specific sum of money such as in breach of contract cases. A post-judgment attachment lien attached to all real estate in your name, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, even investments such as gold and silver, etc. As a result, you cannot sell nor refinance your property without paying off the judgment creditor. In short, the judgment creditor holds the cards. You have very little leverage if any to negotiate.You are trapped. 

Our office can help to minimize the exposure through the use of  “asset protection” techniques. Here is an example. We represented a client who owned 3 apartment buildings. Total value was over $ 3M.  Each property was owned in the client’s name. He was a target waiting to be had. We devised a plan whereby each of the properties was set up in a California  limited liability company (LLC). The client was eventually sued and lost. A judgment was entered  against him for approx. $ 2 M. Had we not intervened with an asset plan, the client’s properties would have been in jeopardy of being frozen and ultimately sold to satisfy the judgment. However because of the asset plan we devised, the judgment creditor was not able to reach the real estate. The client was able to negotiate a very favorable settlement arrangement. In other words his bargaining position was significantly increased.

We cannot emphasize enough, that a successful plan means NOT waiting until a lawsuit arises. It is much more difficult to execute an asset protection plan AFTER the lawsuit has already been filed and served. Sound asset protection means planning and acting IN ADVANCE.

Stephen J. Gross is a business, real estate, trusts, and asset protection attorney located in West Los Angeles . To learn more please visit


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