DEFINITION of 'Attachment'

A legal term referring to the action of seizing property in anticipation of a favorable ruling for a plaintiff who claims to be owed money by the defendant.

BREAKING DOWN 'Attachment'

This is a preliminary procedure, meaning that property is seized before a final ruling is delivered. The seizure may prove unwarranted if the court rules in favor of the defendant.

Often real estate, vehicles and bank accounts are seized under these circumstances. A judge will seize such property when there is a good chance that the plaintiff will win the case and a high probability that the defendant will flee and not pay a court ordered settlement. However, if the attachment proves to have been unnecessary, the court must pay the defendant a bond to cover any damages the seizure caused.

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