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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Plaintiff

    A plaintiff is the party that brings a lawsuit to court. Plaintiffs ...
  2. Writ of Attachment

    A writ of attachment is a form of prejudgment process in which ...
  3. Arraignment

    Arraignment is a court proceeding in which the defendant is read ...
  4. Waiver Of Exemption

    A provision in a consumer credit contract or loan agreement that ...
  5. Covenant Not To Execute

    A covenant not to execute is a lawsuit agreement in which the ...
  6. Writ Of Seizure And Sale

    A writ of seizure and sale is a court order allowing a petitioner ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    How Trump Could Let the Fiduciary Rule Die on the Vine

    If Donald Trump keeps his promise to repeal the fiduciary rule his administration could do so by not defending it against pending lawsuits.
  2. Personal Finance

    Worst Case Scenario For Credit Card Debt

    You may have heard of the dreaded Chapter 13 for personal bankruptcy, but there's something even worse - Chapter 7.
  3. Tech

    U.S. Marshals To Auction Off Seized Bitcoins

    The U.S. Marshals are auctioning off 29,656.51306529 bitcoins seized from drug site Silk Road. To be eligible, you'll need $200,000.
  4. Taxes

    How Does a Tax-Free Exchange Work?

    In regards to the sale of property, particularly in real estate, a 1031 exchange is increasingly being recognized for its tax benefits to investors of all levels.
  5. Investing

    Freddie and Fannie Plunge After Court Ruling

    Appeals court ruling against hedge funds sees shares of Freddie and Fannie tumble.
  6. Investing

    Use Real Estate To Put Off Tax Bills

    Find out how you can build wealth and reduce your taxes.
  7. Taxes

    10 Things to Know About 1031 Exchanges

    Real estate swaps grow popular, but traps are many. Here's 10 things to know when considering 1031 swaps. Also: Beware new rules on vacation homes.
  8. Personal Finance

    Which States Are Community Property States?

    There are nine community property states. Here's what 'community property' means when a couple divorces.
  9. Taxes

    Trade Properties To Keep The Taxman At Bay

    Like-kind exchanges can mean a much lower tax bill on real estate for savvy investors.
  10. Investing

    China Has No Historical Rights To South China Sea, Court Says

    An International tribunal ruled that China has no historical rights to the South China Sea
Trading Center