A real estate attachment is a court order preventing the transfer of real estate during the pendency of litigation. Attachments are most commonly used in civil cases, in the collection of a debt or in a personal injury action. However, an attachment is also helpful in a divorce case to protect one spouse from transferring assets outside the control of the court and the other spouse.
In one such case, Hamblett & Kerrigan effectively used a real estate attachment to prevent our client’s spouse from obtaining a home equity loan when she informed him about the divorce. The parties’ marital residence was held in a Trust, of which the husband was the sole Trustee. Without wife’s knowledge or consent, husband applied for a home equity loan if in excess of $700,000.00. Despite clear proof that he filed the loan application, husband denied applying for the loan when raised by the wife. Concerned that the husband was going to transfer the money received from the loan to an overseas bank account, wife filed an ex-parte motion in the divorce court, requesting a real estate attachment be placed on the parties’ property to prevent husband from obtaining the loan and transferring the money outside of the country. Based upon the evidence presented to the court, the court issued a real estate attachment which the sheriff served in the appropriate Registries of Deeds, thereby making any attempt to obtain a home equity loan or to sell the property impossible.
Quick action may be necessary when there is concern of a spouse hiding or transferring money outside the control of the other spouse and the court. The attorneys at Hamblett & Kerrigan have experience and have handled such situations. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience to your advantage.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.