Asset Search and Recovery Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions
Fred L. Abrams Attorney at Law in New York city has focused on a wide variety of matters involving asset search and / or recovery actions since 1990. Mr. Abrams often hears the following questions from clients who have been defrauded or left holding a debtor’s bill:
- Why did I never receive money owed to me from a lawsuit or divorce?
- How complicated is the process of recovering owed money?
- How long will it take to receive recovered funds?
- If my assets are not recovered, am I still obligated to pay legal fees?
- How do I know there is not even more money that rightfully belongs to me?
Winning a money judgment in a lawsuit or signing a settlement does not automatically result in funds being transferred to your account. There are many reasons why people violate a court order and do not pay their debt. Some simply do not have the funds to cover their financial commitments. Others misappropriate assets or conceal them for personal gain. When a judgment debtor fails to pay you what you are owed, you may be able to take additional legal action to enforce the judgment. This can include bringing forced collection proceedings against the judgment debtor to compel payment.
The process of recovering owed money is dependent on the methods a debtor used to conceal assets. In some cases, money can be found simply sitting in a debtor’s bank account, while other debtors use sophisticated methods to hide their wealth. An asset recovery lawyer can use various legal tools in an attempt to locate concealed assets. If the debtor has sufficient assets to pay their debt, the attorney can seek a court order for a lien, wage garnishment or other method of securing required payments. Legal tools can also sometimes be used to detect/interdict the debtor’s assets if the assets are placed out of reach in an offshore tax haven.
The timeline for recovering funds owed from a debtor varies from case to case. If the debtor is willing to cooperate with the courts, provides a full financial disclosure and engages in settlement negotiations, it is generally more likely they will pay their debt within the timeline specified in the settlement agreement. If the debtor refutes the debt, does not have funds available to pay the damages they owe or has concealed assets in complicated hiding places, it can take several months or even years to obtain your money.
Asset recovery expenses can be costly, with the need to fund extensive investigations, court fees and other ancillary costs. On some cases, Mr. Abrams may work on a contingency basis. In a contingency fee case the attorney only collects attorney’s fees if the attorney secures payment through a settlement, a judgment against the debtor or some other means. If there is a contingency fee arrangement, Mr. Abrams will collect a set percentage of the total compensation you receive. However, in other cases Mr. Abrams will bill hourly for the legal work performed. In some rare situations, it is possible to obtain a court order that requires the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees. In these rare situations, your fees could be covered by the defendant you are suing.
Mr. Abrams conducts a thorough asset search for every one of his clients hoping to recover concealed assets. Practicing law since 1990, Mr. Abrams has unearthed tens of millions of dollars concealed in all kinds of creative hiding places, from offshore accounts to shell companies and fraudulent trusts. Mr. Abrams will not rest until he is confident that he has exhausted the legal remedies available to you for your search for undisclosed assets. If any assets are uncovered after the conclusion of your case, Mr. Abrams can take additional legal action on your behalf.