How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question

Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dave Kennett is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

we filed a lawsuit against a corporation in November of 2011.

Customer Question

we filed a lawsuit against a corporation in November of 2011. However we realized just now that this corporation has now separated its functions, assets etc. into three. When we filed the lawsuit they were one single entity and now they are not. What happens when we secure a judgement against them. Is this legal and how can we take action now if at all? Our trial date is later on this year
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
What is the nature of your lawsuit?
Did the corporation start 3 new corporations or just different divisions?
Did they transfer assets since your suit was filed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Its a breach of contract. They are 3 separate corporations now and they have the parental corporation as a "dummy". They have shifted all their operations and I assume their assets etc. to the newly formed corporations and the one that we sued like I said is just an empty shell.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I responded to your question

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - If assets were transferred after the suit was filed and you obtain a judgment you can claim a "transfer to avoid creditors" and go after the assets of the corporations to which assets were transferred. I am assuming the contract that is the subject of the suit was with the "shell" corporation so there would be no contact with the 3 new corporations on which to base a suit. But whenever anyone or any corporation is being sued and the defendant transfers assets after the suit is file then that is what is referred to as a "transfer to avoid creditors" and if and when a judgment is taken against the original corporation the plaintiff can then seek the assets that were transferred after the suit was filed. This happens frequently and many defendants believe they can simply give their assets to a friend or family member or another business and protect their assets from a suit but that is not the case. So you can proceed with your suit and if you win then you can collect against not only the defendant but the other corporations to which assets were transferred.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like to know how complicated this is to do after we win the judgement; How much time can this take for us to collect? Also can we put a lien on all three corporations bank accounts ? How can that be accomplished if they are all separated now

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
Until you win your lawsuit you cannot put a lien on anyone so the first objective is to prevail in the case. If there was real estate transferred you can file a "lis pendens" action with the county recorder which places notice on the title that there is some dispute as to the real estate and if you win your case you can file an action of "transfer to avoid creditors" in order to attach the other bank accounts. The other option is to add the other corporations as party defendants to the current suit and claim that they have received assets in an attempt to avoid creditors. All of this is somewhat complicated and all I can do from this website is to try to explain your options. It is always much easier to win a judgment than it is to collect one but until you get the judgment there's no way to collect. You can also conduct discovery through depositions to get the information on where the assets were transferred and in what form. That way you will know where the assets are located and in what form when it comes time to initiate collection proceedings.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we have reached our discovery cut off date so I don't believe we can do much vis a vis depos. any more. Yes I am only talking about collection if we win. The lengths that this corporation has gone to avoid collection is making me nervous. "The transfer to avoid creditors" that you talked about - Is that a motion that we would need to file after the judgement and how long will that take?

I don't believe we can add the other parties to the law suit now because our last date to amend is long over. Can we still do so? Let me know.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 2 years ago.
You can file a motion for leave to amend or to add parties based on new information and the fact that assets have been transferred to avoid creditors. I can't guarantee you that the court will sustain such a motion but it certainly would bring the issue to the attention of the court and be a basis for an appeal if the motion to add parties is denied. The motion to add parties, if sustained, will very likely cause the date of any trial to be reset and it would open up an entire new round of discovery. If the motion is denied then you would have to proceed to trial against the original corporation and then when you try to collect you would have to file your collection actions against both the defendant corporation and the others and claim the "transfer to avoid creditors". I can't tell you how long a court case will take since it always depends on what is filed in opposition or how difficult it is to locate assets etc.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina


    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.