Process by Foreign Attachment Law and Legal Definition

Process by foreign attachment is a procedure or legal process by which a third party, rather than the creditor, attaches a debtor's property. It is similar to garnishment. In Massachusetts this is referred to as trustee process and the garnishee is called the trustee. In Vermont and Connecticut this is known as factorizing process and the garnishee is called the factor.

The following is an example of a state statute ( Connecticut) on process by foreign attachment:

The Connecticut foreign attachment statute, which authorizes garnishment is contained in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-329. It reads as follows:

Sec. 52-329. Process of foreign attachment. When the effects of the defendant in any proposed or pending civil action in which a judgment or decree for the payment of money may be rendered are concealed in the hands of his agent or trustee so that they cannot be found or attached, or when a debt other than earnings, as defined in subdivision (5) of section 52-350a, is due from any person to such defendant, or when any debt, legacy or distributive share is or may become due to such defendant from the estate of any deceased person or insolvent debtor, the plaintiff may insert in his writ, subject to the provisions of sections 52-278a to 52-278g, inclusive, a direction to the officer to leave a true and attested copy thereof and of the accompanying complaint, at least twelve days before the return day, with such agent, trustee or debtor of the defendant, or, as the case may be, with the executor, administrator or trustee of such estate, or at the usual place of abode of such garnishee; and from the time of leaving such copy all the effects of the defendant in the hands of any such garnishee, and any debt due from any such garnishee to the defendant, and any debt, legacy or distributive share, due or that may become due to him from such executor, administrator or trustee in insolvency, not exempt from execution, shall be secured in the hands of such garnishee to pay such judgment as the plaintiff may recover. Notwithstanding any provision of law, the remedy provided by this section shall be available to any judgment creditor and the status of the defendant as an elected or appointed official of any branch of the government of this state may not be interposed as a defense.

The Connecticut law of foreign attachment is of great utility, it should have a liberal construction, to effectuate its object. The words of the Connecticut foreign attachment statute, "concealed in the hands of his agent or trustee so that they cannot be found or attached," do not mean that personal property can only be reached by foreign attachment when it is hidden from sight by the agent or trustee, so that it cannot be found, and only when it is impossible for the officer serving the process to take the property and remove it.[Sutherland v. Brown, 85 Conn. 67 (Conn. 1911)]