Collections Law/Cognovit note


Signed a cognovit note along with collateral agreement. Holder is not happy with arrangement and wants to come get the collateral. Does he need to get an actual judgment from the courthouse before collecting on the collateral or can he show up without a judgment and take it?

It depends on the collateral.  If it's locked inside your house or garage, he cannot take it without a court order requiring turnover.  If it's (say) a car on the street, he can probably tow it off without court order, although all that really depends on state law.  Generally, he cannot breach the peace to get the collateral.  Also, you need to read the collateral agreement.

Since he has a cognovit note, though, it should be relatively easy for him to get a judgment and the court order.

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Michael T. Hertz


I can answer most questions concerning bankruptcy, whether business or personal, including questions by debtors, creditors, persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcy estates, and the like. Also have expertise in tort law, French and Canadian law.


Practiced bankruptcy for 27 years in California and taught bankruptcy for three years in Maine. This included Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 cases, representing debtors, creditors (secured and unsecured), bankruptcy trustees, creditors committees, and persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcies. Debtors included persons with virtually no money up to large corporations.

Inactive member of the Bar of the State of California. Nonpracticing member of the Bar of Massachusetts. Formerly member of the Maine Bar and conseil juridique in France. Certified by National Committee on Accreditation in Canada.

Georgetown Law Review; California Bankruptcy Journal; Maine Law Review; Dalhousie Law Journal; University of Toronto Law Journal.

Harvard Law School (J.D. 1970; cum laude) and Pomona College (B.A., 1967; cum laude)

Awards and Honors
Selected as a "Superlawyer" in 2005 and 2006 for Northern California.

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