top of page


A receiver is a neutral third party appointed by a court to oversee and manage property or operations of a business during a legal dispute. The primary objective of appointing a receiver is to preserve assets that are at risk of being diminished, wasted, or fraudulently transferred before the court can make a final decision on the matter at hand. This role is crucial in ensuring that the interests of all parties involved in the litigation are protected and that the assets in question are managed in a fair and transparent manner.


The Role of a Receiver
Receivers can be appointed in a variety of legal contexts, including but not limited to bankruptcy cases, foreclosure proceedings, and disputes between business partners or corporations. The specific duties and powers of a receiver can vary greatly depending on the nature of the dispute and the court’s orders but generally involve taking custody of, protecting, and managing property or business operations that are the subject of litigation.

Upon appointment, a receiver steps into a fiduciary role, meaning they are required to act in the best interests of the asset or business they are managing, as well as all parties involved in the dispute. This fiduciary duty requires the receiver to manage the assets with care, prudence, and diligence to avoid any unnecessary losses and to maximize the value of the assets for the benefit of creditors, owners, or other interested parties as directed by the court.


Powers and Responsibilities
The specific powers and responsibilities of a receiver can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Taking Control of Assets: This includes physically taking possession of property, securing business premises, and obtaining control over bank accounts and financial records. The receiver might also change locks, install security systems, or take other steps to protect the property.

  • Managing Operations: In cases where a business is involved, the receiver may manage the day-to-day operations. This could involve hiring and firing employees, entering into contracts, and making decisions necessary to keep the business running efficiently.

  • Collecting Receivables: The receiver is often responsible for collecting outstanding debts owed to the business or estate, which may involve negotiating with debtors or initiating legal action to collect debts.

  • Liquidating Assets: If part of the receiver's mandate is to liquidate assets, they will oversee the process of selling property, inventory, or other assets. The receiver must ensure that assets are sold at a fair market value to maximize returns to creditors or other stakeholders.

  • Litigation: A receiver may have the authority to initiate or defend legal actions on behalf of the estate or business they are managing. This could include suing third parties who owe money to the business or defending against lawsuits that might deplete the assets of the estate.

  • Reporting: Receivers are typically required to provide regular reports to the court and all interested parties. These reports detail the actions taken by the receiver, the status of the managed assets, and any income received or expenses incurred.


Appointment Process
The process for appointing a receiver varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, a party to the litigation will request the appointment of a receiver by filing a motion with the court. This motion must demonstrate that the appointment of a receiver is necessary to preserve the assets in question and that without such an appointment, the assets are likely to be lost, wasted, or significantly diminished in value.

The court will then consider the motion, which may involve a hearing where all parties can present evidence and arguments for or against the appointment of a receiver. If the court decides that appointing a receiver is in the best interests of preserving the assets, it will issue an order outlining the receiver's powers, duties, and the scope of their authority.


The appointment of a receiver by a court is a significant step in managing and preserving assets that are the subject of legal disputes. Receivers play a critical role in ensuring that assets are managed fairly and transparently, with the goal of maximizing their value for the benefit of all interested parties. While the specific duties and powers of a receiver can vary widely depending on the context, their overall objective remains the same: to protect and preserve assets in dispute until a final resolution is reached by the court.

bottom of page