Upholding two centuries of American legal tradition — and declining to follow the lead of the English courts — the New York Court of Appeals Thursday held in an international debt collection case that an unsecured creditor is not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief to prevent the debtor from asset-stripping prior to judgment.

The first-impression ruling in Credit Agricole Indosuez v. Rossiyskiy Kredit Bank, 64, is of major importance to the worldwide financial markets, and establishes clearly that New York courts cannot be used by general creditors to freeze globally the assets of a debtor.

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