Are you considering taking someone to court in an attempt to recover money that they owe you? Has a Judge recently ruled in your favour and issued a judgement against another party? What if the business or individual doesn’t have the money?
Then you are stuck with court costs, legal fees, and lost time from your work. It turns into a cash drain instead of getting your money back; that’s when a private investigator asset search can benefit your case.
What Is An Asset Search Investigation?
An asset search, or asset investigation as it’s sometimes called, in simple terms, is an investigation which is used to uncover the real assets of a business or individual. It is not only used to find the assets they claim to have, but to uncover those assets they may be trying to hide.
When Should An Asset Investigator Be Used?
Asset investigators can be used at many different times depending on where you are in your business dealings or court case. Following is a list of times you may want to hire a private investigator to do an asset search for you:
Before the Case – You may be contemplating on taking someone to court, in possibly a divorce or business case, to claim what’s owed. An asset search by a private investigator can determine what, if any, funds or property is available to claim against. The benefit of investigating before any court hearing is time and money saved if the defendant actually doesn’t have any assets.
During the Case – You may have already entered into a case to reclaim your losses and only after the case begins does the opposing party make claims they lack the financial ability to repay you. An asset investigator will help determine if they are telling the truth or simply trying to avoid payment.
After the Case – You may have claimed victory in court but that does not guarantee you will be paid. The opposing party may still claim they do not have the ability to pay. You need to be able to show where the assets exist in order to assure you will be paid.
Before Making Large Investments – If you are preparing to make a large investment in a business, real estate, or other opportunity, you may want to know the real underlying financial health of the person managing the investment. If they appear to be living above their means it might mean there are problems lurking below the surface. A simple asset investigation can uncover and expose any pre-criminal intention before you invest.
Internal Company Investigations – If you suspect an employee or business partner is stealing money from the company; hiring a private investigator to conduct an asset search can determine if they have hidden assets, investments, or, are purchasing goods they shouldn’t be able to afford on their salary. Clues to their personal wealth can help determine if a deeper investigation or audit is needed within your company.
These are just a few of the key times an asset investigator can help. Additional times can include during divorce proceedings, business negotiations, executive recruitment, and before lending money.
Who Conducts Asset Search Investigations?
A common belief is that an attorney or accountant would be the best choice for undertaking this type of investigation. From the aspect of looking through traditional financial records they would be the ideal choice. In most cases you are dealing with a party who may be hiding assets whereby the accountant and attorney will be completely out of their element.
An asset investigation should be conducted by a specially trained and qualified private investigator that specializes in asset cases. His special skills allow him to look into areas which an attorney and accountant cannot easily investigate. He can uncover unreported income and assets which escape their eyes.
What Does The Asset Investigator Do?
The private investigator you engage may use any of the following methods to search for hidden assets:
- Basic background checks
- Financial background reviews
- Investigations of current and previous business dealings
- Interviews with family, friends, and co-workers, when appropriate
- Research on bank liens and liens by other creditors
- Check on previous bankruptcies and loan defaults
- Review court records to determine if there are other unpaid court awards or open court cases
- Check tax records to verify if there will be claims made from the government or local taxation departments which may take precedence over your claim.
The investigator may only need to do a small amount of research before discovering you will be unable to claim, or to discover the party has ample assets to repay the debt they owe. In difficult cases it may be necessary to research all of these areas and more before making a final conclusion.
Do You Really Need To Do An Asset Investigation?
Asset investigations services are never a requirement, but it can be a major advantage to you or your business. The information you learn by having the investigation conducted reduces your risk of additional loss and increases your odds of collecting on owed debts.
Having the investigation done prior to extending substantial credit to a new customer, lending money, or making a substantial investment can help you avoid losing-situations completely.
When you feel that little nagging feeling that something is not quite right, you should take the time to find out. For the small cost of a private investigator asset search, will allow you to negotiate with greater confidence.
Contact one of our directory listed private investigators for more details.