Private Investigator Asset Search
An asset search refers to researching, analyzing, and documenting various records to determine assets owned by an organization, group of organizations, or individuals. Entities or individuals interested in asset searches engage private investigators for many reasons.
These include determining assets like an estate, determining an individual’s wealth in case they owe you money, or searching for hidden assets in case of a divorce. Assets commonly searched belong to these classes:
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- Bank accounts: These are the most common types of hidden assets. However, PIs can check bank statements to determine an individual’s money trail.
- Real estate and property: PIs can uncover instances where dishonest debtors change property ownership to family and friends to avoid their debts.
- Tax overpayment: There are instances where individuals can pay the IRS before their taxes are due, placing the funds in the IRS’s control where they can’t be garnished or seized.
- Vehicles and vessels: dishonest individuals can transfer vessel and vehicle ownership to friends and relatives to conceal them. They do this because cars are harder to locate and seize if the court needs to liquidate them.
- Corporate and business interests: It can be hard to tie debtors to assets they choose to place into a corporation. However, investigators can investigate a company’s ownership and records to determine whether the individual put their assets in the company.
Less common assets include life insurance policies, art, leases, trademarks, and patents. Searching for assets requires excellent skill, and individuals tasked with this service must find a set of data with valuable information. Various asset classes require specific search processes. The search also helps reveal assets that have been changed classes, with the intent of being hidden.
When are asset searches beneficial?
A private investigator asset search is beneficial when:
Filing for a divorce
There is always the chance that your significant other could hide assets throughout your marriage. These include inheritances, property, hidden bank accounts, etc. Whether you are entitled to these assets when divorcing depends on whether you signed a prenuptial.
However, you could be entitled to assets you obtained during your marriage. It helps cover all bases during your divorce if you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets. You can do this through an asset search investigation.
Filing a lawsuit
It helps to request an asset search when filing a lawsuit, especially if your case is in pre-litigation (before filing a lawsuit). Filling an asset search during this stage can guide your litigation strategy and allow you to get a reasonable settlement. Lawyers are legally obligated to present you with an asset search option.
For instance, doing an asset search after someone has hit you with their vehicle helps you determine how and if the individual can pay you back. The investigation uncovered additional finances that the individual you are suing could liquidate to cover your compensation. This helps you strategize how you’ll proceed with your case.
During a merger or business acquisition
It helps to perform proper investigations before making significant business agreements. For instance, you have to know whether the company has a history of bankruptcy. Private investigators will research the company’s public records to determine whether they have previous UCC or bankruptcy fillings. This information helps you determine whether the company has a profitability potential and provides insight into its finances.
Filling for child support
Most individuals provide accurate financial information during child support cases. Individuals are supposed to make payments depending on their financial reports. The payments help support their children until they reach an age where they can support themselves.
However, there are instances where parents lie about their finances in child support cases. The court considers these hidden assets, and private investigators are hired to perform an asset search. Often, the probe includes a background check, surveillance, etc. The PI gathers evidence that clients can present in court to help with the proceedings.
How does a private investigator asset search work?
Private investigators use all available tools to uncover an individual or entity’s assets. Some techniques they may choose to use include:
A background check
Background checks are essential since they help private investigators collect vital information about a company or individual. In most cases, background checks determine whether individuals are suitable for particular jobs. However, they can also reveal more details about individuals, companies, and organizations.
Background checks can reveal vital information like fraud, hidden assets, and valuable information to the primary party. Typically, PIs run background checks to determine the following:
- Financial records
- Education History
- Criminal records
- Employment history
- Credit score
- Owned property/ estates
- Driving records
- Arrest records
- Public Records
Private investigators may choose to surveil individuals to prove they have hidden taxes. For instance, individuals in divorce court may have various hidden art pieces in storage lockers. PIs may choose to surveil the individual to uncover said assets. The technique involves following the individual to determine where they hid their assets.
The private investigator records their findings, documents them, and brings them to the client or lawyer. If gathered legally, the lawyer or client can use the information in court to help them with the case. You’ll have to surveil the individual without their knowledge to avoid the chance of them moving their hidden assets.
Public record search
Public records are information recorded and later provided by public agencies. These include the federal and local government and contain information like criminal records, real estate records, vital records, immigration records, and corporate records. Public members can also record and avail an individual or company’s public records.
While the information is available to the public, it requires skilled individuals to find and connect various records, making them useful during a court case. PIs are more experienced in this area and can help you find said documents in hours or days. Private investigators can find the information quickly, which can be vital to relevant cases.
Private investigators can also go through an individual’s mobile devices, finance records, chat histories, email, etc., to find relevant information. They are thorough in their search and don’t stop until they are sure nothing is there to find because they don’t want to overlook any information that impacts an investigation negatively or positively.
Conclusion: Private Investigator Asset Search
Choosing a reputable private investigation firm to perform your asset search is vital, especially when you need the information to win your case. You can call us any time at 1-800-577-1080 or fill out our web form for a reliable private investigator asset search. Our firm’s investigators comprise former DEA, FBI, IRS, and Secret Service agents with sufficient skills and resources to uncover all required evidence for your case.
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