Asset Searches 101: The Basics About Asset Investigation

Can you define what an asset search is in 15 seconds or less? This post discusses the basics of asset investigation services. Asset searches can be used in a variety of personal and corporate scenarios to help you know exactly where you and others stand.

Asset searches may seem like an abstract, or complicated realm of personal and corporate investigations - and, sometimes, they are. This is because asset search companies use a broad spectrum of sources in order to figure out what a person, or business, is really worth. Asset searches can be as simple as locating commercial or residential property, or as complex as running an investigation off-the-beaten-path in order to locate hidden assets.

What are Assets? And how do asset companies find them?

Let's look at what an asset actually is.  Most people immediately think of income, houses, cars, or perhaps businesses, when they think of assets.

Those are just the basics.  Here are other examples of what asset search companies look for when a high-quality search is being performed:

  • Dividends/interest on stocks
  • Bank Accounts
  • Tax liens
  • Property
  • Litigation or current/previous civil judgments against individuals or companies
  • Notices of default
  • Bankruptcies
  • Fictitious Business Names
  • DBA's (Doing Business As)
  • FAA records
  • Watercraft
  • State issued credentials or licenses, like those for a cosmetologist, attorney, medical/dental practice, private investigator, teacher, etc.

You may notice that some of the items listed above don't seem like an asset at all such as a bankruptcy or tax lien. However, in the world of legal and corporate investigations, even bad assets provide information our clients need. Any of these items can help an investigator form a picture of where he or she can expand the asset search. This gives your investigator, and you, the clearest picture of the subject.

There are various reasons you might need a professional team, such as  Mike and his people at Linked Investigations, to perform an asset search:

  • Divorce litigation. Sadly, when a marriage ends, both parties are not always honest about their assets.  Individuals can hide assets hoping to get the better end of the deal.  An accurate asset check for divorce proceedings should turn up any hidden real estate associated with their name and social security number, businesses or affiliations, bank accounts, or money that has been hidden in physical assets.
  • Child Support Disputes: If you suspect your ex-partner is being dishonest regarding income, or you know he/she is working off the books, an asset search can provide the information the courts need to ensure you are being properly compensated to help care for your children. An investigator can also help you to provide employment verification in court, even if there is no legal record of income. Child custody investigation is one of our specialties and an asset search can greatly affect child support payments.
  • Before you take someone to court: Regardless of how much, or how little, money you feel you are owed, you can wind up spending a great deal of your own valuable time and money in the legal system - only to find out a person, or company, has no money and no free-and-clear assets for the court to seize.  Asset searches provide information you can use to determine if litigation is worth it.
  •  Will and Probate: If you feel the executor of an estate is not trustworthy, or that asset information is being purposely held back, it can be in the heirs' best wishes to make sure that all the deceased's assets are distributed according to his/her will.
  • Secure your own business interests: If you are going to do business with a person or company, it can be wise to make sure they are financially viable and that your own assets are protected if the business relationship heads south. Otherwise, you are better off doing business elsewhere.

Asset searches are impossibly time prohibitive if you do not have the expertise and technical know-how. Professional investigators, such as Mike Garroutte and Linked Investigations, know how to quickly determine the relevant from the irrelevant information. This prevents you from the frustrating experience of realizing an individual's assets weren't what you thought. Asset searches can even require surveillance. Without proper training and broad experience in the field, successful surveillance operations are rarely fruitful.

Need Asset Search Services in California?

Contact Linked Investigations if you are considering conducting an asset search. After a free initial consultation, we will provide you with a detailed plan that works within your budget. You want to make sure you hire a team that will go beyond the obvious to get in depth - and accurate  results. All of our services have national coverage.

Published on: 
July 1, 2013
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