The Benefits Of An Asset Search - Part 2

Hello. This is part 2 of our article; The Benefits of an Asset Search, which we titled in part 1; YOU REALLY NEED an Asset Search. We will cover just a couple of points here and we hope you will see the terrific value of an asset check.

Before you get involved with someone that can potentially cause financial problems for you or harm your reputation, you need to consider an asset search. If you are faced with pursuing someone in a law suit or collecting money or other assets, an asset search is a must.

To read part one of this article; You Really Need An Asset Search, click on the link Part 1

A good asset check is a wise move anytime but the best time is before you leap forward. Knowing you have done your due diligence for yourself or on behalf of someone else can be a great relief. Not having a private investigator conduct at least a basic asset search can cause you a lot of embarrassment, if not worse.

True, not all high risk people will show up in any search. Not all bad people have public records that can alert you. The good news is, many of them do and we can uncover the truth about con-men, scammers, litigious people, dishonest people and people who use poor judgment to the point it will come back to you. In the end, it is you that will make the decision whether to do business with someone. It should be a well-informed decision.

In the first part of this article we touched on our complete background search services too. If you think you might need to investigate the options to you in a background check, click here.

We can also conduct surveillance on people to see where they go, where they work, live and who they see and what they are really doing. We can obtain addresses, license plates, video footage and observe where they conduct business and banking. Even when someone doesn't seem to have records you can easily find, we can follow them to learn more about them without their knowing. If you want to learn more about this valuable option, visit our surveillance services section.

In the first part of this article we touched on two areas of interest in an asset check or an asset search. Those were;

1. Law Suits and Judgments

2. Tax liens

While we're on the subject, let's not forget about background checks. We have other articles you may want to avail yourself of, concerning complete background checks and criminal background checks. These are related to asset searches and actually may share some of the same information. You may want to contact us to determine which search is the best for you. You can also search our blog for several articles already published on both of these subjects.

Other good reasons to conduct and asset search or thorough asset check for vital information are;

3. Bankruptcy/Notice of Default:

If the subject of your investigation has one Bankruptcy on record, you should probably know about it. You can learn some details of a bankruptcy from an asset search. We are all human and can fall on difficult times. You should know the truth either way.

  • If you want specific information on any civil record discovered through an asset investigation, you can have the records pulled from the court file for review. We do this for our clients on request.
  • You need to keep in mind that some people don't use bankruptcy relief as a onetime remedy but rely on bankruptcy to evade creditors and judgments once they get the numbers high enough to take advantage of enough people. They then conduct new business in someone else's name and repeat the process.

Will your action force them into bankruptcy? Many people threaten bankruptcy to keep people they owe money from pursuing them in court. Don't always be dissuaded easily. Some of these folks go as far as filing for bankruptcy and sending copies of the filing to creditors, only to cancel their bankruptcy filing later and have the case dismissed, therefore avoiding a bankruptcy and fooling debtors into going away.

If done intentionally, this is illegal. If you pursue them in court, which we usually recommend, many debtors will pay you to avoid having a judgment on their record or having to file bankruptcy.

A Notice of Default is just another piece of information of interest. Sometimes this is a deal breaker. If you find a person has judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy, notices of default, you need to seriously consider your position before you move forward with them. Are they a higher risk?

If you are ever included in a bankruptcy filing by someone who owes you money, you should show up to the hearing to defend your position and claims. A judge may compel the debtor to pay certain debts and not allow them to simply be written off.

If you did not have the luxury of learning their history before something has come up, you should have a competent private investigator run a good, accurate asset search so you can learn more about the person in question. At this point you may consider having bank accounts and other investments checked. This gets more expensive so you should be talking about fairly large sums of money when considering these additional types of potentially valuable searches.

Larger business operations; insurance companies, funding companies, secured and unsecured lenders and casinos, for example, that extend credit to individuals and other companies, conduct disclosed and/or confidential asset searches and asset investigations all the time.

This is regularly done before they approve an account. They will usually require their customers and associates to provide necessary identifying information and even have them sign authorization forms which enable the client to have greater access to certain records. These same business entities will again seek good information through the best asset search companies later in a relationship, when their associates come up short or disappear altogether. We find the skips and locate asset and employment for our clients.

4. Criminal Records:

If you have us conduct an asset search investigation for you, or a criminal records search, we will tell you whether your subject has been convicted of a serious crime. It is important for you to know this, to know what type of crime or crimes a person of potential risk has been convicted of.

Does this have an impact on you? Sometimes this does not affect you, sometimes this can be a clear, bright red warning flag that should not be ignored. You must have them checked thoroughly to see whether you are considering a relationship with someone who has a criminal record for defrauding others or worse. We strongly recommend our clients conduct criminal record searches before getting involved with certain people for certain types of relationships. You may be shocked at the information we provide you.

  • What difference does it make? How will an asset search help me?

After reading this article you should be able to see the benefits in conducting an asset search. Not only will a good, basic asset search find commercial and real property, current and previous addresses, boats, vehicles, vessels, state licenses, professional licenses, business filings, fictitious business name filings, Department of Corporations information, all civil records available, business associates, employment, relatives, bankruptcy, judgments, notices of Default, tax liens and a lot more, having the results will give you piece of mind. Knowing the information, whether it's good or not so good is yon you. Do your due diligence, then you've done your job. You've checked.

I didn't do an asset check

If you find yourself saying "I didn't Do an Asset Search", you have only yourself to blame. Why, in this now not-so-new age of information technology, would you not have conducted an asset search?

If you haven't already been using this very valuable tool to protect yourself, your family and your business, you are in the minority. Asset searches are now part of the due diligence expected of reputable principals.

Do you know what types of assets you can find on-line verses what a good private investigator can pull up for you? Can you afford to overlook certain areas and sources? How much time do you have and how long is the learning curve when it comes to discovering, on your own, how to conduct an asset search.

Asset Search Cost

What do asset searches cost? Basic asset searches start at $425.00 and can easily climb in information and cost to $750.00, with specialized asset searches for financial accounts, costing much more.

Asset search services are one of the most valuable tools available in approximately 48 percent of divorce cases. If you know there are no assets in your marriage, you don't just think there are no undisclosed assets of any type, and you don't share property, then you may not need to conduct an asset search.

If you are either not fully informed or your spouse has been lying or has gone so far as to have your name removed from title illegally using fraudulent means, or removed your interest in accounts, trusts, businesses, or others without your knowledge, it is a good idea to check and find out the status of any shared or available assets before your divorce is finalized and it's basically too late to do anything about it.

  • Do you or your spouse own one or more business?
  • Are there any inherited properties?
  • Is your spouse involved in a company that you are not aware of?
  • Are there retirement accounts - 401K, etc.
  • Does your spouse have real estate they are keeping secret?
  • Is your spouse paying for an apartment or house for their lover?
  • Are they paying for their lover's car?
  • Does your spouse pay for trips with their lover?
  • Do they buy or receive jewelry or clothing for/from their lover?

We encourage anyone seeking the assistance of a private investigator, to check the investigator out before hiring them. See whether they have reviews on-line, real reviews, that are not part of their own website. Visit the state of California's website for the Department of Consumer affairs; The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, or BSIS, at You will need the investigator's license number or name.

Mike Garroutte is a licensed private investigator in Orange County, California. He has been a private investigator since 1982 and is the owner of Linked Investigations in Costa Mesa, California. His license number is P.I. 15568.

Published on: 
December 1, 2012
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