When Are Asset Search Services Needed?

Asset Search Services are one of those subjects most people don't know much about - until they need them.  They can be helpful in court cases, child custody cases, before going into business with someone, or before saying the magic words, "I Do!" .  Here are some common questions and answers about Asset Searches, or Asset Checks: what they are, when you need them, and how you go about them.

What is an Asset Search or Asset Check?

An asset search, or Asset Check, is an investigation looking into a person's, or business? assets.  Assets are anything that add value to that person and/or business entity.  Things like properties, businesses, stock holdings, and bank accounts are all considered assets.  So are cars, planes, boats, RV's or anything a person can materially own.  Even things like art collections, coin collections, or valuable antiques are considered assets.  Sometimes an asset serach will turn up litigation or civil records that shed light on an entity's financial situation or ethics.  The results of an asset search are usually used as knowledge to help a person continue in their decision making process whether it be legally, personally, or professionally.

What's the difference between an asset search and a complete background check?

These two entities can be very similar.  While an asset search primarily focuses on things that add monetary value to a person's overall worth, a complete background check is usually looking for information regarding a person's character or history. However, one often intersects with the other.  Complete background checks will usually turn up certain assets, and a thorough Asset Search can turn up things like criminal records or child support judgements.

When is the best time to run an asset search?

That answer really depends on the situation. If a court case is involved, you probably want to have an asset search done as soon as possible.  Sometimes people waste a good deal of money on a lawsuit only to find out the defendant wasn't worth suing since she had no assets. Or, an asset check may turn up evidence about prior litigation which could help to turn the case in your favor.

However, if you are in the middle of a child custody battle, an asset search can be a valuable tool at anytime in the legal process or even afterwards.  You may think a person's only income is their salary when in fact an asset search shows them to be worth much more.  Your child support payment can then be greatly increased. If you are in a situation where the other party is being paid under the table, an asset search can also help you increase child support payments. You might also consider professional surveillance services to have verification of work or employment that isn't being legally claimed.

Any partnership, whether it be business or romantically oriented, can be benefited by an asset search.  It is important to understand where the other individual or entity stands in terms of assets, debts, credit history, etc. before pursuing any legally binding agreements that tie your lot in with theirs.

How do I run an asset search?

You can do a good deal of work on your own using online data bases and verifying public records. However, sometimes the data that turns up is confusing, outdated, or just plain erroneous. Or an online company might try to upsell their asset search services and waste your money. It might be worth your time and money to hire a private investigator.

Most licensed private investigators are experienced at navigating the confusing data that can turn up in printed asset search reports. They also have a good sixth sense about other ways to search for assets. A professional asset search may seem more expensive at first, but they are worth your money.  Accurate information can be priceless in most of the situations that require asset search services.

Linked Investigations has been conducting affordable asset searches in Southern California for more than 30 years.  Mike Garroutte is a licensed private investigator Orange County and has been a Los Angeles private investigator since 1982.

Published on: 
August 1, 2012
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