Does someone owe you money? In this economic climate, the answer is most likely yes.
Asset searches are a valuable tool for attorneys, investors, companies, and individual litigants. When conducted by an experienced investigator with the understanding of applicable laws, you will not only know where assets are located, but what liabilities, bankruptcies, liens, and lawsuits are against the opposing party.
Do you know what the permissible purposes are to look for bank and brokerage assets?
As private investigators, we often find that many people don’t what the permissible purposes are.
If you’re an attorney, did you know that if you obtain information from your investigator that was illegally obtained, you can be held liable?
Whenever an asset search is being conducted, it’s important to make sure the investigator is following all State and Federal privacy laws which include the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Most importantly that they DO NOT USE PRETEXT to obtain this information.
So what are the permissible purposes? Viable reasons for conducting a bank search and/or investment/brokerage search are:
- Debt or Judgment Collection: for use in the collection of an existing debt/judgment that is owed by, or is the financial responsibility of the search subject.
- Authorized Matrimonial Investigation: Only can be conducted with a Court Order. Divorce Judgment is not permissible.
- Authorized Estate Investigation: Investigation for use in administration of the estate of a decedent, or a person adjudged to be incompetent, which will identify assets. This type of search has to be requested by the executor or personal representative of the decedent or incompetent individual. Authorized estate investigations also require a copy of all applicable documents for verification, including a death certificate.
- Tort Settlement: for use in assessing a business transaction, such as an offer to settle a claim for injuries, damages, costs, or other expenses arising from a tort (wrongful act). The purpose of the investigation is to assist in the determination of the economic viability of the settlement offer made by the search subject.
- Written permission from the subject of the search (yes, this happens as rarely as you think it does)
When looking for assets, look beyond property and motor vehicles. These can be difficult to collect on. Look for bank, brokerage, stock, IRA’s, and retirement accounts. Bank searches can be conducted statewide or nationwide.
How about looking for current employment so that you can garnish wages? Or safe deposit boxes for decedents?
Whether you are looking to locate assets on a business or individual, our investigators are trained to track down assets and here to help.
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