Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is an Asset Search?

Asset search is a local, national or international search for property, bank accounts, physical assets, or hidden wealth or ownership of assets. Attorneys, investors and private investigators often want to locate personal property or real estate, bank accounts and assets such as company ownership to verify or prove a person’s financial situation. Investors may use an asset search to determine the strength of a company or verify profitable and physical assets. Divorce cases often want to show the other side has the ability or assets to pay when disputing the case in court of law. Lawsuits may need an asset search for uncovering potential liabilities against the assets like state and federal tax liens, judgments or bankruptcy. Searches can be conducted locally, at the national level and even international through a professional private investigation firm.

When to use Asset Searches?

Due Diligence: Companies and individuals often face the need to search for assets on individuals and companies when conducting due diligence. Investors and parties involved want to verify a company representative, potential investor or buyer has the assets and cash flow needed or the profitability he claims. For example, when businesses consider investing or merging with another company whether locally or abroad, an international asset search may include searches for real estate, property or bank accounts to show the company or individual’s financial status.

Assets search can uncover red flags if a company or individual has no assets, or the different assets as he or she claims, or if those assets are found to be under a different name.

In depth background check investigations on individual candidates that are about to engage in a key position in a corporation where managing large amounts of money is often something that is advisable by private investigators and risk management groups. Depending on the how in depth the background check, an asset search or bank records search can also be included.

Divorce and Legal Cases: In the bitter part of an ending relationship where divorce or lawsuit is the only way out, asset searches are used to disclose and reveal hidden assets and should be conducted as the process of divorce begins. It is an excellent tool to assist a spouse, attorneys, and mediators in locating hidden or non disclosed assets, identifying entities, partnerships or trusts. With the information on the assets of the counterparty, investigators and courts can frame discoveries and requests so that the opposing party is more forthcoming and revealing in the case.

An asset search gives clients the tools they need to ensure a subject’s financial statement and situation is accurate. Often real estate, bank accounts, or business ownership can be found.

Once assets or bank records are located, attorneys have more options on the table and can better formulate a strategy on how to go after the defendant’s assets, if the case requires.

How to Get an Asset Search?

Asset search is a useful tool for attorneys, law firms, private investigators, clients in legal processes like inheritance or divorce; business and corporations, investors, human resource departments, government agencies, creditors, risk management, and individuals.

The cost of an asset search varies depending on the location and type of search needed. Bank records are often the most effective as they reveal the exact money trail or source. Costs and turnaround times depend on the country or countries involved. Only a reputable investigation firms such as Wymoo International or similar should be contracted to perform an international asset search, as searches can be complex in nature and almost always require a company with local assets and contact in government and financial agencies in the countries involved. An average turnaround time for most countries can range from 7 to 14 days from time of payment.

Some claim that asset searches and locating bank accounts is illegal. Be advised that laws vary depending on the country, and as a legal loophole, most investigators will provide clients with an unofficial list of assets or accounts, and not the official bank records of the actual bank. The information and evidence of assets is still of great value to the parties involved.

Asset search is a tool that helps thousands of professionals and individuals every day who are focused on due diligence, collecting debt, settling personal injury cases, hiring, buying, selling, merging, investing, etc. Whether for information gathering or litigation purposes, asset searches conducted at the international level are just another way to keep clients informed.

Best of luck,

A Hathaway
© 2012 A Hathaway

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