An asset investigation is a legal process of locating public documentation that proves the possession of property held by an individual or a corporate body. This process seeks to identify all assets owned by an individual or enterprise, whether tangible or intangible.
Asset check is vital in debt collection. It helps in pursuing debts owed by an individual or company. It is also essential in cases of child support, judgment recovery, and in the process of business purchase.
Many cases necessitate asset search. Sometimes you lend an individual or a group some amounts of money and they cannot payback. Besides, nowadays, divorce cases are on the rise, and to gain support from your spouse, an asset search is required.
Many businesses today involve aspects of partnerships. Disputes in such scenarios are inevitable, hence requiring an asset search for conflict resolution.
Moreover, in the crime world, some illegal businesses are carried out. Financial records of such individuals are kept hidden. Therefore, asset investigations are conducted to bring to the open such secret documents.
Conducting An Assets Search
When conducting an assets search, it is not evident that you will locate them. Some assets are kept hidden. Most individuals hide their assets below the reach of official documentation.
Sometimes there may exist no records of the assets at all. It is done so that these individuals are advantaged. Besides, this is a strategy for some businesses and individuals to avoid paying debts. Therefore, experts in assets search are required for such purposes.
After deciding on employing an expert to conduct an asset search, you need to be sure and careful that what you are doing is legal. This means that you ensure to choose a legal investigator. This will ensure that the evidence from the assets search is accepted in court. Additionally, this will help you avoid charges being placed on you.
This article gives you an overview of what asset investigation is all about and what can be described as an asset.What To Expect From This Article?
A detailed explanation of all the needed information about the asset check is given. This will help you obtain an in-depth knowledge of when to carry an asset investigation.
What are the assets?
An asset is a resource that has value, meaning you can convert it into cash. An individual or corporations can own assets. The reason for possessing assets is that they can generate revenue or benefit in the future. Assets can be personal assets that include home goods, a car, a house, or investments.
Corporations list their assets on the balance sheet procured against equity and liabilities. These assets owned by corporations or enterprises are called business assets. Examples of personal assets are:
- Money in bank and savings and offshore accounts.
- Properties such as a house, car, electronics, and jewellery.
- Personal investments, such as bonds, stocks, and mutual funds.
- Real estate investment can be commercial or residential.
- Insurances with money value.
Business assets can be:
- Cash and money equivalents.
- Trademarks and patent.
- Physical properties, such as vehicles, boats, and airplanes.
- Inventory and land.
- Intellectual possessions.
Additionally, financial statuses such as bankruptcy, hidden accounts, judgments, tax liens, and UCC files are identified for investigation. Cases of crime such as fraud, embezzlement, tax dodging, and money legalizing are also investigated.
How Asset Investigation Works
Asset investigation is carried out considering the specific needs. Therefore, it can involve a background check. This involves identifying if individuals are who they claim to be. Consists of checking criminal records, employment records, educational background, and past activities.
An asset investigation can also involve computer checks, financial checks, and surveillance activities. During investigations, the safety and the exact number of assets are identified. For the whole process to be successful, you need to employ a qualified investigator.Asset check techniques
1. Background search - This is gathering information about a person. Background checks can also reveal information about a particular business or corporation. It is always important to carry out a background check on your competitor in business.
This will help you with the competitor's actual financial status and other valuable details. It will also bring to air the hidden possessions that are not known. It also reveals the crime information about an individual that can either affect the person positively or negatively. Generally, information gathered here is:
- Education background
- Employment records
- Financial statements and records
- Criminal filings
- Owned property
- Public documentation
- Credit records
2. Surveillance investigation - This is a survey carried out to determine whether there are hidden assets or not. This is most important in a divorce situation so that the spouse gets the exact support deserved. The private investigator follows an individual to hidden places and records findings.
The findings are then handed to the client. This information gathered if legally collected, can be used in court. Therefore surveillance involves following an individual to know one's daily activities through observation. The individual being investigated should not be aware of what is going on. This is done to avoid bias associated with a behavior change.
3. Public records check -This is information kept by public organizations. This information is mostly obtained from the government and the individuals too. These records include immigration, criminal, corporate, vital, and real estate information. This is information that is available to the public. Hence, a qualified investigator takes time to ensure the right information is obtained.
This check can involve investigation on electronic devices, chats, and email messages. All information is important and therefore, a thorough assessment.
This is how the process works. Information needed that can be useful in court, or any other legal gathering is obtained.
What Are The Reasons For The Asset Check?
Assets investigation is essential for investors, personal litigants, executives, and attorneys. Therefore, correct and up to date information should be obtained by a qualified investigator. The following are the reasons why you should carry out an asset investigation:
- To uncover embezzlement and fraud by employees - This is carried out on employees who live lavishly beyond their income. Embezzlement is a significant issue when it comes to companies. Therefore in case of unexplained loss of funds, then the employee may carry out asset investigations on the employees.
- Due diligence by the investor - This is investigating a business after negotiation with the owner. The investor carries it out after preliminary dialogues. This is essential in uncovering the failures of a business before investing your funds in such a company. This will also ensure that your funds are not lost and compromised.
- Conducting an asset investigation also provides additional knowledge about a corporation or a business. This will ensure that the transparency level is high.
- An asset investigation can be done before a legal dispute. Litigation includes the expensive expenditure of resources, and you might not get paid even after winning a legal case. Before filing a lawsuit against a defendant, it is, therefore, essential to know whether the defendant has the potential of covering the claim.
- Considering a settlement, an accurate picture of the financial information is needed when settling a case. This will help you know what paths to take whether negotiations or trial.
- During divorce - The divorce process can be tiresome and lengthy. There might exist no definite picture of assets owned. An investigation to reveal a clear picture of all assets, including hidden assets, is important.
- During recovery of a judgment - A real picture of assets is needed during this process. The debtor may fail to pay the creditor the money. The debtor may claim a lack of assets to pay back the creditor. Therefore, an investigation to identify hidden assets is essential.
- Business partnership - Enough knowledge on debts and financial status of partners is essential before entering into partnerships. The enterprise owners should assess whether the potential partners have the assets they claim.
- The lending of finances - An investigation on the debtor is carried out before giving a loan. This is to ensure that the debtor is capable of paying back the money. This will determine whether the debtor gets the loan or not. It is one way of reducing the risk of default.
Who Carries Out Asset Search?
An asset search is a process that requires a careful approach. Despite the legal authority to carry out asset checks, the process is prone to illegal investigators carrying out the activity. Therefore, a qualified person should be chosen for such an exercise. This will ensure that a legal process is carried out. Besides, a legal process will ensure that the information is used during a legal proceeding.
The following is a list of situation, experts and companies mandated to carry out asset investigation:
- In search of civil records.
- In search of criminal records.
- In search of a missing person.
- Law agencies.
- Corporations and enterprises.
- Hiring organizations.
- Investigative companies.
- Governmental organizations.
- Cash creditors.
- Spouses undergoing a divorce.
The mentioned situations necessitate asset checks. The assets investigation process can be carried out by registered public and private investigators.
Are There Any Specific Asset Check Companies?
Many companies have been registered to carry out asset investigation. They have been equipped with the required tools for a legal and successful investigation. These companies include:
- Asset investigators - These are specialized in conducting checks on finances and running assets. They can perform an asset search for corporations and individuals.
- Investigation companies - These train majorly private investigators to conduct asset checks.
- Debt collection agencies.
- Law firms and attorneys.
- Background check agencies.
Is Asset Investigation Legal?
It is a legal process approved by the court. Only registered experts are mandated to carry such a process. The legal exercise ensures complete information is obtained. This kind of data can be useful in a court of law. Beware of the fake individuals that claim to be registered agents. This will ensure that the process does not increase cases of crime.
The Pros Of Asset Investigation
- It helps identify the tangible and intangible assets owned by a company or an individual. This reveals a clear picture of assets and their linkage to the source of income.
- It is crucial in tracking cases of funds embezzlement and fraud. This leads to a strong employer and employee relationship.
- Investors need to get a clear picture of a business before investing.
- It increases transparency and accountability in a business.
- It helps reduces expenses that are incurred during the litigation. The accurate picture of an individual ensures that you don't lose many resources without payback.
- It helps in solving disputes. It determines whether negotiations are made, or you proceed for trial in a court of law.
- It helps spouses in getting a reasonable share of all assets owned. This will include hidden assets.
- The hidden asset records help ensure that the debtors pay back the money to their creditors.
- It helps improve the business partnership. This will ensure you get the potential investors who will help your business flourish.
- It helps banks and other lending agencies to consider the assets owned before giving a loan. This helps in reducing loan defaulters.
An asset search is a critical process. Before you employ a company or and individual prosecutor, ensure that they are registered for the roles they claim. Ensure you approach a trusted source. This gives you the information you need.
Asset investigation is an essential aspect for you and your company. It gives detailed information about personal and business assets. It is crucial if:
- You own a business.
- You are in a business partnership with someone.
- If you are a creditor and the debtor does not want to pay back the cash.
- If you are a victim of fraud.
- If there is embezzlement in your business.
This will ensure that your partner is financially trusted. Besides, the debtors will pay you back the pending cash. Moreover, information from asset investigation is essential in reducing crime.
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