Portrayals in various books, movies, and TV shows have all contributed to the stereotypical image of a private investigator as someone who works in a dimly-lit, often smoky office, solving criminal cases using a series of methods: taking photographs, scouring areas for clues others might have overlooked, questioning witnesses, and such. In the minds of many, the typical investigator wears a dark-colored trench coat and a fedora, and smokes a pipe.
Having trouble collecting from people who owe you money? Sometimes, individuals or companies who wish to withhold payment for debt or an obligation will attempt to hide their assets from those who may have legal interest in them. Hidden assets are commonly encountered in divorce suits, but these may also be factors in cases of debtors who wish to avoid or delay their payments.
Different people like attorneys, lawyers, corporate leaders, those seeking judgment debtors, those seeking collections, insurers, and bankers may hire private detectives and investigators. These investigators must cater to their clients’ varied needs in detective work.
Secrecy has been a part of asset protection planning for a long time. According to an article in Forbes.com: “Some folks don’t want their competitors to know how well or how poorly they are doing, or that they have made key investments or divested assets.” The article further says: “Some folks think that the less potential claimants can find in potential assets, the less of a target they are to lawsuits”. Thorough asset investigations can help reveal any hidden assets and properly identify a debtor’s possessions.
If you are in a position where a person or a group owes you money, but they claim they can’t pay you, you can benefit from asset investigations. Asset investigations can take place in a number of circumstances, including cases that involve spousal support during a divorce settlement or in a global business dispute. Essentially, asset investigators work as detectives that aim to uncover the financial holdings of those who would rather keep these records hidden.
Being indebted, regardless of how much is owed, can indeed be a difficult and frustrating experience. Not known to most debtors, these are the same sentiments that creditors feel when they don’t get paid back. Creditors also desire to wipe out all loans as much as borrowers do, but only when they get back what is rightly owed them, or at least, as much of that as possible.
Insurance is unquestionably no stranger to hidden assets. Subrogation and insurance fraud both being examples of when an insurance company intends to recover monies paid and often that money isn’t readily accessible. Hidden asset investigations during these recoveries ultimately help both the insurance company’s bottom line and keep premiums lower for the customers.
The use of professional asset searches to find business fraud allows for an impartial inquiry into what is often a complex problem. While business fraud is not anything new, with the help of today’s ever-evolving technology the methods and opportunities for fraud evolve as well. Here’s what you can expect in a business fraud investigation.
Divorce can be a complicated process. Financial issues can make it more complex when one party fails to report income or assets accurately. When a divorce involves a business owner, individuals of high net worth, and families with foreign holdings and personal trusts it can seem impossible to put the pieces together for a clear picture. These cases can often involve allegations of hidden assets and even fraud which can lead to an asset search.
If properly conducted by a credible asset investigator, an asset search is a valuable tool in both pre and post litigation. For example, it’s not an uncommon situation when an Attorney has a severely injured client, and the liable party’s insurance limits are too low to cover the damages. An asset search can help determine if the attorney should seek those additional assets to satisfy the damages or settle for policy limits.