How to Solve Asset Investigations

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Assets are essentially anything of value that a person, household, or business owns. Assets could be monetary (like a bank account), or they could be physical assets, like property and vehicles. Because assets are, by definition, valuable, people in all sorts of industries need to gather information on them to do their jobs. However, anyone who has needed to find assets on assets for an investigation of any kind knows that assets aren’t always easy to uncover — whether that’s because someone has intentionally hidden them or there is no obvious record of them. Luckily, technology is here to help.

One of the best tools to use is an asset search, which you can access in a public and private records database. What is a hidden asset search? A hidden asset search is a search to find proof of assets that a party has hidden. Even if someone isn’t intentionally disclosing their assets, an asset search can help you find physical proof of a person’s assets. An asset search an incredibly powerful tool that can be leveraged in many different circumstances. From legal disputes to collection and recovery, here are 3 different asset investigations you can solve with an asset search.

Asset investigation services for law

Assets are often a point of contention in legal disputes. In family law cases like divorce, dividing assets is one of the most important parts of settlement. One spouse going through a divorce may attempt to hide assets from the other spouse in order to avoid splitting them and in turn receive a more favorable divorce settlement. To ensure all assets are found in the asset investigation, brought to the table, and properly divided, legal professionals can perform an asset search to uncover property records, aircraft records, vehicle records, and even vessel records. These records can be brought to the court as physical evidence so the court can make informed decisions about how to fairly divide these assets between the two parties — ensuring your client is getting the items that are rightfully theirs.

Estate planning and probate law is another field of law in which attorneys need a full picture of assets. Because planning and executing wills can be complicated, many people hire attorneys to handle it. When executing a will, there is always a risk that certain assets weren’t accounted for in the will. If attorneys can’t find these assets, they could stay with the individual who currently has them, even if the individual doesn’t have a legal right to those assets. Asset investigation services like an asset search can help attorneys find any hidden or stolen assets that were legally owned by a deceased person so they can distribute those assets to their rightful owners. 

  • Asset investigations are important to reaching a fair settlement in divorce disputes, however certain parties may have an incentive to hide assets. 
  • An asset search can help attorneys find all assets, even hidden ones, and bring them to court so they can be fairly divided between each spouse.
  • Similarly, legal professionals can use an asset search for an estate planning and probate law to properly executive wills and distribute assets to their rightful owners.

Use an asset search for a fraud asset investigation 

Though there are many types of fraud, hiding assets is a common way in which people commit fraud. For example, when a person files for bankruptcy, they need to declare all their assets because assets that are not exempt in the bankruptcy filing may be sold as partial repayment to the creditor. However, people filing for bankruptcy may attempt to hide certain assets so they don’t have to give them. up. People may also hide assets (like property) to avoid paying taxes on these assets, or they may file insurance claims and use the insurance money received to illegally purchase assets.

An asset search can help people conducting fraud investigations, whether its law enforcement agents, the government, an insurance company, or private investigators, uncover all those assets. If you’re performing an asset investigation on someone for fraudulently lying about their assets during a bankruptcy filing, an asset search can help you find any assets, like vehicles, that weren’t disclosed and repossess them. Or, if your insurance company has reason to believe that a person used insurance money to purchase an asset rather than for the reason they claimed, an asset search can reveal any assets that were purchased, for how much they were purchased, and when they were purchased. This information can help you determine whether or not someone made a fraudulent claim and get that money back (and even more) if it was used for the wrong reasons. 

  • When someone doesn’t declare all their assets even though they are legally required to, whether it’s for an insurance claim or a bankruptcy filing, that can be considered fraud.
  • If you’re performing an asset investigation on someone to identify fraud, an asset search can help you uncover any assets that individual may have fraudulently hidden.
  • An asset search can also help with fraud investigations by uncovering assets an individual purchased fraudulently, like with money from a fake insurance claim.

Asset investigations and recovery for collection and repossession 

When a creditor loans money to a borrower, that borrower is expected to repay that loan. If they cannot, that account will go to collections and in some cases, the creditor may repossess certain items. Whether it’s for collecting on a debt or repossessing certain items, it’s important for financial services, collection agencies, and repo services to be able to locate assets for asset collections investigations so that they can claim them for collection or repossession. 

If a debtor owns certain assets like property, the creditor may be able to put a lien on that debtor’s property, which is a claim to that asset to secure payment if the debtor cannot repay their debt. If a financial services business has provided a loan for a debtor to buy a certain asset (like a car) and the debtor has defaulted on their payments, they may have the right to repossess that asset. An asset search can help uncover an individual’s assets, even hidden assets, so you can determine what collateral can be used to secure payment. Asset records can also be used to prove that certain items belong to certain people so that you can make a legal claim to those assets and repossess them if need be — ensuring you get the payment that you’re owed.

  • A creditor or collection and repossession agency may need to perform an asset investigation to recover assets for debt repayment. 
  • Whether you need to physically repossess assets or put a lien on an asset, you can use an asset search to locate any assets you’re entitled to for collection.
  • An asset search can also help with asset collections investigations by providing you with details about ownership of assets so you can identify which assets you have a claim to.

Whether you’re needing to locate assets for law, a fraud investigation, for collection and recovery, or something else entirely, you should leverage the best asset search tool in a public and private records database like Tracers. With Tracers asset search, you can gather comprehensive details about a variety of different assets, from property to vehicles to vessels. 

If you’re ready to see what an asset search can do for you, get started with Tracers today.