In our experience, "Asset Investigation" is somewhat of a generic term which encompasses different definitions.
One lawyer might consider an "Asset Investigation" a search for a person's bank accounts. Another lawyer might consider it a review of a person's tangible assets such as real estate and vehicles.
Like the latter, we use the term in the context an "Asset Investigation" is a search for the person's tangible assets and liabilities. Tangible assets such as real estate, business interests and vehicles; liabilities such as loans encumbering real estate, current tax liens and pending lawsuits.
We prefer to call a search for bank accounts just that – a "Bank Account Search." Similarly, we call a search for a person's employment a "Place of Employment" search. Both these items are treated as separate and individual investigations.
Two other points of confusion with the term "Asset Investigation" includes the research included with an asset investigation, and pricing.
Before initiating any type of asset investigation it’s important to discuss with the investigator the expectations, goals and purpose for the investigation. With the goal and purpose clearly defined, we can choose the best course of research and investigation to achieve the desired result.
Of course, you can add any other investigation component to our basic asset investigation. For example, if you need the basic asset investigation to identify real property assets and liabilities, but also need to know the current employer, then we add a “Place of Employment” search to the basic asset investigation at a discounted price.
Budget consideration also plays in an important factor in asset investigations. Not everybody has the budget to conduct a comprehensive, all-inclusive asset investigation. Then again, sometimes an all-inclusive investigation might not be needed.
For example, there’s a huge difference in content and price for an asset investigation conducted to assess a subject’s financial worth BEFORE entering into litigation; as opposed to an asset investigation conducted for post-judgment collection purposes. In this example, bank account information might not be relevant or even necessary to the pre-litigation asset investigation.
We offer several different levels of asset investigation, each structured to give you the most research for your budget considerations. We suggest establishing a budget, and within that budget amount we prioritize items you identify as significant, and omit those you feel are irrelevant or less important. This ensures we are focusing our time and energy on the correct resources to find the answers you need.
And of course, as mentioned, a comprehensive, all-inclusive asset investigation is also available.
There are also those cases where traditional methods of asset investigation will not work. Sometimes it’s necessary to engage other professionals who specialize in finding hidden assets. Assets hidden in areas like offshore bank accounts, nominee bank accounts, sham trusts, shell companies, fake businesses, fake employees, fake vendors, tax refunds, insurance policies etc.
Other times, human intelligence and even trash runs might be necessary to uncover the hidden assets, or at least leads to the assets. In those instances we suggest calling our office to discuss the matter in detail.
Please note our asset investigations are conducted by licensed investigators and are considered “legal” investigations. They are conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCCRAA).
Our legal and "above the board" Asset Investigations contain the following components, which can be tailored or customized to fit your specific needs.
What You Get:
Typical Cost of Asset Investigation $650 - $800*
* Depending upon degree of difficulty encountered, type of surname (common or uncommon name), volume of information found, and other variables.