Are you owed money? Are you facing a risky business decision? If you answered “yes” to either question, an asset investigation might be helpful in uncovering the money you are entitled to, or for healthy risk management in a business matter. Whether you are considering a business acquisition or merger, are involved in a personal injury case, or need to collect monies owed on a contractual obligation, locating assets is crucial for obtaining a favorable settlement or resolution to a legal dispute. The goal of an asset investigation in a business matter is to obtain useful information to help avoid bad investment decisions and to protect your business. Tracing assets prior to merging or acquiring a business, a routine component during due diligence, is a proven and imperative step in assessing risk and forming healthy business relationships. Not only is it important to locate assets, it’s also advantageous to know the state of those assets.

Are you considering litigation?  If the ultimate goal of filing litigation is to receive compensation for property damages or personal injuries, then it’s important to know if the opposing party has adequate means to cover the potential debt. Prior to putting in the time and spending potentially thousands of dollars in a legal proceeding, it’s in your best interest to decide if the opposing side is worth pursuing.

Suze Orman, personal financial guru, famously said “We tend to focus on assets and forget about debts.” In addition to being good advice in establishing personal financial security, the saying applies equally to establishing a financial “big picture” of a company or individual during an asset investigation.In addition to locating tangible assets, an asset trace should include identifying other debt obligations such as mortgages, tax liens and judgments. All of these other relationships serve as an example of how this business or individual performs and handles finances. This can also influence who gets paid first, especially in reference to collecting debts.

Assets can be uncovered through a slew of investigative methods.  At the beginning of a new case, a basic background check is conducted. After the goals of the client are established and the background check is complete, the investigator will then begin the “digging” process. This process can include but is not limited to researching, interviewing and conducting field investigations.

Anyone could easily perform a Google search but only a qualified investigator has the resources to discover hard to find information; for example, whether an individual is using an alias to conduct business, commit fraud and hide assets. While it’s difficult to predict what information is available in each case, and, with the absence of a subpoena, there are laws and information access boundaries to consider. But even with these constraints, come some of an investigator’s most compelling discoveries.

When you need to avoid bad investment decisions and protect your business call Trace Investigations at 800-310-8857.