Is a defendant worth suing?
You may have a case, but what if the person you’re suing has no assets? An asset search can help you decide what to do.
We’ve seen more requests for asset searches lately, and their open-ended nature is what makes them so interesting. Every asset search is a new process, and we never know what we’ll find.
Generally, asset searches are conducted for one of two reasons:
- Litigation research. Most commonly, you’re trying to determine if a company or a person is worth suing.
- Due diligence. You’re considering a significant business relationship and want to make sure a company or person or entity has represented their financial status accurately.
When clients come to us for an asset search, we ask what they already know about the subject, and the goals of the inquiry. While sometimes clients retain us to find wealth secreted away, usually clients need to make a decision: is a lawsuit worth the time and money?
The critical information an asset search can reveal
An asset search generally provides information on:
- Real estate and personal property ownership
- Business ownership
- Patents & trademarks
- Financial information, including trusts and shell companies
- Judgments, liens, and bankruptcies, providing insight into liabilities.
- Corporate filings and other business records.
A typical asset search includes:
- A background check, including litigation and other public records
- A check of online research databases, social media, and other sources
- Sometimes surveillance, especially if a subject is trying to hide assets.
Some people use trusts, shell companies, multiple accounts, or other names to hide assets. Their goals may be to avoid taxes, keep creditors away or make it difficult to collect on civil judgments. Public records and social media can also be revealing.
Depending on the scope and resources, your search may not be like another client’s search. But we conduct each asset search expediently, with a network of specialists in different areas and access to additional expertise as needed.
Deep experience in litigation research
An asset search is rarely just an assignment to find assets. Instead of just checking boxes, we take the time to understand what our litigation clients are ultimately trying to accomplish, and we deliver the information that helps them make an important decision. Because of our deep understanding of litigation research, we’re often pulled into all elements of litigation and become an integral part of the process.