Knowing if Your Opposing Party Has Assets

An important calculation at the pre-filing or post-filing stage involves whether a judgment can realistically be recovered from the defendant, or at what cost and effort the judgment must be recovered.

As such, the results of an asset search offer an invaluable resource to decide whether litigation is likely to be cost-effective,. The research can help discover the amount and location of assets, whether a judgment debtor may be concealing assets, has transferred assets to avoid attachment, or if an individual or entity is judgment proof due to current or future insolvency.

Seeking assets involves an intensive examination of sources for the following information:

  • Real and personal property held in the defendant’s name individually or jointly.
  • Any recent asset transfers conducted by the party and the identity of the recipient, including an examination of property moved to a spouse or business entity or trust with the intent of shielding these assets from attachment.
  • The existence of property or personal liens that could affect the ability to collect against the defendant’s assets, including the details of current mortgages and Uniform Commercial Code records.
  • Determine if the defendant is connected to entities such as a corporations, partnerships, LLCs, or trusts which may provide records that could be subpoenaed as part of litigation.
  • The existence of bank or other financial accounts. It is important to note, under federal and state laws, bank account information is confidential and cannot be disclosed without a subpoena issued by a court. However other information obtained in an asset search can be used to piece together information regarding the existence and whereabouts of these accounts so that they can be subpoenaed later during litigation.