Asset Search

Table Of Contents

Asset Search Services

Ever wish you could find out exactly what valuable possessions someone owns that could be “converted” into cash to repay you?

If so, an Asset Search is for you.

The Debtor Inspector Difference

Debtor Inspector has been conducting asset searches on debtors, individuals, and organizations for over 20 years.

Our proprietary software utilizes a custom algorithm that compiles and verifies information in real-time from over 2,777 public and private sources.

We help you to determine what kind of assets an individual or business has, as well as its monetary value.

Before you begin an asset search, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the basics so you know precisely what to look for.

Debtor Inspector’s Asset Search Reports can help you to understand:

What an asset is and the category it belongs to
How that asset might most likely be “hidden”
Whether or not that asset has any monetary value tied to it
If and how that asset can be “converted” into cash to repay a debt that is owed to you

If you’re brand new to asset searches and need help “connecting the dots”, utilizing Debtor Inspector’s Support Services may be a better option for you vs. a “DIY” approach.

Asset Search 101

Asset searches are sometimes referred to as “Asset Investigations”, “Asset Checks”, or “Asset Recovery Solutions”.

To successfully search for assets, and turn delinquent debt into recovered revenue, we here at Debtor Inspector believe you need to have the 3 “S” formula in place which is:

Software + Strategy + Support = Successful Debt Collection.

Before you conduct an asset search, it’s important to first define what an asset is.

What Is An Asset?

An asset is something either tangible, or intangible (e.g. “digital”) that a debtor, individual, or company owns that has a monetary value tied to it.

When people think of assets, typically the first thing that comes to mind is a static or “fixed” asset such as a factory’s machines or a person’s rental property. However, there are many asset classification types, and each one of them “works” to either bring present and/or future value to an individual or organization.

For businesses, Assets can “work” to support business operations, generate money, or reduce expenses.

Below are some examples of tangible and intangible assets that individuals and companies may own:

Tangible Assets:

  1. Houses and Land
  2. Cars, Boats, Motorcycles, and Planes
  3. Art and Jewelry
  4. Tools and Machinery
  5. Office Furniture

Intangible Assets:

  1. Proprietary Software
  2. CRM databases
  3. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
  4. Royalties
  5. Domain Names

What Is A "Hidden Asset”?

A “Hidden Asset” is an asset that a person or organization intentionally tries to conceal.

Since the definition of an asset is anything that has a monetary value attached to it, debtors, individuals, and companies often try to “hide” assets for fear of having that asset repossessed (i.e. taken away) to pay any current or even future debts they owe/would owe.

Even if individuals and organizations do not owe any debt currently, preventative measures can be taken to protect and “hide” assets in case future debts are incurred. The process of taking preventative measures to safeguard an asset is known as “Asset Protection Planning”.

Considering that individuals and organizations go to great lengths to hide their assets, hidden asset searches are typically more in-depth, and thus require more intense investigative methods than standard asset searches.

How Do People And Organizations “Hide” Assets?

Debtors, individuals, and businesses try to protect or hide their assets by either:

1. Physically hiding them
2. Transferring their ownership
3. Establishing legal “Asset Protection Entities” such as business entities (i.e. LLCs) and trusts.

What Is An Asset Search?

To reiterate, an “asset” is something either tangible, or intangible (e.g. “digital”) that a debtor, individual, or organization owns that has a monetary value tied to it.

An “Asset Search” is a type of investigation that is performed in order to find these tangible or intangible possessions.

In the case of collecting debts, an asset search is done to find out what possessions a debtor or company owns that can be “converted” into cash in order to repay a debt.

Many people don’t know that asset searches can also be conducted to see if a person or organization has been involved in any legal issues.

For example, if an asset has liens or judgments against it, an asset search can uncover this.

Asset searches can be conducted on individuals and/or companies who are in plain sight or who have gone missing. In the latter case, a skip trace search can be performed to locate their whereabouts

The information that may be uncovered while performing an asset search can provide vital insight into the integrity of the person or organization you are attempting to locate or go into business with.

When Should You Investigate Assets?

In short, asset searches (as well as commercial credit reports) are used to research and “Do Your Business Due Diligence” (i.e. “Do Your Homework”) on people and organizations you wish to engage with before you decide to work with them.

Some use cases of when an asset search or a hidden asset search can be performed include:

  • Determining the financial health of a potential business partner
  • Determining the financial health of a potential vendor
  • Determining the financial health of a business you wish to acquire

Other scenarios where asset searches can be applied include:

  1. Divorces
  2. Fraud or Embezzlement cases
  3. Estate planning
  4. Background checks

Are Asset Searches Legal?

To give a legal answer, “It depends”.

Asset searches are legal as long as they adhere to each state’s law.

Other factors involved in the legality of an asset search include “permissible use”, and the circumstances surrounding the search.

To err on the side of caution, it is advised to consult with experts like Debtor Inspector who are familiar with both federal and state laws.

Types Of Asset Searches We Conduct

As mentioned, there are many types of assets. Below is a partial list of some of the more unique assets we can search for:

  1. Bank Accounts
  2. Stocks, Bonds, and Other Investment Accounts
  3. Employment Income
  4. Retirement Income

Despite its name, asset searches can also find liabilities as well such as:

  1. Judgments
  2. Liens
  3. Bankruptcies
  4. Lawsuits

Who Can Do An Asset Search?

Anyone!

You don’t have to be a Private Investigator or work in collections to perform an Asset Search.

As long as you have access to reports that contain up-to-date public and private information and you know “how to connect the dots”, you can find success in your search!

If you need any assistance with your investigation, check out our Support Services page for more information.

Benefits Of Hiring An Experienced Asset Search Company

A tool is only as good as the strategy and execution behind it.

While our software provides up-to-date debt collection intelligence reports that enable you to search for individuals and organizations, the advantage of working with an experienced asset search company is that you have access to someone to guide you through the investigative process.

Over the past 20 years, we have been able to perfect our investigative techniques and develop methodologies that can find debtors faster.

If you are new to asset searches, need to find a debtor fast, or don’t have the time to “connect the dots”, you may want to consider working with an experienced company vs taking a “DIY” approach.

Asset Search FAQ

Below are some quick answers to the most common questions people ask about asset searches.

If you’re looking for a more detailed explanation, please refer to the questions above.

The most common ways debtors, individuals, and businesses try to protect or hide their assets is either by:

  • Physically hiding them
  • Transferring their ownership
  • Forming “asset protection entities” such as business entities and trusts

Tangible and intangible assets as well as liabilities such as lawsuits and bankruptcies can all be uncovered in an asset search.

The time an asset search takes depends on a multitude of variables such as the number and types of assets that a debtor, individual, or business owns.

On average, a standard asset search can take anywhere between 1 day, to 2 weeks.

Debtor Inspector asset checks are priced competitively and range between $57 – $1,197.

We also offer discounts for high-volume searches.

Debtor Inspector can provide you with the software, strategy, and support services you need to help you perform a successful asset search.

If you have any questions about our software, or how you can effectively “connect the dots”, feel free to contact us.

This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice.

Want to know more about our Asset Search services?