Getting a significant judgment against a defendant is only half the battle. If there are no assets to collect, the judgment may be little more than a symbolic victory. That’s where we come in. We assist attorneys and their clients, pre and post-judgment, in determining if their opposition has assets to collect upon, if they are already encumbered or where they are trying to hide them. An asset search can prevent you from engaging in costly litigation when there is little if any chance of recovery.
We start every asset search by developing a comprehensive address history for the subject. Once we know what cities and states to search we begin the process of identifying business affiliations, real property holdings, vehicle, aircraft, and watercraft ownership. We identify encumbrances such as liens and mortgages and identify lawsuits, judgments, and bankruptcy filings.
If there is the reason to believe that assets are being hidden we extend the asset search to include any transactions between the subject and his relatives and associates. As the investigation unfolds, we can provide the client with a clear picture of the subject’s financial worth. This allows the client to make an informed and cost-effective decision about litigation and\or recovery. Do not invest in costly litigation until you know whether or not your opposition has real recoverable assets.
Many clients expect an asset search to identify and provide bank account records, and other private documents. Recent federal legislation has made it illegal for anyone, including private investigators to even attempt to use pretexting to obtain private data from government agencies, banks, hospitals or pharmacies. The only exception is child support enforcement with a court order. There are numerous companies that offer to provide bank records. Please be aware that by hiring one of these companies you are almost certainly violating federal law. Pretexting is illegal, we adhere to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and does not use pretexting to obtain a bank account, or other private information, Do not take shortcuts that put you or your client in legal jeopardy. There are legal methods of identifying assets.
If you require the services of an experienced Houston asset investigator feel free to call for a consultation.