Should you search for assets before filing a lawsuit?You have spent the last few months consulting with attorneys, collecting evidence and soliciting possible witnesses for a very promising lawsuit and it doesn’t seem like you have missed any critical component for successful litigation. What if later on you find out that the debtor individual or business has filed for bankruptcy a year ago? What if it turns out that the debtor individual only has assets worth a fraction of what you are demanding? Or even worse, what if the defendant’s liabilities far exceed their assets. The ultimate success of a lawsuit depends on whether the debtor can pay for your damages. You don’t want to waste thousands of dollars in attorney fees and your precious time only to find out that the judgment is nothing more than a meaningless piece of paper because the defendant has no money or other assets to satisfy the judgment.

Therefore, it is imperative that an individual or business and their legal representatives conduct an asset search before filing a lawsuit. An asset search determines whether it is financially worthwhile to file a lawsuit. You want to ensure that the debtor has sufficient assets to satisfy the judgment so that you win the battle as well as the war. Second, attorneys can also gather critical information from an asset search to gain significant leverage during pre-litigation negotiations and post-litigation discovery. That leverage enables the plaintiff to make an appropriate demand or decide not to proceed forward with litigation. If there is nothing to gain, there is no need to invest exorbitant time and capital for a lawsuit.

Last but not least, if you ever decide to file a lawsuit, you have to determine who to sue. If both an individual and a business are involved in the claim, an asset search will be invaluable to determine whether to sue the business or the individual or both because the search will identify who has sufficient assets, and from whom you will have a higher likelihood of recovering your damages.

So what exactly will an asset search reveal? An asset search will reveal the assets and liabilities of an individual or a business. Common types of assets are include real estate and other personal property, such as motor vehicles, boats and aircraft, but may also include assets under other entities such as family trusts, limited liability companies or partnerships that may have been fraudulently transferred for the purpose of hiding assets and avoiding judgments.

Asset searches normally include the following on both individuals and businesses:

• Real estate and deed transfers
• Mortgage information (when available)
• Federal and state tax liens and encumbrances
• Uniform commercial code liens (UCC Filings)
• Motor vehicle and registration information
• Watercraft
• Aircraft
• FAA pilot license information
• Professional licenses held by subject
• Bankruptcies
• Judgments
• Associated businesses with subject
• Current addresses and phone numbers
• Voter registration information
• Concealed weapon permits
• A/K/A’s and D/B/A’s of the subject
• Criminal records
• Sexual offender records
• Neighbors and relatives

You should find an asset search company that will offer quick, easy and affordable solutions. Asset Search Plus, Inc., for example, can conduct a nation-wide search for as little as $185 per individual subject and only $165.00 for a corporation or business. The search result will be forwarded to you within one (1) to three (3) business days. Asset Searches Plus, Inc. can be contacted at 1-800-290-1012, or at