What Can be Discovered Through an Asset Search in lieu of Bank Account Information?
Since the Financial Services Modernization Act was signed into law on November 12, 1999, it is no longer permissible to obtain bank account information from either banks or bank customers by the use of false pretense. We have been repeatedly asked the question: if I can’t get the bank account information, should I even bother to conduct an asset search?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY yes. Aside from bank account information, there is everything else, including, but not limited to: real estate, deed transfers, automobiles, trucks, boats, watercraft, planes, trademarks, professional licenses and so forth. A thorough asset search will also provide all entities that are associated with your subject that could also be holding assets. Entities such as trusts, limited partnerships, and corporations. More important, if title to the assets is held jointly with another party, their identity will be revealed as well.
An asset search can also identify the liabilities associated with your subject, which can help the attorney and client make a well-informed decision as to whether it is worth spending good money after bad to secure a judgment if there will be no assets to attach and the subject is straddled with pre-existing debt. These liabilities include Federal and State Tax liens, bankruptcies, other liens and judgments including Uniform Commercial Code liens and other lawsuits against your subject.
A comprehensive asset search can also provide information on whether your subject is in the armed services; employment status and the employer; whether she/he is a director or officer of a publicly traded company; civil or criminal records; and in some states, driving records. The turn- around time on most asset searches is one to three days and the cost is $ 185 per search or less.