What is an Asset Search?
An asset search is usually a nationwide search of public records and records that are not readily available to the public, for the purpose of locating real estate or personal property of a person or corporate entity together with any liabilities or potential liabilities that may exist against those assets such as state and federal tax liens, judgments and bankruptcies.
When is an Asset Search Most Helpful?
An asset search is most helpful in personal injury and/or motor vehicle cases. When you have a personal injury or motor vehicle case with significant injuries and limited insurance coverage, conducting an asset search is critical. One of the main purposes of an asset search is to assist attorneys and/or injured parties in locating assets and liabilities, both pre and post litigation. Often is the case when a personal injury attorney has a client with severe injuries and an insurance policy with inadequate coverage. The question then becomes whether to settle a case for the policy limits or seek additional assets to attach to satisfy a judgment.
What happens to the attorney who fails to inform the client that they could have conducted an asset search to uncover additional assets to make them whole?
By providing the client with the choice and expenses associated with conducting a nationwide asset search, the attorney can satisfy their due diligence and important obligations to their client. In addition, where the subject may be concealing assets, such as through family trusts, partnerships or the like, a properly conducted asset search will provide a strategic road map for the attorney.
Needless to say, it is essential for businesses and individuals to receive debts or payments that are due to them in a prompt and efficient manner. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that the collection of payments owed to us or our clients is delayed. An asset search is a wise and rational first step in collecting debts and in even helping you determine whether you should exert further collection efforts at all. Information contained in asset search reports can help guide you towards the most efficient collection strategy and determine whether or not the subject even has sufficient assets to make it worth spending further time and resources.