Photo courtesy of DES Daughter, Flickr

Considering a lawsuit? Waiting to collect a judgment? If so, it may be time to hire a licensed private investigator to conduct a corporate asset investigation. Corporations are viewed legally as a separate legal entity from their shareholders, and are considered as legal persons in the eyes of the law. Corporate litigation is also an expensive and lengthy process. Due to these circumstances, asset searches involving corporations require a specific type of investigation that only a licensed private investigator can provide.

Reasons for a Corporate Asset Search

Most investigations of a corporation’s assets occur in two stages: pre-trial and post-trial. A pre-trial search of assets can help clients determine if a lawsuit is worth pursuing. The cost of corporate litigation adds up, and if the opposing company won’t be able to pay a judgment, the lawsuit will end up costing much more than it is worth. Asset searches can also prevent a lawsuit from happening in the first place. Information on things like hidden bank accounts and past lawsuits has proven to be a valuable tool for negotiations. For corporate litigation totaling over 500k, an asset search is essential.

Conducting an asset investigation post-trial will uncover assets that a debtor is trying to conceal. People and companies who are forced to give up assets will often go through great lengths to hide them. Businesses have been known to move funds offshore and set up overseas bank accounts in an effort to hide their money, and some may misrepresent the amount and value of their assets. Debtors will also have assets that are protected under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, making it much harder to obtain a judgment. It can take up to ten years for a creditor to receive their judgment in full, and that’s not accounting for legal extensions. The creditor has a legal right to receive their judgment, but is often left to retrieve that money without the aid of the court.

Hiring a Private Investigator

Most corporate attorneys do not have the time or means to conduct a thorough pre-trial investigation of a company’s assets. In post-trial investigations, creditor rights attorneys will work together with private investigators to ensure that their client’s judgment is paid. They need information quickly and legally, which is something that a licensed corporate private investigator can provide. Intelligence on liquid assets can be hard to come by legally without the aid of a professional, and can take a long time to prove successful. A private eye will work together with an attorney to thoroughly investigate the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • UCC Filings
  • Federal and state tax liens
  • Real estate and mortgage information
  • Bankruptcy
  • Past judgments and lawsuits
  • Affiliated companies
  • Offshore assets

There are several ways in which a debtor will attempt to conceal assets, making an asset search necessary. Public records and internet searches will only turn up so much, and must be done so by legal means. Hiring an investigator who is experienced in corporate litigation will increase the likelihood that a creditor will receive their judgment in a timely manner.

Choosing the Right Investigator

Hiring a licensed private investigator is an essential part of a corporate asset search. With no less than 20 years of experience, Thomas Lauth and his team of investigators at Lauth Investigations International will work attorneys to ensure that the client’s needs are met. With three main locations in Indianapolis, IN, Denver, CO, and Miami, FL, our investigators are dedicated to providing national and global corporations with complex investigations.

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