Assets can take various forms, from bank accounts and real estate to vehicles, corporate, UCCs and intellectual properties. When it comes to conducting an asset search, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it involves meticulous research into different asset classes, each of which has its unique search requirements.

Types of Assets and Their Locations

Assets can be found in various locations, and each type of asset often requires a separate search effort. There is no magic button that instantly reveals all assets. Here’s a breakdown of where to search for different asset classes:

  1. Real Estate: Real estate records are typically kept in the county recorder’s office.
  2. Vehicles: Vehicle records are maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  3. Bank Accounts: Bank account records are accessed through systems like the Swift Code or other Electronic Network Transfer (ENT) investigations.
  4. Corporate Assets: Corporate assets and intellectual properties require their unique search methods and locations.
  5. UCCs (Uniform Commercial Codes): UCC filings are publicly available records that can reveal secured transactions on personal property.

The Process of an Asset Search

Performing an asset search is a labor-intensive process that involves meticulously searching through these record sources, collecting supporting documents, and analyzing them to identify the assets held by an individual or entity. It also involves looking for signs of fraudulent conveyances, where assets have been transferred to another party to hide them, or if they have been placed in the name of a nominee trustee to avoid detection.

The Importance of Asset Tracing

Asset tracing is a vital aspect of an asset search, particularly when dealing with judgments, court litigation, probate cases, divorce proceedings, or even fraudulent activities like Ponzi schemes. It aims to uncover concealed assets, as individuals may attempt to hide their assets in an effort to protect them or evade legal consequences.

Why a Comprehensive Approach Matters

Conducting a thorough asset search is crucial when accuracy and completeness are essential. It’s more than just running a basic electronic search or a quick Google search, as these methods often fall short. A comprehensive asset search must encompass all relevant sources, such as bank accounts, real estate holdings, corporate assets, LLCs, and more.

Conclusion

Conducting an asset search is a complex and multifaceted process, with each asset class requiring its unique search and investigation. To obtain accurate and comprehensive information, it’s crucial to go beyond basic electronic searches and leverage specialized knowledge and resources. Whether you’re pursuing a judgment, navigating court litigation, handling probate or divorce cases, or dealing with financial fraud, a thorough asset search can be the key to uncovering hidden assets and ensuring that you have the correct and complete information you need.