Bank account searches are the most commonly requested type of asset search. There are a variety of reasons to conduct a bank account search, including divorce, judgment, litigation, and other legal reasons. With today’s technology and the ability to hide your online footprint, it can be easy for debtors or individuals to disguise financial assets by opening offshore bank accounts. Anyone working through the process of obtaining assets from another person should take measures to check for hidden bank account assets as well as other secret assets that may be out of reach.

Under U.S. privacy laws, bank account information is protected and considered a private record. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t conduct the search, it just means it won’t be easy. Before searching for a hidden bank account, make sure the methods you’re using are compliant with the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999. This act prohibits “pretexting” which occurs when someone contacts a financial institution in an attempt to obtain protected information on an individual while falsely claiming to be that individual.

To search for a hidden bank account, there are a few methods you can use:

  • Locate private sector sources where bank accounts may be available
  • Utilize swift codes
  • Utilize check verification
  • Vetting
  • Third-party access

A hidden bank account can be a huge win for a creditor, but it may not be if the account holds a low balance. When conducting an asset search, it’s imperative to consider all types of assets. A subject who feels like assets may be taken may begin to disperse assets. Check for additional assets such as Venmo accounts, stored cashier’s checks, cryptocurrency investments, real estate, and vehicles. Hidden bank accounts are valuable, but so are real estate assets. A hidden bank account with $1,000 may not have much value compared with $800,000 worth of real estate.

There are many ways to legally search for bank accounts. Before searching, make sure your efforts are compliant with the Gramm Leach Bliley Act as well as any other applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Looking for professional support? Active Intel Investigations specializes in asset searches locating hidden bank accounts and hidden assets. Get started with a private investigator, or become your own investigator with a DIY Asset Search.