A hidden bank account search is the most commonly requested type of asset search. A hidden bank account search is usually performed when there are legal reasons prompting the investigation, such as divorce, judgment, or litigation. Today’s technology, combined with an individual’s ability to change their online footprint, makes it easy for debtors or individuals to hide financial assets in a variety of ways, including secret bank accounts. During the divorce process, or during court proceedings where individuals are acquiring assets from each other, it is important to check for hidden bank accounts.
There is no central database available to the public for searches for bank account information. Under U.S. privacy laws, bank account information is not considered a public record and may only be accessed by authorized individuals. However, that does not necessarily mean you cannot access this information.
Before undertaking a search for an individual’s bank accounts, make sure the methods used to obtain information 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 hidden bank accounts, there are several methods you can use:
- Utilize swift codes
- Utilize check verification
- Third-party access
- Locate private sector sources where bank accounts may be available
There are many ways to legally search for bank accounts before searching make sure your methods are compliant with all applicable laws. We are not attorneys or giving legal advice.
Debtors who owe large amounts of money often hide their bank accounts. One common way to hide bank accounts is the debtor will create a fake company or LLC that they will send payments to, but the bank account is actually one owned by the debtor that is poised to be hidden.
Hidden bank accounts can provide a large victory for a creditor, but not if the account holds a low or negative balance. Asset searches should include all types of secret assets, as well as hidden bank accounts. If a debtor feels like their assets may be taken, they may begin to disperse their money and assets. Creditors should check Venmo accounts, stored cashier’s checks, cryptocurrency investments, real estate assets, vehicles, and corporate assets.
Ready to get started? Active Intel Investigations specializes in asset searches, providing options for a full asset search and do-it-yourself investigation options.