Asset Research or Asset Location uses advanced skip tracing techniques to find assets. The resulting information helps you determine the next step in your debt collection process. A completed Asset Research Report provides you with the answers needed to make informed decisions about the debtor, which saves you time and money!
When Should You Request an Asset Research Report?
Asset Research should be done anytime a lawsuit is filed or a settlement is being considered. Prior to spending money on litigation it is prudent to know about a defendant’s financial situation. Not doing your homework can result in wasted filing fees, process server fees and wasted time and effort.
Know Your Collection Probability
Through general skip tracing results, you are able to obtain a judgement. This is where asset research and location can help. Knowing your probability of collection determines your collection efforts. If you pursue a judgment and then discover assets are nonexistent, you’re right back where you started just a little further in the hole.
Do Your Homework
Due diligence should be a required step when contemplating a more rigorous strategy or settling a case. Whether or not assets are to be found it’s best to know before proceeding.
A judgement gives the right to execute on assets. There are varying ways to collect on a judgement:
Judgement on Real Property
A judgment i.e. put a lien on real property. If a defendant owns real-estate of any kind, including; primary residence, income property, vacant land, commercial property etc, a lien can be placed on this property. It is possible to foreclose in order to collect a debt, more commonly a lien will encumber a property. When a debtor attempts to sell the real property, the lien must be dealt with in order to have a clear title. Real property cannot be transferred without a clear title. This may force the debtor to pay off the lien or forfeit the sale. A lien holder may have to hold the lien but can be assured of some satisfaction. This may take some time but is always recommended.
• State laws may vary so it is important to do a little research to find out what options are available in any particular area. Sheriff’s sales are possible but all liens must be satisfied. Knowing what other encumbrances exist is critical information. Sometimes a full title search may be required.
These options may not be quick, but they are effective.
Is a Settlement in Your Best Interest?
When contemplating a settlement, asset search should be done in order to make an informed decision. Are you getting a good deal or perhaps leaving possible dollars on the table? A defendant will naturally try to settle for as little as possible. An insurance company may only be responsible for the policy limits, but the defendant may have the ability to pay more. There may be substantial real estate or business holdings. It is prudent to know before making a deal. Asset information is a powerful commodity, the more you have the better off you’ll be. Asset research will help you make informed decisions.
Employment Locate. If you can locate a judgement debtor’s place of employment, a writ of garnishment can be served to their employer. This will entitle you to a percentage of the debtor’s take home pay. Laws vary greatly from state to state. This is a very effective way to get paid, not only do you receive a portion of the pay check, but employers frown on the additional paper work. The employee may feel pressure to begin paying voluntarily as a result.
A judgement gives a creditor the right to execute on liquid assets such as bank accounts. If a bank account can be found it is possible to attach all of the funds in the account. Sometimes you get lucky and the entire amount of the judgement is in the account, and the judgement is satisfied through your writ of garnishment. Most debtors will not continue to deposit money in an account once it has been “hit” the first time. There may be thousands in an account or just pennies. A garnishment is a court order to attach any available funds in the account.
• The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act has made locating bank accounts very difficult. It is not legal to make “Gag” calls or ruse calls either to the debtor or to make any misrepresentation to anyone including a financial institution.
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ARBI Asset Research services for debt collection are designed to help you accomplish your goals, whether you are attempting to collect a debt, choosing the most appropriate collection technique or deciding whether a settlement is appropriate.