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Do you need an Asset Trace?
If you suspect that assets may have been hidden from you, please get in touch with us for a no obligation discussion on the best way forward.
Many people aim to conceal assets from loved ones, relatives and business associates fearing they will be taken in a separation, divorce settlement or financial fallout. Assets may be hidden for tax reasons or other financial motives. Our Asset Tracing service is specifically designed for companies or individuals to establish the financial profile of an individual or entity, thus ensuring your settlement is fair and favourable. Tracking and monitoring hidden assets relies on thorough planning and a rigorous preliminary investigation.Our investigators will work alongside your solicitor and legal team to present appropriate court evidence to facilitate your claim.
Our Asset Trace will help you base negotiations on valid facts. These reports can be used to locate financial or physical assets and provide evidence of ownership, investments, acquisitions and partnerships. This information will help you determine if the subject has anything of value before embarking on costly litigation to recover property or funds.
What is an Asset Trace and Can it Help You?
Many people try to conceal their assets. They might do so because they fear that the assets will be taken in a separation or divorce settlement, or because they are worried that business associates or lenders could have a claim on them in the case of liquidation of their business. They might hide them for tax reasons. Whatever the reason, sometimes the result is that the family ends up suspecting there are assets somewhere to which they’re entitled, but not knowing where – or that business partners lose out when things go wrong.
What can you do when you find your wealthy ex-spouse is claiming to be penniless, or your former co-director claims he has no money despite the fact he appears to have emptied the company bank account? You can hire a private investigator and use an asset tracking service to find out the truth.
Our Asset Tracing service can establish an individuals’ financial profile or can look at a company or group of companies to establish what assets they hold and where they are held. That ensures you’ll get a settlement that is fair, and based on true data.
How do we track down hidden assets?
Tracking down hidden assets requires thorough planning. A scattergun approach is not enough. Working alongside your legal team, we will put together a preliminary investigation that can not just find those assets, but ensure you have evidence that will stand up in court.
We know the different ways that people try to hide assets. These range from simply ‘forgetting’ to tell you that they have bought a flat to using related party transactions between their company and another business they control to move money where they think it won’t be traced. Sometimes they set up companies in order to funnel money out via high salaries or dividends, or other directors’ perks. Then there are offshore bank accounts and other offshore holdings which are often used to keep money out of the tax man’s hands – but might also keep it away from a former spouse or a business that has been defrauded.
We also know how to read the small print. In some cases, such as related company transactions, reading the notes to the accounts in detail is crucial to gaining an understanding of what techniques might have been used and where assets have been transferred.
We start the asset tracing process with a full background check. A large amount of information is already in the public domain, and more can be accessed using paid-for services, but the key to the investigation is putting it all together and following up possible leads in a disciplined way. Our experience helps us recognise what’s important and distinguish the signal from the noise when asset tracking. We look through all the information available, such as audit documents, personnel records, and company filings, and talk to colleagues and family. We use public sources such as land registry, the vehicle licensing register, and so on, if we don’t have access to bank records and tax statements. We aim to build up a picture of the person’s lifestyle and associates and spot any potential disparity between income and outgoings.
All the information is legally obtained. For instance, we will get details of:
- property assets
- company assets
- major shareholdings
- marine ownership
- any vehicles owned
- credit reports
We also carry out a media, internet and global open source search, to catch any stray references that could indicate a useful area of research and lead us to find assets that have been hidden. Sometimes a blog post or a local newspaper report can help us on our way to an asset trace.
Why you should conduct an asset trace before litigation
Litigation is costly and although you may win your case, if the other party really doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay you, you will be out of pocket.
We create an Asset Trace report which you can use as hard evidence once your claim comes to court. But before you proceed with a claim, this information will help you determine if the subject has anything of value.
If we find that there are in fact no assets hidden away, we will have saved you the cost of litigation. If, on the other hand, we find that assets have been hidden, once you know about them you can start the process of getting them frozen – whether they’re located in the UK or abroad – ensuring that they don’t disappear while your case is being heard.
If you suspect that assets may have been hidden from you, please get in touch with us for a no obligation discussion on the best way forward. If you choose us to trace hidden assets, our consultants will work closely with you at all stages with the utmost discretion, to ensure the best chance of a positive outcome.
Find a person’s Assets
If you need to find a person’s assets then call us today and speak to one of our highly experienced asset tracers. Our private investigators have years of experience in conducting these types of investigations and tracking down valuable hidden assets.