Reasons for Conducting an Asset Search
Knowledge is power. This axiom is nowhere more apparent than in the litigation context. What you know can help you and your clients, and what you don’t know can absolutely hurt you. At Millennium Intelligence Agency (MIA), our professional investigative team conducts a variety of services for civil litigators, including asset searches. Asset searches serve a number of important functions, allowing you to gain leverage in negotiations, properly advise your clients, and protect your practice. Below, we discuss several reasons for conducting an asset search in your litigation.
Evaluating a Case
Before you start your litigation, it’s important to conduct proper due diligence. The more information you can gather, the better you’ll understand the potential value of the claims and risks of taking on a potential new client. You’ll learn about their domestic and foreign assets, insurance policies, relationships with financial institutions, bankruptcies, other past or present litigation, and even property kept in other names. Your investigator will provide you with a complete investigative report on any parties to the litigation, including whether they have assets that are attachable, whether there are other parties with ownership or liability interests, and which jurisdictions may become involved.
Armed with a full picture of the other party, you’ll be in a much stronger bargaining position at the settlement negotiation table. You’ll also have a much better idea as to how to advise your client. If there’s a healthy umbrella insurance policy that might apply to your case, for example, you can use that to your advantage and negotiate for a higher settlement. Conducting proper due diligence allows you to serve your clients better and mitigate the risk of any malpractice allegations down the line.
Enforcing a Judgment
If you prevail in your litigation, either through judgment, court order, jury verdict, or settlement, you still need to collect the judgment. The judgment isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if you cannot actually collect the amounts owed. With a comprehensive asset search, you can identify any and all resources possessed by the defendant.
A thorough asset search by the MIA team will identify real property, investment accounts, bank accounts, insurance coverage, and other sources of funds or liquidity. You’ll know which assets are attachable in a collection action, and you’ll have the details regarding any applicable liability or umbrella policies. Even if the search does not uncover current assets, the results will be a jumping-off point to find other assets or relationships that may be brought into the action to satisfy your client’s judgment.
If you are performing due diligence in advance of a settlement, gathering evidence for pending litigation, working to establish a financial profile, or trying to locate a missing party, Millennium Intelligence Agency is ready to offer you comprehensive support. Call our diligent and thorough legal investigative team today at 213-986-9888 for thorough and effective intelligence-gathering services.