Do you suspect that assets may have been hidden from you? This could occur during a business transaction or a private legal dispute. In cases like this, it’s important to ensure that you can gain an accurate representation of a company or individual. To do this, you need to use an asset tracing service.
What is Asset Tracing?
Asset tracing is the process of identifying an individual’s or business’ assets, these may include properties, businesses, vehicles and more. Understanding somebody’s financial position can help identify whether somebody has any adverse credit, whether they have hidden assets, or if they own businesses that may lead to a conflict of interest. Through the process of asset tracing we are also able to conduct identity verification and establish whether the subject has any other known aliases they may have used to hide assets or avoid detection. Our team provides robust reports which provide detail on the subject’s financial position.
Why Would We Use Asset Tracing?
Many people will try to conceal their assets. This is why asset tracing can be beneficial to private individuals as well as business owners. People may hide assets to avoid them being taken in a legal proceeding such as a divorce settlement. Or, they could be hidden to stop them from being claimed by lenders in the case of a business being liquidated. Here are some of the common cases where asset tracing will be a suitable option.
Legal proceedings can be costly and trying to make a financial claim against an individual or a business can be a timely process, if they do not have assets upon which can be levied, the entire process may be frivolous. Understanding your debtor's financial position is a vital part of the decision-making process when deciding whether to proceed with litigation and conducting an asset trace prior to taking litigation can prevent you from incurring legal expenses in pursuit of a debt that cannot be paid.
Asset tracing is not only useful for identifying whether a debtor can repay what is owed, it is often used in divorce hearings where one party has omitted assets from their Form E in order to obtain a favourable settlement figure. When assets are being divided between the two parties it is important that both parties declare their financial position accurately. If one party has been the ‘breadwinner’ they may have had greater access to finances and purchased assets without their partner's knowledge.
Establishing a partnership with another business can be a great way to increase profits, reduce overheads and sustain business growth. On the other hand, opening your business up to another business or individual can also present great risk, especially if your business is already profitable. Understanding your potential business partner is a vital part of the due diligence process, is the person you are getting into business with in debt? Do they own any other businesses that may present a conflict of interest? Is their current business profitable?
Unfortunately, the process of changing your identity can be relatively straightforward and at a glance may provide somebody who has adverse credit or malicious intent with a ‘clean slate’, by conducting an asset trace you can establish whether an individual has been known by any other aliases and whether those alternative alias’s present any additional risk.
Understanding complex company structures
One of the main reasons to use an asset tracing service is that the structure of a company can be complex and difficult for the typical individual to navigate or understand. This makes it possible to hide or embezzle assets within the company structure. Asset tracing can shine a light on cases like this and ensure that a complex structure is easier to assess.
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Why Would We Use Asset Tracing?
Numerous questions can be asked and answered using the right asset tracing service. Examples for private individuals and businesses could include:
- What assets do they have?
- Is the asset owned solely by the debtor?
- Has the ownership been diluted?
- When was the asset purchased?
- How much was the asset purchased for?
- How much is the asset worth now?
- Was the asset sold recently?
- Are there any assets that they have not declared?
- Is this their real identity?
- Are they in debt?
- Have they ever been disqualified as a director?
- Should I be concerned about going into business with this person/business?
By answering these questions you can gain a more clear understanding of the financial situation of a business or individual. This will help you to determine whether you should proceed with litigation and help uncover cases of fraud or embezzlement.
How Is Asset Tracing Information Delivered?
Information from our asset tracing will be delivered in a report that will provide you with actionable data. This information gathered through the course of an investigation will ensure that you can decide the right next step to take. This can include choosing whether to move forward with a business transaction, how to approach a debtor, or how to move forward with a divorce proceeding. You can pass this information on to other professionals working with you or take steps independently. The information we deliver is factual, concise and ready to be used in a court or legal proceeding. This can be delivered as hard evidence.
How Long Do Asset Tracing Services Take?
The time required to effectively provide asset tracing services will depend on various factors. This includes how complex the case is, the number of parties that need to be investigated and any jurisdiction that may be involved.
If a simple trace is required, this may only take a matter of days. In contrast, a more complex process could be conducted over a number of months. We will start with a complete assessment of your case. Once we have completed an assessment like this, we will be able to provide you with a more accurate deadline of when you should expect results from our services.
Why Choose Our Asset Tracing Services
There is no law or legislative trade body that is used to monitor the profession of asset tracing. As such, the industry is open for anyone to claim to be an expert and start providing services to clients. There are countless intelligence firms operating in the market that deliver poor quality service and results that may be questionable or worse, completely false.
At Reveal Private Investigations UK, we use the latest tools and software to provide an in-depth and comprehensive asset tracing service that our clients can depend on to gain the results that they need. As well as utilising the right technological tools we explore both open-source intelligence and human source intelligence,
Open-source intelligence is collected from domains within the public domain. This information is carefully analyzed to ensure that it does provide the greatest level of value. The term “open” refers to available sources compared to restricted resources which may include government intelligence.
Open-source intelligence is less costly compared to human source intelligence. As such, it can deliver a higher return on investment. This is suitable for clients that have a limit. It is also easier to access however it will still require a significant level of analysis. We can provide this and ensure that key information is located.
Human intelligence relies on the collection of information directly from people. While it is commonly used by government intelligence agencies, it can also be a key element of asset tracing. We already have established HUMINT networks that we can rely on to gather key information. These trusted sources can be used to build a comprehensive report. We also cross-reference any information provided to ensure that the information is valid.
Various resources can be accessed when exploring open-source intelligence including:
- Company Filings
- Personal records
- Audit documents
We will also be able to explore key information relating to:
- Property assets
- Credit reports
- Company assets
- Vehicles owned
- Major shareholdings
We can even complete an open-source search on a global level to identify any stray references that could be relevant.
We also have the knowledge and experience that is required to ensure this service is completed to the right standard. Our team of private investigators have decades of experience delivering the solutions that clients depend on.
We provide our services to a wide range of individuals. Business owners, investment professionals, creditors and private individuals can all benefit from our asset tracing solution. We guarantee a professional service that is legal, lawful and ethical.
If you are involved in a legal dispute, we can also work in unison with legal representatives to ensure that the goals and targets of an investigation are met.
Unlike many intelligence analysts and risk management firms, we have access to in-house covert surveillance operators and private investigators. Sometimes an asset trace requires physical surveillance or enquiry agent work as the subject may have taken steps to hide the ‘paper trail’.
The use of covert surveillance teams can provide mission critical intelligence about a subject’s associations, routines and assets that have been carefully acquired through intermediaries such as friends, families and undeclared third parties.
If you are interested in learning more about our asset tracing service or you require our assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us today. A friendly member of our team will be happy to provide more information on the service we offer.