What do I get in an Asset Investigation Report?Vehicles, Property (i.e. land and houses - province wide), Individual title search information on property discovered, Credit Bureau Search (to idenfity other creditors good or bad) liens, loans bank account affiliations, and our best efforts to find employment. Limitations can exist from Province to Province on some of these objectives.
Do I need a judgment to do this investigation? .No we can do the investigation pre, mid, post there are no issues. However the Consumer Reporting Act prohibits parties from doing a credit bureau on an individual without a judgment. In order to do the credit bureau search a judgment must be obtained which makes you a lawful creditor. This is a very important search and often we need this search as a aid in the investigation. We "can" do the investigation it's just that you get a better result when you have a judgment. On a company (corporation) there are no issues we can do a credit search.
I just want bank accounts or employment why do I need to order the full report ?Everyone believes there is some secret database that PI's go on to get this type of information. There is no such thing in Canada. Doing the full report allows us to find leads for this type of information. We only offer the full report service we don't do bits and pieces of an asset investigation.
Can you give me bank account balnaces or tranactional information?No, and we are not aware of any company in Canada who is offering such details. We can only idenfiy the bank, the branch, and that the account is open. These are the limitations of legal asset investigation.
What about people working for cash "under the table"?Here's the reality of this sitation.. No search conducted by any PI agency will reveal this information. The only way this will be discovered with be via surveillance. It will be necessary for that individual to be followed on their way to work so video and photogrpahs can be obtained. Be well advised however you may still have problems enforcing a garnisment if that person is off payroll and working for cash or under some kind of contract situation.
The person I am trying to collect from has gone missing?You can retain us to locate the individual just complete our skip trace form. If you retain us just for a locate (skip trace) we are just going to give you the address where the individual lives. We will not be reporting on asset information. If you retain us to conduct the asset investigation we will make best our best efforts to locate the individual but we will be reporting on assets that are oin the individual's name.
How much does this cost and how do I do this ?An asset investigation costs $650.00 plus HST. Please send a letter or email of instructions. If you have judgment please enclose it with the instructions. Please provide name and last known address (this is the very minimum). Other details that are helpful are as follows: date of birth, SIN, last employment, last known bank, friends, family, relatives, vehicle and plate info. Please also provide a paragraph or two as two the circumstances surrounding the matter ie. what kind of debt is this, estate, power of sale, landlord tenant etc. If you are a law firm or an insurance company we do not require a retainer. Just confirm the budget in your instructions to us.
Enforcement of Judgments / Asset Investigation
Consider The Following Facts:
Because of the worsening economy, solicitors more and more are reporting having file cabinets full of uncollectable Judgments.
The result is usually an unhappy client who blames the Solicitor for an expensive legal bill and a worthless uncollectable Judgment.
The cause is usually a failure to properly identify assets in advance, and to determine the likelihood of collecting on those assets before starting the action.
An area where we have made a name for ourselves, is in our ability to trace and locate assets.
We will become involved either before an action or after an action, either to assist in the collection of a Judgment, or to determine the likelihood of recovering a Judgment.
Don't Be Mislead!
Don't be misled by the endless information brokers waiting to sell you searches.
A proper asset investigation is a study of collectable assets. All criteria has to be met in order to properly confirm that the assets are properly registered to the debtor, and are free and clear of attachments in order that they can be seized, garnished or sold through the courts.
There may very well be creditors out there ahead of you who have priority over you. You may only be part of the picture.
You will find thousands of investigators and/or information brokers, willing to sell you searches pertaining to vehicles, land, bank accounts etc. This is not an asset search or even investigation, in our view. We call it bits and pieces, and it's a waste of time and money unless you know exactly what you're doing.
"You can't get a little bit pregnant." We have to be retained to investigate the whole picture, or please don't bother to write or call us. There is no one search that will identify bank accounts alone. That's is the honest truth. Leads have to be obtained from through basic searches and inquiries.
Does the person bank at the same institution they have their mortgage?
Would the bank pay into a garnishment when the bank has loans and/or a mortgage with the debtor?
Even though you think you have found the bank account that bank branch can deny paying into your garnishment and claim they have priority over your judgment as a result of lending products their customer (i.e your debtor) has with them.
THIS IS WHY CONDUCTING SINGLE INDIVIDUAL SEARCHES DOESN'T WORK. YOU HAVE TO INVESTIGATE THE WHOLE PICTURE.
There might be other people just like you (creditors) who also have judgment. Did you know that if you collected money through a garnishment that you may have to share those collected funds with other creditors who have also registered their judgment with the courts?
Net Worth vs Collectability
Net worth has nothing in the world to do with enforcement of Judgment. It's what you can collect through the court that counts.
The individual you're investigating may drive an expensive car, live in a million-dollar home, and have access to thousands of dollars a day. These assets may be jointly held and/or financed by secured creditors.
The assets may have been conveyed (or fraudulently conveyed) elsewhere since the date you obtained Judgment.
Corpa vs The Underground Economy
The biggest battle for asset investigators these days is, without any doubt, the underground economy.
The underground economy is alive and well in Canada and the United States. As long as there is cash there will always be an underground economy.
Sooner or later we will all be living in a cashless society. It will be the only possible way governments will be able to even attempt to clean up the underground economy and money laundering in North America.
Until the cashless society arrives, if a person is working for cash and/or being paid "under the table," no computer search in the world is going to identify this information.
We have made a career of developing various methods to identify this kind of information.
In creditor/debtor situations, very often a debtor will default (or defraud) more than one creditor at a time For example, the debtor may have defaulted on his credit cards, loans, the mortgage of his home, the car lease, etc.
Either directly or indirectly, we continue to be retained by the majority of major banks and finance companies in Canada.
In the United States we have financial clients who choose us to investigate American debtors, sometimes right in their same State (in one case right across the street!).
Mistakes can be costly and can add to further losses. How much have you spent already? Our reports are not just a bunch of brokered computer searches on flashy letterhead. We have real experience in locating hidden assets right across the globe.