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An asset is defined as anything owned that is capable of cash conversion or the total resources of a person. In most cases, asset tracing investigations are conducted during divorce or child support proceedings. The only two avenues available for asset tracing are either attempting to do it yourself or retain the services of an asset-tracing professional or agency. Before deciding to act on your own as an asset tracer, it is important to consider the time, the various intricacies involved and the likelihood of success you can reasonably expect to achieve.

The initial step involves gathering accurate information regarding the person’s full name and any possible pseudo-names along with date of birth. Knowing the place of birth could be a factor for those born in another country. While most individuals have a social security number, persons who are self-employed subcontractors or employed in foreign countries may have a different type of employment identification. Current and former addresses are an important tool as well. Certainly, the more contact information you have for the debtor in question, the easier it will be to locate them and their associated assets.

While several Internet websites are a vehicle for acquiring land-line telephone numbers, they do not provide access to cellular or mobile phone information. Using online people-search sites usually results in a large number of hits which then involves a time-consuming elimination process. Moreover, it is frustrating to learn that once a viable candidate has been selected, the site requires a membership fee prior to gaining full access to further information.

Once personal information has been gathered, the next step usually involves the search for and examination of public records. Entering someone’s name into your favorite search engine will only provide sites regarding genealogy data or social networking sites such as Facebook. For security reasons, visiting a physical public records office usually requires giving the records clerk a valid reason for the search before access to the records area is granted. A public records search usually involves combing through volumes of data containing divorce, marriage, personal property, local and/or state income tax filings and real estate deeds. Indeed, the plethora of information would certainly be extremely time-consuming.

Among the many reasons to consider hiring an asset-tracing professional is their ability to gain access to records not available to the general public. Financial particulars surrounding divorce, lawsuit settlement trust accounts, bankruptcy and court-ordered judgments are only accessible by licensed asset-tracing investigators. Asset-tracing professionals know how to prepare all information in a court-admissible format, thereby alleviating you from having to perform this daunting task.

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