Diligentia Group was retained by a law firm who wanted to conduct an asset investigation on an individual (“debtor”) that owed their client more than $1 million dollars.
The law firms client had settled litigation with the debtor more than five years ago which called for a balloon payment of more than $1 million in 2010. When the time came to pay the $1 balloon payment, the debtor wouldn’t respond to phone calls, emails or letters from the law firm. Prior to filing litigation, the law firm suggested conducting an asset investigation to determine if the debtor was in a position to make the debts whole.
[Note to reader: obtaining banking or financial details without specific authority is against federal and state statutes, unless, of course, you can find it in the public record. Read more – Can a Private Investigator get Bank Records or Account Information?]
Our initial investigation identified a number of significant judgments against the debtor totaling approximately $1 million over the last several years. While our initial research did not look promising for the ultimate client, we were able to determine that all of the judgments had been satisfied, which showed that the debtor had the ability to satisfy more $1 million in payments.
Additional investigation identified a number of corporations that the debtor was involved with, a $900,000 residential property and at two watercraft’s worth an estimated $200,000. But the most significant piece of information was disclosed in records retrieved from a divorce filing.
Research disclosed that the debtor was in the process of divorcing his second wife. A review of the divorce filings disclosed three separate bank accounts that the debtor had recently transferred more than $1 million to his soon to be x-wife. Additionally, the divorce filings identified 14 previously unknown partnership interests that the debtor had investments with and a significant fine art collection.
Armed with the information and in a favorable negotiation position, the law firm proceeded with the litigation and the client ultimately prevailed in recovering his money.
This case study is based on an actual asset investigation conducted by Diligentia Group. Some of the details have been altered.