Feasibility and "shallow" traces
Feasibility and "shallow" asset traces
Asset trace work can be extremely tricky. Often those deep in debt go to extreme means to hide assets. These can include the following:
- Selling assets to relatives or straw men to prevent seizure.
- The premeditated use of aliases or dual passports.
- Intentional mistakes that prevent registry searches from working effectively,
- Layers of offshore holdings or shell companies that hide true ownership.
- The movement of assets into trust funds held by minors.
- False bankruptcy declarations.
- Stonewalling or physical threats.
- Moving ownership or movable assets, such as cars, boats or planes abroad.
- Staging thefts.
- Arson or fake arson scams.
Then there is also the possibility that a debtor has simply gone broke.
With so many factors involved (including the costs not only of an asset trace, but of civil litigation and later enforcement), it is advisable to conduct first-phase traces or "shallow" traces to better estimate the odds of recovery. Such steps are part of the standard project phasing conducted by our investigators.This better allows a fair estimate of success, and it also keeps initial costs under control until a commitment is made to move forward in a full-scale second phase.
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