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     Asset / Background Investigations

We are asked to perform around thirty-five to fifty simple to complex fraud and/or asset and background investigations a month.  Both individuals and businesses can be researched no matter where in the United States that they might currently reside.  Our employees are very good at taking a small tidbit of information and turning it into a full identification, asset and/or background report. 

Our basic personal asset and background report attempts to…  Develop full personal information about the target individual which would include a full legal name, date of birth, physical description, nine digit social security number, up to thirty-five year address history and spousal information.  We run both multiple current and historical nationwide and local area real estate, with separate deed and assessor searches on the target subject.  As we review ownership records we attempt to match up deed records for a current and historical look at the amount owed on all owned property as well as what the local county assessor feels that the property is currently worth.  We look to see if the taxes are being paid on any currently owned property and if there is information to suggest if the property is in distress and/or is listed for sale.  Census records are reviewed for demographic information concerning usually the most recently known address for the target subject.  Local recorder searches are made for liens, judgments, property deeds, marriages, etc., and we review both local and nationwide UCC Filing records.  A local and nationwide marriage, divorce and death search is performed and the person’s social security number is validated for correct issuance.  A nationwide look at all bankruptcy, civil, lien, judgment, eviction and foreclosure files is made as well as IRS and states liens are noted, if any.  We then research statewide and federal district criminal, civil, lien, and judgment files.  Our company next will check multiple nationwide employment / occupation sources as well as perform a nationwide and local professional license search.  A business license search is performed on both a local and nationwide basis.  A search will be made of databases that handle local and nationwide records involving aircrafts, vehicles*, recreational toys as well as large and small vessel ownership records.  Credit report** are pulled if proper to do so.  Once the above information is accessed and reviewed we will then follow any leads that we feel are warranted.

Business background and asset reports will be performed with the above research being made as applicable to the situation at hand.

Where requests come into our office might be from the very simple to the extremely complex, our goal is to complete a simple request the same or next day and a normal asset / background report in three working days.  We will expedite a request, if the situation warrants.

*A word about vehicles... Data concerning vehicles, small vessels, recreational vehicles and other similar items that are required to be registered with different state's Department of Licensing and/or Department of Motor Vehicles is purchased on a regular basis from the following twenty-two states.  As well as researching Washington "live" records we also check the states of Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

**A word about credit reports…  Where we do have full access to personal and business credit reports, personal credit reports are controlled by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA) and as such we can only pull this type of record when the situation warrants.  Usually we need a documented financial arrangement between the parties and/or a lien or judgment in place.  On the other hand, business credit reports are not controlled by the FCRA and as such can be pulled at any time, on any business, for any reason.

Pricing…The general price range for probably 95% of the individuals and businesses that we research will be somewhere in between $225.00 and $375.00 with the average dog in the park ending up plus/minus the $285.00 figure.  If we see that we are going to exceed the $375.00 figure then we will either… A) Stop and get back to you with what is going on and ask for direction, or, B) We will finish the report and in our conclusion section we will make suggestions as to a different direction(s) and pricing that might be needed to complete the problem areas of our research.  Remember, we know nothing about the target person or business other than what you are able to tell us at intake so we will not know anything about how complex our task may or may not become until our research people are about half way through their assignment.  So, we just have no idea going in if a person will be easy ($225.00 or less) or complex ($375.00 or more) or more than likely, probably somewhere in between (+/- the mentioned $285.00 figure).

A further word about pricing… We see that most investigators price an asset / background report as a “one price fits all” type situation.  We truly do not understand how this type of pricing scheme works or how it makes any sense if they are actually doing a complete check on either an individual and/or business?   Take property ownership as an example… We research many people who do not own any real property but then there are those who own two, four, six or at times even more parcels, sometimes in multiple different states.  With our workup on property ownership and deed research of each parcel alone it takes MUCH more of a time consuming and database cost effort on our end to research a person who owns five parcels in three different states than it takes to research a person or business who owns no real property in any state!  This same scenario applies if a subject who owns zero or one vehicle compared to a person who might own three vehicles, a truck, an RV, two boats and a jet ski.  It is just much easier for us to research no vehicles than it is to research seven different toys.  Even starting at intake can make a big difference…. Sometimes our clients are able to provide us with a full name, date of birth, social security number and current address of the target individual.  Other times we are just given a name and general area of residence or an address that is no longer valid.  It does not matter to us how much information you are able to provide at intake, but the more personal info that you can correctly provide, the cheaper it is for us to get started.  An example that we always use when the question of asset report pricing comes up is… that it is much easier (thus cheaper) for us to research a person who is 21 years of age, just left dad and mom’s house three months ago and is now living in their first apartment, with the only thing they own being a 1967 Ford pickup with a $5,000 stereo system in it than it is for us to work on a 55 year old fellow who owns seven parcels in four different states!  So we will always continue to ask how anyone can make a one price fits all figure at the outset to handle every possible situation when no one has an idea going in anything about the person that they are asking to be investigated?

           Serving the Legal Community Since 1974 from an Office Near Tacoma, WA       

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