If you have been successful in winning a judgment, we can be instrumental in helping enforce it.
You may have won your case, and obtained a judgment, but you have not collected. Law enforcement and the courts offer little if any help. In fact, recovery is not in their job description. Or perhaps you are uncertain whether you should proceed with courtroom litigation. In either case, a good decision should involve a determination of the existence of any recoverable assets.
If you already have a judgment to collect, we recommend preliminary forensic research to assess the probable outcome. Where your case involves potential litigation, Financial Forensic Services’ team can locate many recoverable assets before you begin. Our staff can advise and assist attorneys during the discovery process and follow up on new leads. Financial Forensic Services computer specialists carefully analyze all available documents with our data and text-mining software, allowing us to create effective charts, models, tables, and other displays for courtroom presentation.
Preliminary Forensic Research
Financial Forensic Services’ staff will do an initial legal search for bank accounts, motor vehicles, real estate, UCC filings, business entities, and related assets. We can also interview key individuals and witnesses. With an existing judgment, we review the court documents, the evidence, and all clues in the discovery process that may lead to any hidden assets. We are always on the lookout for third party sources of recovery for you!
Financial Forensic Services can legally locate and document bank accounts, money market accounts, stocks, securities, real estate, cars, boats, airplanes, and more. Judgment debtors often divert assets using corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, and insiders. Financial Forensic Services can track entities and their assets nationally and globally if necessary. Using our modern techniques, decades of experience and international network of fellow professionals we will show you the probable extent of any recoverable assets.
The Paper Trail
The outcome of your case may hinge on clues buried in thousands of documents: bank withdrawals, checks, credit card expenditures, telephone records, e-mails, word processing files, expense accounts, web pages, memos, agendas, and public records pointing to real estate and other assets anywhere in the world. The quantities of these paper and electronic documents are often massive. Making sense of so much unstructured, text-based data is often beyond human capacity. Text and data-mining software is often the solution. Our computer specialists can combine, search, and analyze large volumes of textual information. With these results, your case team produces patterns of intelligence that would otherwise be lost in these mazes of free-form text. As soon as leads are developed. Our research staff follows the data trail to find hidden assets. Financial Forensic Services forensic staff can also use the uncovered data to create charts that spotlight fraudulent transfers or that show patterns of communication in email and phone records. These graphics are useful in assisting attorneys in their courtroom presentations.
Once assets are located, you may choose to have us consult with your attorneys, or have us undertake recovery through our nationwide network of attorneys who specialize in post judgment enforcement. We are experienced in setting aside fraudulent transfers – i.e., transfers of assets by the debtor designed to hinder your efforts to collect. This approach saves time and is cost-effective since you are not required to “pierce the corporate veil” of shell entities and corporations in court, which can be a more expensive and uncertain process.
Each state has a Fraudulent Conveyance or Fraudulent Transfer Act. Demonstrating the existence of a fraudulent transfer allows the court to set aside the transfer in your favor, thereby recovering your assets. Fraudulent conveyance occurs when the perpetrator has moved or transferred the title to assets into the names of other insiders or entities “…with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the creditor”. Financial Forensic Services assembles documentation about the diverted assets when your case involves these types of fraud. The indicators, or badges, of a fraudulent transfer include:
- Relationship between transferor and transferee
- Secrecy or hurried transaction
- Pendency or threat of litigation
- Transfer of the debtor’s entire estate
- Lack of reasonable consideration for the conveyance
- Insolvency or indebtedness of transferor
- Departure from the usual method of business
- Retention by the debtor of possession
- Reservation of benefit to the transferor
Those who commit fraud often hide assets behind a paper or electronic trail of transfers leading across many different states or even offshore. The advantage of pursuing the case through the Fraudulent Transfer Act is that it saves you time and money. With the proper documentation, it’s up to an individual judge to decide. When the judge reviews our documentation and agrees it was a fraudulent transfer, the result is a court order for recovering your assets immediately. We also have a successful track record using this strategy to attack assets held on irrevocable trusts and other asset protection entities.
We are experienced with a wide variety of tools used by creditors to recover their assets including:
- Nondischargability claims in bankruptcy
- Equitable liens
- Constructive trusts
- Marshaling of assets
- Execution against tangible and intangible property, including intellectual property such as patents and trademarks
- Equitable subordination
- Garnishments and attachments (both before and after Judgment)
- Asset forfeitures (in appropriate cases)
- Civil enforcement of criminal restitution orders.