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Financial Forensic Report 5.3.2021

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CREDIT REPORTS

PART 2

Your debtor’s Personal Credit Report, if carefully dissected and analyzed, can be used to help find hidden and diverted assets. Let’s take a look at some of the typical things that we review on a regular case:

REAL ESTATE: Highlight all the active banks and mortgage companies and separate them out by mortgages (“MORT”) and home equity loans (“H/E”). Compare the accounts’ open date (“OPEN”) to the dates of the loans in the County Clerk & Recorder’s Office to match the correct property loans, then take a careful look at the loan balance (“BALANCE”). The original mortgage recording should provide the details you need to calculate the amortized balance. Does it match the balance on the credit report or is it too low? If it’s paid down, then it may be an indication that the debtor is attempting to hide cash funds in property equity. After they have put enough distance between themselves and their debt, they can then sell or re-finance the property and get it back.

The credit report can also show mortgages that don’t match up with the local property you know about. This may be an indication of non-local investment property or vacation homes, none of which can be protected by homestead exemptions.

VEHICLES: Highlight all the active banks and auto finance companies (“AUT”). Compare the current loan balance to estimated vehicle values to find a value range for the vehicles. Just like the real estate loan, the debtor may have paid down their loan balance to hide cash funds in vehicle equity.

The credit report may also show loans for vehicles that don’t match up with the vehicle registrations. This may be an indication that the loans are for vehicles, boats, aircraft, etc. that are registered in commercial entity names.

CREDIT CARDS: Subpoena all active credit card (“R/C” for revolving credit) statements. A careful analysis of these can reveal charges to out-of-state restaurants (for finding the location of unknown real estate), boat and aircraft fuel charges, etc. Statements may also show overpayment of the credit card bills where the debtor is hiding cash funds.

INQUIRIES: Do you want to get copies of recent financial information on the debtor? Then don’t overlook the INQUIRIES section. This is a small list at the end of the report that shows a commercial credit reporting subscriber, the date of inquiry, and their subscriber number (which can be used to find the creditor’s contact information).

Compare the names of the subscribers to see if they are any of the creditors listed in the report. These inquiries are normally just a creditor’s collection department checking to see if there is any new addresses for the debtor or a new employment listed… so you can cross those off. What you have

left are inquires made by financial institutions that may be pulling the debtor’s credit report as part of a loan or revolving credit application.

The most recent inquires, going back twelve months, make excellent subpoena targets to get copies of the loan application and any supporting employment and tax documentations that were submitted with it.

Although a credit report can make a great tool for finding assets, the question often is who can see the reports? In the next article, we will continue this discussion on credit reports and show you how to know exactly who has the legal right to obtain them.

Meanwhile, I challenge you to pull out the credit reports you have on your debtors and grab some highlighters. There’s gold in them thar hills!

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Diagnostic & Prescriptive Judgment Enforcement
By: Joe H. Dickerson, CFE

$24.95 + FREE S&H

Please place your book orders by calling
303.974.5610
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Testimonial

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:41+00:00

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

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Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

2014-11-11T18:21:13+00:00

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

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Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:20+00:00

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

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R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

2014-11-11T18:13:08+00:00

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

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Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:55+00:00

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

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Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:05+00:00

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

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Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

2014-11-11T18:12:51+00:00

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

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Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

2014-11-11T18:21:32+00:00

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”