A qualified private investigator can help you reclaim the money that is yours to begin with. If someone owes you money and you suspect that you are a victim of asset fraud, a private investigator can help you:. Your email address will not be published. Post Comment. In fact a private investigator can help you find out whether or not: Your debtor has a history of fraud or tax evasion, low credit ratings or any kind of criminal activity.
The person owing you money has a story that changes frequently. Many times a person who actually does have the assets will make a mistake about how much they do have. The debtor says one thing about their low assets, but is actually living a luxurious lifestyle, paying for expensive meals out, taking frequent vacations, etc.
If someone owes you money and you suspect that you are a victim of asset fraud, a private investigator can help you: Instigate actual investigations of money laundering and corruption. A private investigator can use surveillance equipment and other computer investigation techniques that can recover erased financial data for example.
Use electronic and online resources to help uncover any type of financial fraud. Trace the ownership of camouflaged assets and property. Search bank and brokerage records to uncover hidden assets.
Find and identify the value of assets owned and managed by a debtor to determine their exact worth. Research agencies near you.
If you decide to hire a collection agency, you want to make sure they're licensed to operate in your area and have experience collecting debts similar to the one you're owed. Some work within a particular industry or niche. For example, if you have a construction business and a client failed to pay an invoice, you might look for an agency that works primarily with construction clients.
If you've been unable to track down the debtor, look for agencies that use "skip tracing" services. These agencies have access to various databases and may be able to find the debtor more quickly and easily than you could. Find out what tactics the agency uses. If you hire a collection agency, they're representing you. An agency that uses aggressive tactics could give you a bad reputation.
Talk to an agency representative about how they collect debts. Make sure you're comfortable with their methods and find them reasonable. While this isn't illegal, you may be uncomfortable with this hard-line approach. Some agencies may be willing to agree not to use certain tactics on your account. If you make an agreement like that with the agency, get it in writing. Don't just take a representative's word for it. They may not even have the authority to make an agreement like that. At the same time, find out how they plan to communicate with you regarding the actions they've taken to collect the debt on your behalf.
Finding people who owe you money can be a frustrating time. One minute I want to find someone who owes me money. Well, there are steps. So how can you trace a business or person that owes you money? Therefore, finding the current address of the debtor is critical before.
Verify information with references. When you've gotten to the point where you think you've found the collection agency you want to use, ask your contact with the agency to provide you with references. Ideally, you want a few formal clients whose debts were similar to the one you're trying to collect. Give them specifics about what the agency told you, and find out if these details line up with their experience with the agency. Get specifics about the experience of the references, including their recovery rates and how long it took them to recover the debt.
Ask for proof of insurance. The debtor may sue the collection agency if they resort to harassment or other unscrupulous tactics. Even though you've researched the agency and confirmed it is legitimate, insurance protects you from being liable for the agency's acts. Compare costs and fees. Debt collection agencies may vary widely in the amount they'll charge to collect the debt for you. Some may charge as much as 50 percent of the face value of the debt. Others only charge fees in the event they actually collect the debt for you. They'll charge you an up-front fee, usually fairly small.
However, keep in mind that these agencies typically don't offer any guarantee that they'll collect the debt. No matter what, you'll have to pay the collection agency something.
Hiring a collection agency means giving up on the prospect of recovering the entire amount you're owed. Make sure you've exhausted other options first. Provide your chosen agency with information about the debt. When you hire a collection agency, you'll give them all the information you have about the debtor, as well as documentation of the debt itself and how much is owed.
If you don't have a legal contract for the debt, you normally won't be able to hire a collection agency without first suing the debtor in court and winning a money judgment. Method 3.
Choose the right court. For smaller personal debts, you can typically use the small claims court in the county where the debtor lives. Most courts don't give you a choice to simply sue for less money than you're owed. If you can't sue in small claims, hire an attorney to file your complaint in civil court. While it's possible to represent yourself, procedures are more complicated than in small claims.
The process will go more smoothly if you hire someone to represent you. Draft your complaint. Small claims courts typically have a form you can fill out with information about the debt that you're owed and the person who owes you the debt. You may also be required to attach proof of attempts you've made to collect the debt before filing a lawsuit. You may have to attach proof of the debt, such as an invoice or contract. For other small claims courts, you'll simply bring these documents to the court hearing.
File your complaint with the court. When you've finished filling out your court forms, take them to the clerk's office of the small claims court that you want to hear your case.
You'll have to pay a fee to file your complaint. If you have limited income and assets, the court may allow you to proceed without paying any court costs. The clerk typically will set the date for your hearing when you file your complaint.
On three occasions he has promised to pay back the money owed to me but has failed to do so. For example, plumbers and heating engineers may be on the Gas Safe Register. The question here is whether a court within Australia can hear the matter. Search the HUD database with your FHA case number three digits, a dash, and the next six digits—for example, CAB can also talk about what your options are if the letter is ignored. Before you take legal action, you need to consider two things: are you likely to win your case?
Small claims cases move pretty fast, so expect your court date to be within a month or so of the date you file your complaint. Deliver the court documents to the debtor.
After your complaint is filed, you must have the debtor served so they have notice of the lawsuit against them and an opportunity to respond and defend themselves in court. The easiest way to serve court papers is to hire a local sheriff to do it for you. The sheriff will charge you a small fee. You can also hire a private process serving company, which may work better if the person is trying to avoid you or is difficult to find. You must have a valid address for the debtor before you can serve them.
If you still haven't been able to find an address, talk to the court clerk about other ways that you can give the person notice of the lawsuit. Review the response from the debtor. Once the debtor is served with your lawsuit, they have a limited time to respond — typically a couple of weeks. If the debtor never responds to your lawsuit, you may still be able to get a money judgment, called a default judgment, in your case. Don't assume you've won if they don't file a written response.
If the debtor responds to your case and disputes that the debt is valid, make sure you have appropriate documentation to prove that they owe you the money they say you do. Appear in court. If you sued in small claims, you won't have a lot of formal requirements before the hearing on the matter. Show up in court for the hearing with proof that the person owes you the money you claim. For a personal loan without any written contracts, it may be difficult to prove that they owe you the money.
If there were any witnesses to the loan, talk to them about coming to court with you to testify to the existence of the loan and the person's agreement to repay. Ask the debtor to pay voluntarily. Once you have a judgment, you can use legal means to enforce that judgment. However, these collection methods can be expensive and time-consuming. Write the debtor a letter and encourage them to pay the judgment as soon as possible. Make a demand for payment, and express your willingness to make payment arrangements. Give them a deadline to respond, and send your letter using certified mail with return receipt requested.
There's nothing magical about a court judgment. Don't expect the debtor to automatically write you a check just because you have a judgment. The court has other methods you can use if the debtor does not agree to pay voluntarily. Method 4. Seek help from a lawyer or collection agency. While you can certainly collect your court judgment on your own, it may take significant time and effort to do so.
A lawyer or collection agency will charge you a fee to collect your judgment, but it may be worth it. Make sure they're licensed to collect judgments in your area and have a good reputation for doing so. You can usually get a free initial consultation from either an attorney or collection agency.