Stryker Investigation Services Inc. One solution for all your investigative services since 2000
Enforce a Civil Judgment for Collections, Levies, Liens, or Garnis
Surveillance of an Individual, Business or Workers’ Comp
Insurance Carriers, TPA’s, Law Firms, Employers & Municipalities
Due Diligence, Skip Trace, Interviews, Litigation Support, Statements
Does a Debtor owe you money? Do you have a judgment against them?
Looking for a New Jersey Asset Search Private Investigator? Stryker provides the Best-in-Class professional asset search investigation services to law firms, private clients and businesses. We are a judgment enforcement investigation agency that specializes in representing creditors as aggressively as the law allows, in matters of judgment enforcement, collections and recovery. As a professional corporation we have made substantial investments in technology to provide our clients with the best-in-class access to relevant debtor information, as allowed by the IRS, Federal Trade Commission, US Department of Labor Garnishment laws. After your judgment is entered you will be informed by the court clerk that court judgments are not self-enforcing. Sometimes solvent or honest debtors will want to pay soon after judgment is entered. A judgment will show up on credit reports and will be a matter of public record. This will be a problem for any judgment debtor attempting to borrow money.
Working on behalf of our New Jersey clients seeking to enforce legal judgments awarding financial damages or seeking the return of funds misappropriated by the use of conversion or other means. Stryker identified missing, previously unknown or hidden assets. Our experience includes multi-jurisdictional investigations involving offshore capital flight havens, creditor-unfriendly jurisdictions, complex investment group structures nominee and alter ego companies.
Wage garnishment laws. New York State law limits the amount that a creditor can garnish (take) from the debtor’s wages for repayment of debts. New York State wage garnishment laws (commonly called income executions in New York) are only slightly more restrictive than federal law. For the most part, creditors with judgments can only take up to 10% of the debtor’s gross wages.
THE TYPES OF ACCOUNTS WE LOCATE
Bank Account on an Individual – Local
Bank Account on an Individual – Nationwide
Bank Account on an Individual – International
Bank Balance Check – Individual
U.S. Brokerage Account – Top 20 Companies
International Brokerage Account
Offshore Accounts – 20 Major offshore
Bank Account on a Business – Local
Bank Account on an Business – Nationwide
Bank Account on an Business – International
ASSET SEARCH INVESTIGATIONS & COLLECTIONS
Stryker has extensive experience in asset search investigation services and provides the legal industry with litigation support services. This is a comprehensive program that includes searches for assets such as bank, savings accounts brokerage, stocks, bonds, business partnerships.
These services are typically used as part of pre-trial litigation to formulate a strategic battle plan that can be used as leverage during the course of negotiations or to determine whether a lawsuit is economically worth pursuing.
Stryker Investigation Services Inc., operates in full compliance with debt collection laws, and have made substantial investments in technology to provide our clients with the best-in-class access to relevant debtor information, as allowed by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), IRS, Federal Trade Commission, US Department of Labor Garnishment Laws. In order to conduct an asset investigation the requestor or creditor must have a permissible purpose. A permissible purpose is defined by a legal right to delve into privileged or private information on an individual or business.
In most states, garnishments can be used to recover debts of any type, including credit card and other commercial debts. However, in four states – Texas, Pennsylvania, and North and South Carolina – wages can only be garnished for debts from delinquent taxes, child support, (federally-guaranteed) student loans, and fines that were ordered by the court. In addition, Florida wage garnishment laws provide a “head-of-household exemption” that prohibits the wage garnishment of someone who supplies at least 50% of the support for a child or other dependent.
When a bank receives a notice of a levy, they must immediately freeze the debtor’s account. In addition to being unable to make a withdrawal, the bank account is frozen, any outstanding checks or automatic debit card payments won’t clear (unless there are enough exempt funds in the account). A federal law that went into effect in May of 2011 requires that banks receiving a garnishment order for an account-holder who receives federal benefits, review their deposits for the last two months to determine if any of these funds were deposited, and are thus exempt. By Federal Law, a bank must wait 21 calendar days after a levy is served before sending payment. The Sheriff holds the funds for 20 more days and then releases on the next business day. Of course under ideal circumstances the depositor(s) can waive this waiting period.
Jointly Owned Accounts – Rights and Limitations
When the debtor owns an account jointly with another individual that is not a spouse, the law usually presumes that both individuals each have equal rights to funds held in that account. So, when a creditor attempts to garnish that account, it typically doesn’t have to investigate whether you contributed more money to the account than the co-owner. Unfortunately, for the non-debtor this could mean that the money in their account could be garnished to pay for the co-owner’s debt, a debt that the non-debtor never owed. Laws vary on the extent to which creditors can garnish joint accounts. In some states, creditors can’t take more than half of the funds in a joint account. However, in other states — like Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia — creditors may be able to garnish the entire joint account. California law (CCP § 700.160(b)) allows a judgment creditor to collect money from the bank account in the name of the debtor’s spouse even when the debtor’s name is not on the account.
The New Jersey Multiple Party Deposit Account Act (“NJMPDAA”), N.J.S.A. § 17:16I-1, et seq., which governs “multiple party deposit accounts” (“MPDAs”), including joint bank accounts, provides in relevant part: Unless a contrary intent is manifested by the terms of the contract, or the deposit agreement, or there is other clear and convincing evidence of a different intent at the time the account is created: a. A joint account belongs, during the lifetime of all parties, to the parties in proportion to the net contributions by each to the sums on deposit. In the absence of proof of net contributions, the account belongs in equal shares to all parties having present right of withdrawal.
Community Property States
In the United States there are nine community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska is an opt-in community property state that gives both parties the option to make their property community property. The rest of the states have adopted what is known as Equitable Distribution Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act §307 (UMDA §307). Under the Equitable Distribution rule, marital property is fairly divided between the parties. Marital misconduct is not a factor in the decision-making process.
Pre-Litigation asset search investigations are a preemptive tactic used to determine what assets or income may be seized in the event a judgment is ordered. Subsequent, information can be used to determine if the judicial venture is economically worth the effort. Evidence obtained during this process can be admissible in court and used at trial to prepare a better case.
A secured position will give a creditor significant leverage over the debtor that may prompt the debtor into a quick settlement. It may also provide significant protection in the event of a bankruptcy (or even prompt the debtor not to file bankruptcy) because secured debts are not dischargeable.
There is a variety of reasons an attorney will need to use the services of a private investigator.
- As part of investigative services for ongoing litigation, civil, criminal, divorce matters…etc.
- To find assets to use as leverage during the course of negotiations,
- or to determine whether a lawsuit is economically worth pursuing.
Stryker would like to caution potential clients, with this warning. There is a big difference between the terms “asset search investigation” and “financial investigation.” These are two completely different investigations, requiring completely different professional experts and skill sets.
An asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. As such, an asset search investigation is relative easy to conduct, as the majority of Tangible Assets; (fixed) and are documented in public records. Though Tangible Assets; (liquid) are not a matter of public record and require a permissible purpose to conduct a search.
Tangible Assets: (fixed) real estate, buildings, homes, equipment and machinery, tools, equity in property, capital assets, gold and minerals after extraction. Stryker
Tangible Assets: (liquid) current assets and other assets that can be converted to cash, such as liquid assets, bank accounts, money market fund shares, bonds, mutual funds, and the cash value of a life insurance policy. Stryker
On the other hand a financial investigation is a completely different investigation. At its simplest, a financial investigation tries to determine where money comes from, how it moves, and how it is used. Also known as forensic accounting, this type of investigation is often crucial when dealing with corporate investigations, theft, embezzlement, money laundering, dishonest employees and can be associated with criminal charges. Investigators analyze all documents that show the paper trail of events involving money with the primary objective of documenting the movement of money.
Tracing funds and activities within companies and across jurisdictions presents complex challenges to which our experts apply their forensic investigative abilities. Stryker team provides financial investigative expertise for class actions, civil litigations, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and white collar criminal matters.
Federal Statute: Title III, Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), 15 USC, §§1671 et seq. / Code of Federal Regulations: 29 CFR Part 870 / Explanatory Brochures and Regulatory Materials Online: www.dol.gov/whd, www.wagehour.dol.gov / U.S. Wage and Hour Division: Fact Sheet #30 – The Federal Wage Garnishment Law, Consumer Credit Protection Act’s Title III (CCPA) / Field Operations Handbook – 02/09/2001, Rev. 644, Chapter 16, Title III – Consumer Credit Protection Act (Wage Garnishment)