What is the Cost of an Asset Search?

Price, quality, reputation and reliability are important considerations when hiring a private investigator.

Our standard rate is $225 per hour. We charge more per hour than some firms, and less than others. By consistently providing the highest-quality work, we believe we provide the best value for our clients. (And here’s what they have to say.)

When looking for asset search services, you’ll find data brokers and internet sites advertising flat-fee ‘package’ pricing. How can they charge the same amount, regardless of the circumstances or complexity of your case? Many low-cost firms rely exclusively on database searches, comparable to what you could find on your own online. Those sources may claim to be ‘comprehensive’ but they often contain inaccurate, incomplete and outdated information.

We do things differently. We’re not paid to uncover the obvious. We specialize in tracing assets through deep and diligent investigation. Our investigators have located more than $300 million in assets since 2011.

We prefer to discuss matters with clients before providing a budget estimate. We want to understand the situation you’re facing, before proposing a solution.

There is no charge for the consultation.

What Do We Want to Know?

What’s your relationship with the subject? Are you trying to recover losses from an investment, contract, loan or accident? Have you already filed a lawsuit? These are among the first questions we ask. They aren’t intended to make you nervous.

We work with our clients to create an appropriate plan for every case. If you are pursuing a $10 million judgment against a major real estate developer, we are going to suggest a full-scale investigation that leaves no stone unturned. The budget would be at least $5,000. Yet we’ll recommend a narrower focus (and tighter budget) if you’re suing your home improvement contractor to recoup losses of $100,000.

Similarly, for probate matters, we inquire about the estimated size of the decedent’s estate. High-net-worth individuals tend to be more financially sophisticated with complex portfolios. They may have had professional assistance in trust and estate planning from accountants and attorneys, particularly if their gross assets approached the threshold for the federal estate tax ($11.4 million in 2019). Smaller estates, by contrast, have fewer complications — containing common assets such as real property, vehicles and personal financial accounts — which can be successfully investigated within a smaller budget.

What Happens After the Consultation?

After a brief discussion, we will determine the appropriate scope of investigation and budget for your case, which will be outlined in a written proposal (or retainer agreement) for your review and consideration.

Payment of a retainer in an equivalent amount is required to initiate the investigation. Our hourly fees and expenses are billed against the retainer as the investigation proceeds. We would not exceed the agreed-upon budget for any reason without your prior approval. All unused funds from the retainer will be returned upon completion of your case.

To discuss a potential investigation, please contact us at 800-580-8755 or click the box below to send an email.