|Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What information must I have in order to locate assets?
Ideally, each request should include the subject's name, address, SS/FEIN number and date of birth. If you have only a name and address, we can usually develop the remaining identifiers. If you are unable to provide the subject’s social security number and date-of-birth or Federal EIN (Employment Identification Number), we apply a $25 surcharge for certain searches (see the accompanying price list). Keep in mind, more complete and accurate information from you yields better results for you.
Q. Under what circumstances are asset searches legal?
With the exception of real property (search codes K1–K2), liquid assets and other non-public record information are considered to be protected ‘personal financial information’ according to Gramm-Leach-Bliley (Public Law 106-102). In addition, by providing such information, Windsearch may be considered a ‘financial institution’. Therefore, all requests must be accompanied by a signed statement of permissible purpose as outlined in the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (Public Law 104-208). In addition, Windsearch cannot guarantee the availability of account number or balance information. However, this is provided when available.
Generally, if you have a judgment or a documented debt, are acting under court order or investigating a business transaction initiated by the subject, you may order such searches. In matrimonial and estate cases, the permission of one of the spouses or an executor must be on file. Our forms contain fields that indicate the permissible purpose and authorizations but if you prefer to keep us anonymous, you may attach a plain language authorization signed by your client. If you are unsure as to whether you have a legitimate reason to request a search, please call customer service at 888-WINDSEARCH (946-3732).
Q. What is the scope of each asset search?
BANK SEARCHES (codes J1, J3, U or S1-S2) begin within the area of the subject’s residence and/or business. The largest banks are searched as well as small to medium sized banks in the general geographical area. BROKERAGE ACCOUNT (V) searches cover the nation's largest brokerage houses and mutual funds. COMPLETE ASSET SEARCHES (X) may include banks in areas where there is ownership of a second home or investment properties. For this comprehensive search, assets are checked in multiple states, as are other elements such as UCC filings and civil litigation. Business affiliations, intellectual property, real property and brokerage accounts/mutual funds are checked nationwide as well.
Q. What is the difference between a ‘BANK LOCATE’ (J1) and a ‘COMPLETE BANK SEARCH’ (S1-S2)?
A contingent BANK LOCATE (J1, J3 or U) offers the benefit of our 'No Find-No Fee' policy. We search until we find one account matching subject’s SS or FEIN. There is no definitive turnaround but the average account is located within 14 or fewer days. The search if unsuccessful may continue up to 90 days unless cancelled prior. The Complete Bank Search (S1-S2) is a due diligence, pre-paid search that is wider in scope than a bank account locate. We provide information on any and all accounts we find: active or inactive, open or closed and any account type. The Complete Bank Search is guaranteed in 14 or fewer days. You can convert a successful (J1) or (U) Locate to a (S1-S2) Complete Bank Search for a conversion fee of $150-$250, search (W) on our list.
Q. Are volume discounts available?
Clients who submit a designated quantity of a particular search during a calendar year receive substantial discounts for the remainder of the year for that search (see accompanying price list). By way of example, the applicable calendar-year level for the COMPLETE BANK SEARCH (S1-S2) is five searches. If you submit four searches in January, each search will cost $250 or $400 respectively. If you submit a fifth search later in the year, that search as well as all subsequent searches of that type are priced at $200 or $350 respectively for you for the remainder of the calendar year. Of course you could submit the discount volume for any search at once and receive the discount for all of the searches immediately. For ‘NO LOCATE NO CHARGE’ searches, the quantity is calculated based on number of submissions, not successfully executed searches. For searches (J1, L1 and U), even greater discounts are available if you can submit a minimum of 50 searches in data format (e.g., Excel, Ascii). Please call 888-WINDSEARCH (946-3732) for details.
Q. Anything else I need to know?
If you are submitting a search for collection purposes, you may be entitled to a credit for all or part of the charge if no recovery results (see detail on specific searches on the price list). You must have commenced legal action on the basis of our results within 90 days of receipt. Additional documents may be requested for verification.
Search results are transmitted by electronic mail to the email address provided on the Client Data Form in encrypted Adobe Acrobat® format. This is a secure format that permits pasting text into data files. For security purposes, Windsearch will transmit only to one email address associated to your account. If you have multiple individuals submitting, please open one account for each user. Bulk search results can be transmitted in a variety of data formats for batch applications.
Accounts are opened by submitting a credit card for payment against monthly invoices or by remitting $300 or more in advance against open invoices. Net 30 terms are available for accounts in good standing.
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