Monday, August 17, 2015
One worst-case scenario that you can face in debt collection is the debtor filing for bankruptcy, as this could leave you with nothing while the other goes away debt-free. Then again, you would also not want to lose a valuable customer or client just because he or she missed one deadline. It’s important to determine the type of action to take for each case, and to always remember that both sides–you and the person who owes you–aim to be rid of any financial obligations. As a creditor, bear in mind that you can conduct asset investigations on persons or entities who owe you money to determine whether they have the means to pay, and if you need legal intervention to collect payment. Settling a debt in court doesn’t happen often, though, and could be avoided through negotiations. Here are some pointers on how to approach negotiations with a debtor.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Certain factors cause the flame in a marriage to die out—individual differences, financial difficulties, etc. Yet infidelity remains the most heartbreaking of all. At the end of that long toil of doubt, fear, and helplessness, there exists only three possibilities: your worries are unfounded, your spouse admits cheating, or you discover it yourself. Here are three signs your marriage may be in trouble: Sudden Demand for Privacy If the things you used to share openly (such as phones and credit card bills) suddenly become private, or your spouse needs to go somewhere secluded just to take a call and hangs up immediately when you enter the room, something may be wrong. People usually don’t delete messages until their inbox is full but if your spouse erases them and other traces such as call logs, he/she may have something to hide.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
In order to prevent insurance fraud, it is advised to identify it and stop the crime in its tracks. Companies can deter fraud before it happens by making sure that information given on applications is authentic, dedicating a core team or a corporate investigations professional to identify fraudulent claims, and partnering with special anti-fraud groups such as the NICB or the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, as well as law enforcement agencies. Still, how can insurance companies detect a fraudster? One method involves hiring a company like Phenix Investigations to render corporate investigative services. One specialty of such companies is surveillance, which can work perfectly with health or disability insurance claims where the client claims to be suffering from injuries that prevent them from working.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Portrayals in various books, movies, and TV shows have all contributed to the stereotypical image of a private investigator as someone who works in a dimly-lit, often smoky office, solving criminal cases using a series of methods: taking photographs, scouring areas for clues others might have overlooked, questioning witnesses, and such. In the minds of many, the typical investigator wears a dark-colored trench coat and a fedora, and smokes a pipe. Sound familiar? It’s fair to say that people often envision someone who conducts private investigations as reminiscent of the iconic character Sherlock Holmes. While certain investigative methods perpetuated by characters like Holmes do bear a resemblance with today’s real-life detectives, in truth, the two entities differ greatly. Here’s how.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
If you are in a position where a person or a group owes you money, but they claim they can't pay you, you can benefit from asset investigations. Asset investigations can take place in a number of circumstances, including cases that involve spousal support during a divorce settlement or in a global business dispute. Essentially, asset investigators work as detectives that aim to uncover the financial holdings of those who would rather keep these records hidden. Investigators go about this task by performing what is called an asset search, which aims to locate financial or physical assets. However, these assets can be hidden deep below the surface of official record books, and at times they may be completely off the records altogether. For some, this is a strategy to avoid paying off debts, but for others, hiding their assets is a systematized process that they find advantageous.
Friday, June 12, 2015
In a perfect world, you would be able to trust the word of others without having a cause to question their honesty. Unfortunately, the world isn't perfect and not everyone is as honest as you'd like. From missing items at the workplace to insurance claims, many people try to scam the system and get away with whatever they can. Regardless of the situation, a private investigator with surveillance skills and technology can help you get to the truth of the matter. Although investigators do a fine job of discovering factual information, adding surveillance technology can support the evidence. Pictures, video and even audio recordings can provide information that could be reassuring or shocking. Depending on the circumstances, the visual data collected can support absolute innocence or guilt.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Corporate investigations occur daily to protect companies, and their investors and employees. Companies hire corporate investigators to protect their funds and interests, and to make sure no one is stealing from them. These measures are implemented as well to make sure companies are striving to achieve their best potential. There are different parts or kinds of corporate investigations. On Stealing Company Property. The common ones include looking into cases of employees or outsiders who are stealing or embezzling money from the company, as well as monitoring people who may be stealing other corporate proprietary ideas and selling them.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Different people like attorneys, lawyers, corporate leaders, those seeking judgment debtors, those seeking collections, insurers, and bankers may hire private detectives and investigators. These investigators must cater to their clients’ varied needs in detective work. Licensure Private detectives need to have licenses in the state they operate. Although minimum requirements for licensure differ among states, candidates must be of a minimum age, which is usually between 21 and 25. United States citizenship or U.S. resident status, a high school diploma or GED certificate, no felony convictions, and no dishonorable discharge from the U.S. military are the other common minimum requirements. To obtain a state license, aspiring detectives must not only meet these minimum requirements, but must also have the proper education and experience, must pass the state exam for licensure, and obtain mandatory firearms training.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Bankruptcy is a chance for underwater debtors to start from scratch. However, hidden assets make it complicated. The Department of Justice estimates that 1 in 10 bankruptcy filings involve at least one kind of fraud, like concealment of assets. There are plenty of ways to hide assets, from misidentifying the item (i.e. mislabeling a diamond as a “cubic zirconia,” says one trustee) to keeping mum about other assets. The thought is tempting, especially in a volatile economy.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Scruggs v. Carrier is an important Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) abuse case employers must study. It mainly tackles a key term in the FMLA: “honest suspicion.” Darryl Scruggs, an employee of a Carrier plant in Indianapolis, filed leaves between 2004 and 2007, saying that he needed to assist his mother’s move to a nursing home. In 2006, Carrier stepped up its efforts to mitigate FMLA abuse by employees, and part of these efforts was to hire a private investigations company to conduct surveillance on nearly three dozen workers suspected of FMLA abuse, including Scruggs. Court documents showed that Scruggs never left the house when he filed for a leave supposedly to be with his mother at the nursing home.
Friday, May 15, 2015
According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, employee theft and fraud in the form of inventory shrinkage and shoplifting cost U.S. shop owners a whopping $42 billion annually. The Department of Justice supports this statement by confirming that one-third of all employees commit a certain degree of employee theft. No business is immune to “insider threats” so long as the temptation of money and entitlement exist. With proper employment theft and fraud solutions, however, they can be prevented, if not eliminated.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Employees who have taken ill or have been injured due to work-related causes deserve every recourse to their company’s workers’ compensation. Employers themselves also have the right to look into the veracity of the claims and obtain evidence. Nicole Fallon of Business News Daily said that, in many cases, employers are alerted that a worker compensation scam may be in the offing when there are inconsequential pieces of evidence that turn out to be telling after all. An employee is entitled to a worker’s compensation when he or she has been injured on the job or has become ill from work-related issues. Being one of the more altruistic and fair provisions for employees as mandated by the law, it has, however, long been acknowledged as a plan susceptible to spurious claims. Citing a PBS Frontline report, the Daily Finance reiterated how, despite a drop in worker compensation claims in the past couple of decades, up to 2% of the claims filed have turned out “fraudulent.”
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Private investigation firms such as Phenix Investigations, Inc. are called upon to conduct asset investigation for a wide variety of reasons such as an ongoing litigation between a creditor and debtor, as well as to build leverage during the negotiation stage of a case to see if it’s worth filing. The Case of Caesars Entertainment One particular case in which the services of an asset investigator were deemed necessary was the recent probe on Caesars Entertainment. On January 15, 2015, the casino giant filed for bankruptcy and declared itself $12 billion in debt. However, during what was supposed to be a routine license renewal hearing last March 27, it was discovered that the company cut off pension payments to 63 former Caesars employees.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Employees with serious medical conditions or are tending to indisposed family members are granted a work time-off through the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) certification from their employers. The FMLA allows an employee to take an unpaid 12-week leave within a 12-month working year without prejudice or harm to the employee’s tenure. Utilizing the FMLA leave usually suggests an urgent matter or sensitive situation that would most likely affect the employee’s work performance. Sometimes, however, it cannot be helped that questions from the employer arise, especially when there is a continued, intermittent FMLA leave. To confirm whether or not there is reasonable basis for the employee’s availing of the leave, employers may employ an experienced surveillance investigator to look at possible fraud cases. To protect the employer from retaliatory claims, an honest or valid suspicion has to be presented before the probe.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Every workplace in all areas of industry are susceptible to problems related to drug abuse. So if you think small businesses are almost immune and that large businesses are more prone, think again. Take these bits of information: about 44 percent of illicit drug users are employed full-time with small establishments, medium enterprises come in at second place with 43 percent, and large establishments place last at 17 percent. Drug use, abuse, and addiction are extremely detrimental not only for the user and their families, but for business and industry as well. Substance abuse can lead to lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, theft, low morale, and at times even fatalities—not to mention the legal liabilities stemming from these. Combine all the expenses arising from said issues—and employers are looking at a monumental amount—drug abuse costs employers about $81 billion every year.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
This situation is pretty prevalent in movies: the eyewitness to a crime is brought to a police station to sit behind a one-way mirror, then asked to identify the assailant. Or, the eyewitness enthusiastically points his finger directly to the accused in court, with the alleged perpetrator sitting beside his defense attorney. Several cross-examination procedures later, the witness picks out the right person ten times out of ten. However, the credibility of witnesses in popular media is sadly overblown. While it is truly compelling for a witness to literally point to a suspect and positively identify the latter, eyewitness accounts are nearing the end of their usefulness; more so with a growing body of evidence undermining their reliability.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
From large companies to private individuals, debtors file for bankruptcy when they no longer have enough financial means to repay their creditors. With the bankruptcy law, federal trustees may now use the debtors’ declared assets or properties to reduce or eliminate their debts over a period of time. In the U.S., filing for bankruptcy have five forms with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 having the most petitions. The prospect of being able to keep their various assets tempt debtors to commit fraud in their declarations, which could, upon discovery, lead to criminal charges. This is why creditors and reputable law firms often seek the services of private investigators from established companies like Phenix Investigations Inc. to conduct efficient asset investigations so as to uncover hidden assets. Sought-after investigators from these firms have years of experience in helping their clients achieve complete and accurate information.
Monday, March 23, 2015
An estimated $80 billion is paid out in fraudulent insurance claims annually, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. The high rate of insurance fraud has made companies more cautious when paying claims. This is not only harmful for insurance companies, but to everyone who buys insurance as well. An investigation is initiated when there is a suspected fraud that is prompted by a suspicious case, such as if there is key information missing, or some statements don’t add up. If the result of the investigation reveals that there is indeed fraudulent activity taking place, the claimant could be facing serious penalties. Companies that sense as though an insurance fraud is being committed by an individual or two should hire a surveillance investigations service as soon as possible to prevent any further losses or damage.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
The fact that owners do not report the thefts is a problem in itself. This would not discourage the employees and they are likely to repeat what they have done. It was said that most of the thefts involved employees who have been doing it over a period of time. To root them out, business owners should hire a corporate investigations company to identify these employees and put an end to the thefts. Employee theft can greatly increase company costs. A good way to prevent thefts is by creating an environment where such actions will be taken seriously and would have serious consequences. Of course, it can’t be helped if there are really some employees who are keen on breaking the rules, but the cases can be lessened with proper guidelines. There will be times, however, when an investigation is necessary in order to weed out the bad apples.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Understand that your personal safety is being threatened, so it would be wise to heighten your guard. This may include changing daily routines, arranging for a different place to stay, investing in additional security features for your home, and making it difficult for the perpetrator to contact you through every conceivable means. On your person, you can also arm yourself with self-defense articles like a pepper spray or stun gun. Lastly, keep your friends and family informed. They may offer invaluable help in identifying your stalker. Ask them to inform you immediately if they spot the perpetrator trying to get close to you. They can work in coordination with the expert private investigator services you hire.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Secrecy has been a part of asset protection planning for a long time. According to an article in Forbes.com: “Some folks don’t want their competitors to know how well or how poorly they are doing, or that they have made key investments or divested assets.” The article further says: “Some folks think that the less potential claimants can find in potential assets, the less of a target they are to lawsuits”. Thorough asset investigations can help reveal any hidden assets and properly identify a debtor’s possessions. It is not uncommon for an individual or company to hide substantial assets in any way possible, especially if it means avoiding the possibility of paying out money. When any asset is transferred with the purpose of defrauding or delaying discovery by anyone identified as a creditor, then it is considered to be a hidden asset. This can be anything from real property to stocks, bonds, and money.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
A report on RetailDIVE says: “Shoplifting is what makes the news but, according to the National Retail Federation, the number one source of retail theft in the United States is committed by a retailer’s own employees”. Employee theft seems to be something that is overlooked when it comes to loss in stores, but in reality, it is something that could even be more alarming than theft by outsiders. Admittedly, overt internal investigations can cause unwanted tension in the workplace. While these may eventually be needed, perhaps a better place to start would be surveillance. An experienced surveillance investigator can help in uncovering any case of employee theft as discreetly as possible.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Has anyone in your workplace cried foul over a co-worker’s behavior; or acted in a way that might have jeopardized others or the company’s reputation and profitability? There are various types and degrees of behavior that can fall under the general definition of employee misconduct–ranging from simple acts that would require only a written or oral reprimand, to huge ones, which could mean dismissal from the company. To avoid the unjust dismissal of an employee, and any consequent legal action that might arise from it, an in-depth investigation should first be conducted.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Having trouble collecting from people who owe you money? Sometimes, individuals or companies who wish to withhold payment for debt or an obligation will attempt to hide their assets from those who may have legal interest in them. Hidden assets are commonly encountered in divorce suits, but these may also be factors in cases of debtors who wish to avoid or delay their payments. Hidden assets are legally defined as values which are purposely secreted from disclosure to another; or, in the business setting, assets that are not properly disclosed in normal accounting records, particularly balance sheets. These assets could be anything from stocks and bonds to bank accounts; and at times, uncovering them could be very difficult to accomplish. This often requires thorough and intensive private investigations, which could delve into various possible means of hiding assets.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
When push comes to shove, be more aggressive – If you feel like the debtor doesn’t seem to heed your subtle, continuous reminders, take a stronger approach. Persistence is key here—constantly be in touch with the debtor by phone, email, letter, or even by personal visits. If the debtor appears intent to skirt his or her obligations, consider seeking the help of a skilled asset investigator from firms like Phenix Investigations, Inc.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Thorough surveillance investigations are an effective, legitimate way of fighting many kinds of labor fraud. With incriminating evidence at his hands, combined with other evidences, such as testimonies from other parties, the employer can make a well-informed decision about the case of an offending employee.
Friday, January 9, 2015
For such intricate work, busy companies entrust the task to reliable corporate investigative services like Phenix Investigations. A private investigator can devote time and resources on researching the facts of a case, and legally gathering proof and evidence to support an accusation of intellectual property violation. The investigator generally relies on public documents, records, interviews, surveillance, and other means to obtain the necessary evidences to support a case.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Don’t rely entirely on electronic gizmos or pre-determined processes and make use of your own senses. Keep your eyes open for signs of employees that may feel underappreciated, or those who may feel that your administrative policies are unfair. If you are confronted with unexplained lost merchandise or missing amounts, employ professional private investigations from companies like Phoenix Investigations, Inc. to curb your losses and unmask the guilty employee.