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How to Find Someone’s Net Worth

Nancy Patterson - July 15, 2022

How to Find Someone’s Net Worth

Although it’s always wise to take someone at their word, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally verifying the information. In fact, sometimes, you need to find and confirm details to keep your best interest in mind.

Do you have a potential business partner or romantic interest with deep pockets? Taking someone at their word isn’t difficult when you’re the trusting type. Unfortunately, this tactic isn’t always wise since many cyber criminals and scam artists use the same approach to gain the trust of others before exploiting their victims.

Why Should You Look Into Someone’s Net Worth?

As a precautionary measure, finding someone’s net worth is always recommended, especially before entering a contract, relationship, or long-term commitment. This information is particularly relevant before a partnership that may lead to shared funds access. Unfortunately, trying to find someone’s net worth can be particularly difficult. It’s critical not to assume someone’s value simply because of the cars they drive or the clothes they wear.

To help you get started, here’s a sure-fire way to find someone’s net worth, so you can feel confident about any decisions you make in the future. After all, the old saying stands true, “an ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure.”

Which Assets Will Contribute to Someone’s Net Worth?

Initially, you need to find which assets and liabilities count when considering someone’s net worth. Remember, assets will always add value to a person’s net worth, while liabilities will always reduce that value.

The following types of assets can safely determine someone’s net worth overall:

Cash

Someone’s available cash is the greatest asset to determine a person’s net worth. To get started, find out how much cash they have in the bank. The more money they have, the larger their net worth will become. Any currency that isn’t attached to a lien or loan is an asset.

Investments

Financial investments are always considered an asset. Whenever a value of an investment increases, so does the individual’s net worth. The investment portfolio may include pension funds, bonds, stocks, or other financial instruments that hold the potential to appreciate.

Property or Real Estate

Property is a generalized term for anything an individual owns. This property might include cars, jewelry, collectible art, real estate, or any other tangible items that are wholly owned. No debt must be attached to the item to consider the property an asset.

Understanding Liabilities

A liability is anything that removes value from an individual’s worth. When an individual’s liabilities exceed the asset value, an individual holds a negative net worth. These accounts include credit card debt, loans, mortgages, car notes, or other accounts that require prepayment.

Where to Look for Assets?

If you’re trying to find what an individual owns, you’ll likely need to research a few different places. Unfortunately, this requires extensive research unless using an automated program like a background check website.

The DMV

Visiting any state DMV where the individual lives will reveal which vehicles they own and how many are in their name. To create this profile, you’ll need to run a name search on motor vehicle records. These records will find all vehicles and any Watercraft or boats smaller than 27 feet. You’ll have to run a US Coast Guard scan to determine whether this person owns a yacht.

Real Estate

When determining how much real property an individual owns, look no further than the county assessor’s office. Visit the assessor’s office closest to the property’s location. Additionally, you can run a property owner search through a background check platform. This search will find which homes, vacant land, or other property someone owns.

Divorce Proceedings

In some states, divorce filings are publicly accessible. These states include Connecticut, California, Florida, and others. From there, you can find the records to identify any assets an individual owns.

Aircraft Registrations

Should someone claim to own a private jet, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) can confirm these registrations independently.

Probate Filings

When an individual of interest has inherited assets from a deceased person, probate filings can be beneficial in confirming wealth.

Corporate Filings

Occasionally, people purchase assets under the name of an incorporated business instead of using their name. They could also use the name of a limited partnership or LLC. Using corporate filings, a person will be identified as a shareholder in the company.

SEC Filings

The SEC mandates that all publicly traded companies disclose the executive stock options, stock holdings, agreements, and other details highlighting an individual’s net worth.

Patents and Trademarks

These items include possible assets verified by checking an individual’s name on the USPTO website.

If individually searching through the above platforms seems like too much work, using a third-party website may be an easier way. Many background check websites will list a person’s assets in the report. The background check reveals the properties, businesses, and other assets an individual owns within the US. Although it’s not foolproof, it will give you a rough estimate of the net worth, confirming whether they’re telling the truth about their financial status or simply bluffing.

How to Calculate Someone’s Net Worth?

Once you’ve located an individual’s assets, the next step is calculating how much the assets amount to in total. After you’ve added up the total value of the assets, subtract the sum of all liabilities from the number. The figure remaining is a rough estimate of an individual’s net worth overall.

For instance, if an individual owns real estate, vehicles, and other property worth $7 million, while sitting with total liabilities of $3 million, the estimated net worth is $4 million.

The numerical value of someone’s net worth can help determine an applicant’s creditworthiness, particularly before entering into a business partnership or investing.

Conclusion

Although many don’t believe that someone’s net worth is an influential factor in partnerships or relationships, it can minimize the risk you take when getting involved with someone new. Whether this individual is a professional scam artist hoping to separate you from your money or a liar hoping to attract someone’s attention, knowing where someone stands is crucial.

You should only try to find someone’s net worth for informational reasons, avoiding malicious intent at all costs. It’s also essential to avoid using illegal means, like coercion or bribery, to find someone’s hidden assets. Utilizing these activities for negative reasons may open you up to a federal crime (especially if you’re getting someone else to do it on your behalf). Ultimately, finding someone’s net worth is only a small tool in getting to know someone better. It is meant to be a deciding factor of someone’s honesty and transparency instead of a manipulative tactic to get what you want.  

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