Documents that contain a judgment debtor’s non-expunged or non-redacted Social Security number are certainly worth their weight in gold for a judgment collector involved in a post-judgment asset investigation. A SSN can also be of great assistance when one is attempting to skip trace a missing judgment debtor.
In this 21st century it is much more difficult to legally obtain a person’s personal information. The one identifier that people are most likely to try to protect is their Social Security number. This post is intended to give a few types of documents that will likely have a person’s SSN on it somewhere.
Every time I have used a bank levy or bank garnishment, I have included the Social Security number as well as the name of the debtor. I may only know of the existence of a single account in the debtor’s name at the bank. By including the “social” I am able to levy on any accounts at that institution which are in the name or SSN of my debtor. It can be surprising when the bank freezes other accounts that my debtor has at the bank that I had not known about. It makes collecting all of my money, or at least more of my money a greater possibility.
In my state I have discovered that old traffic tickets frequently included the driver’s “social” as well as other helpful identification information. I go to the archives at the courthouse and look in the old files which contain the traffic tickets. In my area, this information is not available in the more recent years of computerized records.
I have found debtor’s personal identifiers by looking at the physical files. Sometimes a speeding ticket 20 years old will turn up information that current files do not.
Authorities that were compelled to switch over from displaying full SSNs have done a thorough job of not including them in publicly viewable formats that now exist. However, these same authorities have not been as thorough in removing SSN data from old hard copy forms, files, and records. In my area, when I am researching old records in the archives, there is typically no one in close proximity to realize that the records I am looking at have personal identifiers that haven’t been expunged or redacted.
There are other documents that contain Social Security numbers for my judgment debtors. Sometimes they will present them in response to post-judgment discovery requests.
To ask for a debtor to hand over their actual Security Card would seem to be unreasonable. However, it would not raise the same red flag to ask for them to provide for discovery purposes their pay stub from work. These often display the “social” on them.
It is also possible to find their SSN by subpoena of their W-2 or 1099 forms. Virtually all income tax related forms will have SSN or EIN identification on them.
There are other ways to acquire the needed identifiers that judgment creditors need for their post-judgment investigation purposes. The few mentioned here have worked for me on numerous occasions.
Once you have developed a verified Social Security number and other personal identifiers for your judgment debtor it becomes much easier to discover the existence and locations of assets and incomes. Basically that is the key to finding the means by which your judgment will ultimately get paid.
Good luck in collecting every cent you are owed.