Your debtor has a taste for fine jewelry and you suspect that she’s recently purchased and hidden some expensive pieces.
If you have access to your debtor’s bank records, they are a great place to begin looking for evidence that your debtor has some jewelry stashed away. You may not find something as obvious as massive payments to Tiffany & Co., but look for things like payments to a jewelry appraiser, an insurer or payments for a safe deposit box.
If your debtor is purchasing expensive jewelry, it’s a pretty safe bet that she is also insuring it. A basic homeowner’s or renter’s policy might not fully cover high value items. If this is true of your policy, your debtor may have purchased additional coverage under your policy for her pricy baubles. See if you can get your hands on your insurance policies. When reviewing the policy, look for a schedule that lays out the high value items covered. If you don’t find an itemized schedule, you may find that some form of high value coverage was added to the policy of which you were unaware.
Keep in mind that if your debtor really wanted to make it a point to keep her jewelry collection from you, she may not have insured the jewelry under your policy. You should also look for payments to insurance companies with which you are unfamiliar. A quick Google search will tell you the names of some popular jewelry insurance companies.
You may also want to look into expensive jewelry that your debtor could have inherited over time. Think back. Maybe your debtor told you at the time that she inherited her great aunt’s jewelry collection and you didn’t think much of it. Or maybe her recently deceased grandmother was always draped in diamonds and you know your debtor was her favorite grandchild. As we mentioned in our blogpost about tracking down an inheritance, if your debtor’s relative left her something in a will that went through the probate process, you should be able to access the will since it is a public record.
You may know more about your debtor’s jewelry collection than you think, having lived with her during your marriage. Call on your memory, and if you have good relationships with people who might know something about your debtor’s collection, such as a friend or a family jeweler, don’t be afraid to get on the phone and call them to see what you might learn.