For as long as you’ve known your debtor, he’s insisted on purchasing travelers checks before going on any vacation. You didn’t really see the need, but now you’re starting to wonder if he may actually have converted some of his funds into travelers checks to hide money from you.
Although travelers checks have somewhat fallen out of style, believe it or not, there are still plenty of places you can buy them. You can also buy plastic cards with all of the same benefits as travelers checks that can be used in automated teller machines.
The best place to find evidence of the checks is in your debtor’s bank records. If you have a joint bank account, you shouldn’t have a problem getting access to the records. If you don’t have joint finances, you may have to wait until discovery to obtain the records if your debtor is not forthcoming with them initially.
Travelers checks are sold by banks, credit unions and AAA, among other places. When reviewing your debtor’s bank records, look for large transfers or several smaller transfers to banking type organizations. Travelers checks typically come in denominations of $20, $50 or $100 (though some companies also sell them in denominations of $500 and $1000), so the transactions will probably be in even amounts, presuming your debtor wasn’t charged fees for the purchase. If your debtor put the money on a prepaid travel card, it is more likely than not that he would have also done so in an even amount.
Finally, you might give some thought to where your debtor may have hidden the travelers checks. We never advocate invading someone’s privacy (and potentially breaking the law) to find assets, but sometimes people are lazy and don’t go to great lengths to hide things. Do you have a shared safe deposit box that you haven’t checked out in years? Now is as good a time as any to take a look inside the box and see if any travelers checks or other hidden assets might just be in there.