Tracing

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Tracing

An equitable remedy that allows persons to track their assets after they have been taken by Fraud, misappropriation, or mistake. The remedy is also used in Bankruptcy, commercial transactions, and property disputes in marital dissolution cases.

Persons who have been victims of fraud, misappropriation, or mistake may reclaim their property through the equitable remedy called tracing. Tracing makes such victims secured creditors in bankruptcy claims, which means by law they are the first to claim their share of a bankrupt's assets. Tracing can be invoked only if two requirements are met: victims must be able to identify their property and must show that they have a claim of restitution in kind. This means a victim must prove that he has interest in a specific property and that he is not simply someone to whom the defendant owed a debt. Once an individual satisfies these requirements a bankruptcy court will declare that the property never belonged to the person in bankruptcy, so it does not belong to the bankruptcy trustee, who distributes the proceeds to the bankrupt's creditors.

The tracing of assets can be difficult once money is moved into bank accounts or property is sold and the proceeds used to purchase other property. However, there are many tracing rules that aid courts in determining if and how much a person can recover. For example, if a person is defrauded of real estate and the perpetrator of the fraud sells the property and invests the proceeds in corporate stock, the victim may be able to claim the stock. The victim could not use tracing to recover the real estate from a third person who was a Good Faith purchaser (i.e., the individual did not know that the seller had defrauded the victim) and had paid a reasonably equivalent value.

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) gives secured creditors the right to trace their collateral into proceeds of its sale and to trace these proceeds through commingled bank accounts. Therefore, if a business pledges their fleet of trucks to secure a loan, the creditor is entitled to the proceeds of the sale of the trucks by the debtor.

Tracing is also used in Family Law where a divorcing Husband and Wife had separate assets before and during the marriage. Tracing can be used to determine if these assets have been commingled, such as joint contributions toward the purchase of a home. In this area, as in other fields covered by tracing, the rules can become very complex and require the testimony of expert witnesses versed in accounting and sophisticated financial transactions.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparative study between manual and digital cephalometric tracing using Dolphin Imaging software with lateral radiographs.
Table 1: Values from the digital cephalometric tracing done in the lateral radiograph, comparing pre- and postoperative measurements, using Dolphin Imaging Software.
The cephalograms taken at each step are shown in Figure 14 and superimposed cephalometric tracing is provided in Figure 15.
Caption: Figure 9: (a) Superimposed cephalometric tracing at pretreatment (solid line) and posttreatment (dotted line) of facemask therapy.
Cephalometric tracing superimposition (Fig 7) shows improvement of lower incisor position, as well as forward movement of upper and lower molars.
Cephalometric tracings of pre and post treatment cephalograms were performed using digital cephalometrics (Nemo Ceph, version 6.0, Spain).
This is especially true when using conventional planning methods whereby the Visual Treatment Objective (VTO) is based upon cephalometric tracings. Such, does not permit an accurate prediction, particularly at the soft tissue level.
[14], similar planning to patients I and II were optimized by the clinical perception of the surgeons in detriment to the use of cephalometric tracings. Since 1993, Arnett and Bergman [15] had shown that performing orthognathic surgery planning only by cephalometric analysis could generate unfavorable esthetic results.