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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 ?
We have reasonable data to know that the vast majority of patients with category I fetal heart rate tracings will have a normal pH.
Among 100 cases, normal tracings was observed in 71%.
Later, I brought my iPhone to my follow-up appointment and shared the tracings with my primary care doctor.
I knew that quadrigeminy was a benign tracing, but if I wasn't a physician (or hadn't been trained by a great upper-level resident as an intern), then I might have been too anxious to fall back asleep.
When a drawing is sold, she glues tiny tracings of it to her records for the day of the sale.
Students can exchange tracings and try finding the exact spot each was drawn from.
Older alternating-current (AC) recorders provide reliable tracings, but those that were designed with a short time constant can produce tracings that appear to represent nystagmus, but which are actually artifact.
Those modules are followed by a self-test section and an atlas of ECG tracings. The self-test questions may be completed at the end of each section or after completion of the entire package.
Prolonged periods of uninterpretable FHR and uterine activity tracings imply that no one was attending the mother and fetus.
Classifications for fetal heart rate patterns were developed 4 years ago in an effort to bring more clarity and meaning to the interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings. Most recently, an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists--sponsored committee of experts (including physicians, neonatal nurses, and nurse-midwives) delved into management issues and the uncertainties of the new classification system, ultimately developing a framework for evaluating and managing fetal heart rate patterns based on the classifications.
As labor progressed, signs of fetal distress became apparent on monitor tracings. An hour after fetal distress was first noted, the ObGyn reviewed the monitor tracings from offsite and advised the patient to stop pushing.