Use Divorce Papers to Help with Screening and Asset Verification
When applicants or residents tell you they are getting alimony or child support, you will probably get a copy of the separate agreement or divorce decree to verify the amount and frequency of payments. But these papers can be useful in other ways. They can help you to screen applicants. And you can use them to alert you to assets that applicants or residents own. Following are some tips on what you should look for.
Screening Applicants: Prior Address—If landlord references are part of your screening process, you will ask applicants for their prior addresses. But some applicants might forget to tell you a prior address if they think their old site manager won’t give them a good reference. Since separation and divorce papers usually give the addresses of the husband and wife, you might spot an undisclosed prior address when reviewing the papers.
Asset Verification: Ownership, Value, Access to Assets—At certifications or recertifications, applicants and residents must tell you what, if any assets they own. Separation and divorce papers often list the couple’s assets and say who is entitled to ownership of each asset. So you might find an asset referred to in the papers that you have not been told about. Separation and divorce papers can also help you verify the value of assets since they must state the value of assets that now belong to the applicant or resident. Finally, an asset does not count as belonging to an applicant or resident if it is not accessible to that person and does not provide income to him or her. Divorce and separation papers may have information that will let you confirm whether these special circumstances apply.