Skip tracing is a process that is used to find someone who is difficult to find or may not want to be found. With more people skipping on payments and vanishing without a trace from debt collectors, skip tracing has become an invaluable tool to find debtors who are trying to avoid their legal responsibility of paying their debt.
What Does Skip Tracing Entail? What Does It Do?
Skip tracing in debt collection is all about collecting and verifying information regarding a debtor using public records, contacting people who might know the debtor, and looking up the debtor on social media. By using skip tracing in debt collection, you can save time and effort. It is also cost-effective as typically the skip tracing fee is just a portion of the amount owed to you. Whether you are a lender, a freelancer, or a business owner who needs to get in touch with unresponsive debtors or those who are trying to hide from their responsibilities, skip tracing can benefit you.
As a process, skip tracing involves using techniques that are available to civilians and are not as tedious as detective work which is more technical and legally involved.
Who Uses Skip Tracing?
Skip tracing is a tactic used in debt collection or for finding certain individuals. It is used by journalists, attorneys, reporters, detectives, and private investigators as part of their work. Some agencies have their own people who do skip tracing while some outsource via freelancers or other companies.
When Is Skip Tracing Needed?
Ideally, there would be no need for skip tracing in debt collection but that is not the case. Too often, people just go incommunicado when they owe money and cannot be found by basic searches alone such as search engine search or social media search. In these instances, an experienced skip tracer is needed.
What Do You Need to Provide to A Skip Tracer?
It is not uncommon for people to have look-alikes in both physical appearance and name. Because of this, skip tracers will need some important information before they can do their task. They often need the name of the person, the last verified address and contact number, and a photo when applicable.
The skip tracer will then start with using public searches to check for travel history, address history, possible court records, credit card applications, criminal records, loan applications, past jobs, driver’s license, utility addresses, and maybe tax records and phone records. These information are often enough to glean data about where the person of interest could be. In some cases, the skip tracer will contact a debtor’s friends and family, or anyone connected to the debtor in any personal way to get further information to help locate the debtor. A lot of these can be completed with the help of skip tracing software which may be too expensive for a one-time user but is a common tool for experienced skip tracers.
Is It Smart to Hire A Skip Tracer for Debt Collection?
You alone can answer this but if you are a freelancer or a business owner who stands to lose thousands of dollars for someone who has gone no contact with you, spending a few hundred dollars to hire a professional to help recover the money owed to you can be a smart decision. Note that a skip tracer will typically keep about 25% up to 50% of the amount collected.