TLO filed bankruptcy today and made quite a few headlines in the investigative community. Comments about TLO’s policy changes have shown a break down in reliability in the quality of data. I personally have not done a side by side comparison. Although the information coming forth is a restriction of personal identifying data. This move has left thousands of companies in the U.S. scrambling for alternative sources for databases.
Details reported today revealed the company laid off more than 150 employees in 2012.The same financial difficulties that made the company let go 75% of their staff would be a good explanation for the lack of fresh data. Information is commodity and fresh data is necessary in the financial industry.
The South Florida Business Journal reports about the filing as well as a press release from TLO stating that the company is in the midst of a financial restructuring, which I find to be a very redundant statement in regards to bankruptcy. This is why bankruptcy exists right?
Locateplus (Has never truncated social security numbers)
Noteworthy comments from around the web:
Jerry Wolsey • Hopefully TLO will resolve there current problems which I feel they will over time. This is a tough business by far. So many changes were made in such a short period of time at TLO which did in fact hurt a lot of Private Investigators that work from there homes which the majority of us do. But I do understand that TLO is working on restoring searches that were suspended for thousands of Private Investigators because they had a home based business, but I understand that TLO is working on restoring these searches and that is a step in the right direction.
Scott Wilson • Legal actions are going to start flying out of the TLO organization and at the TLO organization. It will be easy to follow since Florida is a very open and public State. Determining the truth will not be easy. There is always two sides of a coin and TLO had problems long before Hanks death. TLO has over 100 million in liabilities. Most of it may be unsecured debt. TLO didn’t acquire they’re debt overnight, or just after Hanks death. TLO likes to use GM and Delta Airlines as examples of companies that emerged from Chapter 11 successfully. I think both companies did because they received federal assistance. I can think of one company that didn’t….ENRON! There are many more companies that didn’t survive Chapter 11. What vendor would want to do business with them?
Tim Wooten • While I am waiting and hoping TLO can get their act together, and I sincerely hope they do, to me it is unfair that they are identifying or targetting those of us who work from home rather than a brick and mortor storefront office. If they are truly concerned about us being a “real” business and maintaining certain safeguards to protect the data we obtain from them, then I would think it would be a concern they have for ALL of their clients. The chances of information being misplaced and or inappropriately distributed is far greater for a large agency that has multiple staff members, and where the public can just walk into their offices. I would think if this is truly a concern of the management team or something imposed upon them by their providers, they would be conducting a national audit of ALL of their users, home office and otherwise.
I have no problem with them verifying I am a legitimate business and insuring the conditions for which I store or maintain protected data. But, this appears as if there is an underlying agenda and NOT for the reasons they’ve provided to us.
Scott you’ve made a huge point. Considering the company has filed bankruptcy, and like you say, that is usually the last attempt for a company to survive before going down with the ship, do we as clients want to continue doing business with them if they are having those types of problems? My opinion of that is simple. As long as we can get the data we need from them, as quickly as we usually can get it and at some of the lowest prices around, yes, we will continue to do business with them. At least until they shut down the computers and stop responding. Knowing how the competitors must have felt when Hank came back on to the stage with his newest presentation (TLO) and how they all must have felt the heat, now would be the perfect time for some of the competitors to regroup and even re-invent themselves with new programs and better prices. Let’s see if that happens too.