If a business has a customer that they can no longer contact, it may be beneficial to consider skip tracing. Skip tracing is used by debt collectors as a way to track down individuals that have a bad debt and are trying to avoiding paying that debt. Skip tracing is an important part of debt recovery. Sometimes the phone number of a customer is disconnected or mail is returned. A number of techniques are used to locate customers that have gone missing.
To collect a delinquent account successfully, companies need to find the location of the debtor. A customer that owes money may have their telephone disconnected and relocate. Mail from the company may be returned. Debtors may believe that this leaves the creditor no way to contact them. Skip tracing is a technique that lets creditors find debtor through a variety of outlets.
Skip tracing should be done when mail is returned and the phone number that are in the company records is disconnected.
To do a professional skip trace, information such as social security number, date of birth, former addresses, employment information, spouse information and vehicle and driver’s license information are commonly used. It is common to use telephone, books, public records and motor vehicle records when trying to locate a missing person. Old addresses and property records should also be used.
If skip tracing is used and data is found the information should be verified and a follow up is needed. After that, all leads should be exhausted. Computerized records contain a lot of information on a missing person and while a wealth of information can be found, a lot of inaccurate information can be found as well. A skip tracing investigator has the resources and experience to tell the difference between accurate and inaccurate leads.
Investigators that offer skip tracing services are paid in three different ways. Investigators may get paid a flat fee. This fee is higher if the case is successful and reduced or disregarded altogether if the case proves unsuccessful. Flat fee services include checking such resources as credit cards. There is also a budgeted fee. When there is a budgeted fee payment the client give the investigator the amount that they will be willing to pay. The client pays the hourly fee until the budget is exhausted.
The next payment option is when the client wants to find the client no matter how much it costs. For some companies, time and money are not an issue when trying to locate someone who is missing. Large businesses usually choose this option. In this scenario, an investigator will use all skip tracing techniques available to them. The search will only end when all leads are exhausted.
The Internet have made skip tracing very sophisticated. Many leads can be checked by using computers to check social security numbers, marriage records, public records, email directories and voter registration. More personal information is being held in computer databases so skip tracing takes less time and is more likely to be successful.
Learn how to skip trace in Skip Trace Secrets by Valerie McGilvrey
Written by an experienced skip tracer for collectors, repo agents, process servers or anyone that needs to find people.
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