Lending money carries a certain amount of risk. When you lend money to someone, you are accepting that there’s a small chance you won’t see your money back. Most lenders such as various financial institutions, businesses, and individual lenders sometimes have to deal with debtors who decide to leave town and essentially disappear from the radar. This is where skip tracing proves to be invaluable. Here’s why.
What is Skip Tracing?
Skip tracing is a service that involves tracking down and locating individuals who have decided to “skip” town (hence the name) in an effort to avoid paying back their lenders. The process of skip tracing is done by private firms who are specialized in finding people even after they’ve moved to a different city, area, or a whole different state.
With that said, skip tracing is often benefiting the person that has skipped town. There are many cases of debtors moving and simply forgetting to change their billing address. By employing a debt collections agency to skip trace that person, both parties will end up benefiting. The lender will get back their money while the debtor will prevent any damage being done to their credit score.
How is Skip Tracing Done?
Successful skip tracing requires the use of multiple techniques and methods. Depending on the person of interest and the area where the person was last seen, skip tracing can involve offline and online investigative activities. In most cases, the agents performing skip tracing will start by completing trace enquiries. Once that is done, the investigators will start digging into the life of the person of interest.
They will start by checking that person’s credit history, any known addresses, billing addresses, and any other traces left in the public system. Next, investigators will look into any known acquaintances of the person they’re looking for.
Talking with neighbors, friends, family members, and local business owners could reveal valuable information regarding the whereabouts of the subject. This part of the investigation is done in the field and takes some time to complete. Before social media became a thing, doing fieldwork was the only way to get a hot lead on a subject.
These days, social media has made skip tracing a lot more efficient. People may change their physical whereabouts, but their only identities generally remain untouched. Depending on how up-to-date someone’s social media is, and how much importance the subject gives to their social media presence, they could very well make their current location known.
Is Skip Tracing Effective?
Skip tracing is very effective. These days there are so many tools available to debt collections agencies, making it fairly easy to track a person down in a short period of time. Everyone leaves a digital footprint unless they are being extremely careful not to do so. As technology progresses, skip tracing is becoming easier. If you’re trying to track down a person who owes you money, using a skip tracing service is probably the quickest way you’ll get your money back.
Skip Tracing Agencies VS Individual Trackers
Popular culture has done a great job in representing lone wolf PIs as the only way to find a person. In reality, it’s the large agencies that are in the lead. Agency skip tracing services usually have access to more diverse resources that individual trackers either can’t afford or aren’t interested in using. By using an agency, you’re improving your chances of successfully tracking down persons of interest before they put more distance between you and them. When time is a factor, you’ll want all the manpower you can get working on the problem.
What Type of Data is Necessary to Start the Search?
Most skip tracing services don’t need too much data to start their search. The basic information such as name, date of birth, and similar are more than enough to get the ball rolling. The amount of sophisticated software that is currently used in skip tracing makes it easy to filter out any false positives and dial in on people who don’t want to be found with relative ease.
Why Use Skip Tracing?
Skip tracing is often the only way of tracking down debtors and getting your money back. However, there’s more to this service than meets the eye. By employing a skip tracing agency to find someone, you can gain an insight into aspects of their lives that you probably weren’t aware of. Some of this information can potentially be invaluable in your efforts to get back your investment even if the debtor is refusing to cooperate.