Skip tracing is a service performed to find the whereabouts of a certain person or people. This is usually done by debt collectors, process servers, bail bond enforcers, repossession agents, private investigators, attorneys, police detectives, and journalists. People who skip payments or are avoiding contact often give false contact information or abandon their life to go into hiding.
The goal of skip tracing is to collect as much information about the subject as possible. The information about the missing person is analyzed, reduced, and verified. The missing person may have their whereabouts included in the data, usually obscured by the amount of information.
Skip tracing is more than simple research. It is a method handled by professionals who skip trace for a living. They employ methods of social engineering, down to calling or visiting neighbors, employers, and other known contacts to ask about the subject. Public and private databases cross-reference skip tracing information with people the missing person may have been within the past.
There are many resources a skip tracer can use to locate a missing person. These include phone number databases, credit reports, loan applications, credit card applications, job application information, criminal background checks, any utility bills, social security, disability, and public tax information.
There are three different types of skip persons. The first is unintentional, meaning they are not trying to hide from anyone but simply missed a responsibility. The second is intentional, when a person is trying to hide from a specific agency. The third is fraud, where the missing person is trying to hide from everyone.
There are certain qualities for each of these types of missing people. Unintentional skips most likely relocated for a job or are unemployed and living with friends or relatives. They may be unaware of their debt, unsure of their options, and possibly low on cash.
Intentional skips are aware they have debt and cannot or will not pay it. This type of person most likely has excessive debts in other places. Friends and relatives are most likely helping them hide from skip tracing. Their problems may be bigger than debt.
Fraudulent skips often never have any intention of paying their debt. They could be hiding from law enforcement or avoiding child support payments. Friends and relatives most likely have lost contact with this person. Collection from these people requires a harder approach.
There are many different tools to access when skip tracing. All previous applications for loans, credit, rentals, and jobs are helpful. Previous utility bills, phone numbers, addresses, personal contacts, and criminal backgrounds will also be beneficial in tracking a person. Their social security number and public tax information goes a long way.
The internet, believe it or not, can be the answer to skip tracing. Popular search engines, phone and address directories, and free tracking websites are all available. Public records can also be found on the internet, including marriages, divorces, civil actions, criminal actions, and foreclosures.
An all-in-one solution for skip tracing is to go through a credit bureau. A credit bureau's basic search can provide their name, age, date of birth, social security number, current address, phone number, historical addresses, aliases, and date of death. All that is needed for a credit bureau search is a social security number.
A trace detail report can be requested from a credit bureau report to provide detailed information on relatives and neighbors. It is a secondary search accessed from a basic search. It can provide additional phone and contact information for relatives and neighbors.
A credit bureau offers all kinds of different skip tracing services that allow the missing person to be found, no matter what problem is causing them to go into hiding. Most offer a driver's license search, business search, phone and address lookups, identity verifications, criminal and court searches, assets and financial data, and identity and credit protection packages.