Has someone “skipped town” owing you rent on a domestic or business property, without paying for work you were contracted to do or owing you money on a loan agreement?
For whatever reason, if you want to find your debtor and recover what is owed then a Skip Trace is your first step to doing so.
Skip tracing is the term given to the process of finding a person who has relocated without trace and therefore their original contact information is no longer relevant.
The practice of skip tracing is largely employed to track down debtors for the purpose of collecting unpaid bills, rent arrears or monies owed on a loan.
It must be said searching for a debtor is far more challenging than finding a lost relative or friend as for obvious reasons a debtor may frequently change their address and become very skilful in covering his or her tracks-that is why more often than not- people choose to hire the services of a professional skip tracing agent.
However, if you are prepared to do the ground work and have the patience and time to conduct a search yourself, there are numerous search sites and tools available on the internet to help you.
- The details of your debtor and any relevant information or references on the loan or rental agreement are essential for assisting you in your search along with any information on the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any of their family, friends or neighbors that you have on record.
SO LET’S GET STARTED!!
WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR DEBTOR?
- Do you have their full name ,including any middle names or initials?
- Do you know their date of birth?
- Do you have a record of their last known home telephone or cell phone number? If you do not have this information to hand, click onto our Telephone Directory Services link and check for any listings. Alternatively, if you are a Skype customer you can down load their directory free of charge – it’s worth a try as millions of people now subscribe to Skype – your debtor might just be one of them!
- Do you have their last known address or any previous address where they may have resided over the past few years including that of their parents? If you have this information and they are local, have you visited the address and spoken to the new occupants or any of the close neighbors – there is always a chance they might have a forwarding address or new contact number that will help.
- Do you have the name of their wife/husband or partner or the name of any close family relatives or next of kin? If not, click onto Familylink.com ,Ancestry.com or the County Public Records office where you will be able to check birth, marriages and divorce records. Any relevant information found will enable you to search the on line Telephone Directory Services and maybe speak to a family member – there is always a very strong chance that your debtor still keeps in touch or has even returned to the nest!
- In the case of debt owing on the rental of your domestic/commercial property, do you know the names and contact details of any other occupants /business partners that may have shared the accommodation/premises with your debtor, or do you have a record of any references or referees that were given as guarantors? If so, why not search the online Telephone Directory Service again or check out the cross index directories that can be accessed at your local library – leave no stone unturned!
If not, are there any other relevant details on the rental agreement such as a drivers licence or social security number to prove identity –either of these will be very useful if you do enlist a skip trace agent to further your search.
- Do you know what your debtors occupation is and where they were last employed or where their spouse / partner is working or are they self employed? If so, you have nothing to lose by contacting their place of work and check if they are still working there or try and speak to a fellow employee who may be able to help. You can also click onto Linkedin.com which is a site used by many for the purpose of business networking. The Public Records department also holds a plethora of information relating to business contracts, professional licences and recorded documents that may be worth checking out.
and finally …
- Have you looked for your debtor on any of the social networking sites? It may be a long shot ,particularly in the case of an “experienced” debtor who wants to keep a low profile, but once again you have absolutely nothing to lose as the most popular sites – Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Google are easy to access and free to search on a daily basis.
If you have exhausted all of the resources and search sites suggested without success – do not give up, you have come to far and have not wasted your time – but you should now consider passing the information you have gathered on to a professional Skip Tracing Agency.
Because a Skip Tracer has access to resources that are only available to the professionals operating in the trace and debt industry. They are very experienced in finding the relevant data ,cross checking the information and verifying the correct identity and whereabouts of your debtor and are also able to initiate the debt collection process.
Also, we advised earlier that finding a debtor yourself is not easy and you must be aware that any investigations you undertake must comply with and not violate any state law that governs debtor tracing or debt collection – so if you are in doubt – leave it to the professionals.
AND DON’T WORRY!! Most skip tracing agents will only charge for a successful result – so once again you have nothing to lose and much to gain when your debtor pays what is owed.