Debt collectors have an interesting job. Their main task is to find debtors and extract payment that said debtors have been unwilling or unable to submit thus far. When it comes to the unwilling, debt collectors often need to employ a strategy known as ‘skip tracing’. To be a good debt collector, you must be a good skip tracer as well.

Skip tracing is so named because it is designed to find people who are trying to ‘skip out’ on some sort of legal obligation. They are evading the very people trying to contact them. They may be trying to skip out on:

  • paying their bills
  • making child support payments
  • appearing in court
  • answering a summons.

The people skip tracers go after could be financial deadbeats or criminals. They could be material witnesses to a crime or persons of interest. Regardless, skip tracing is employed to track them down.

Why It’s Important to Debt Collectors

Understanding why skip tracing is so important in criminal cases is not hard. The same goes for tracking down deadbeats who aren’t making their child support and maintenance payments. But what about debt collection? Why is skip tracing such a crucial tool to debt collection agencies? The answer is as simple as understanding why debt collection services are even necessary.

A debt collection agency is only employed when bills go unpaid. A company turns unpaid debts over to a collection agency after trying to collect in-house for a certain amount of time. The mere fact that their efforts have proved unsuccessful indicates that the people they are trying to collect from are not cooperating.

Skip tracing suddenly becomes important because uncooperative debtors try all sorts of things to avoid being contacted. If they cannot be contacted, collection becomes that much more difficult.

When Unpaid Bills Go to Court

There are some debt collection agencies that specialize in judgments. Salt Lake City’s Judgment Collectors is one such agency. They take a lot of cases from companies whose in-house debt collection efforts have failed, forcing them to take their customers to court. Now they have judgments giving them legal authority to take extra steps to collect.

Judgment Collectors says that unpaid judgments take debt collection to a whole new level. They say they frequently encounter debtors who are well versed in hiding themselves and their assets. The whole reason these people have judgments entered against them is because they have actively sought to avoid paying what they owe.

Skip tracing is just as important in judgment cases. Whether companies try to collect in-house or turn their cases over to a judgment collection agency, skip tracing is often the only means of finding a deadbeat and encouraging them to pay.

It is All About Research and Investigation

At skip tracing’s heart is research and investigation. Investigators look for anything that can help them trace a target’s whereabouts. If they can find information about the target’s assets, that’s a bonus. The good news for skip tracers is that they never face a shortage of resources. They can look in to lots of things.

Skip tracers make use of:

  • property records
  • criminal records
  • tax and other financial information
  • employment histories
  • travel histories.

It turns out that social media is a gold mine of information for a good skip tracer. People are terribly careless with their social media accounts. An exceptionally careless deadbeat will give away lots of information a skip tracer can use to find the prize. At any rate, a good debt collector has to be a good skip tracer, too. Now you know why.