Skip Tracing: Why It’s the Deadbeat’s #1 Enemy

Deadbeats earn their reputations by not paying their bills. A typical deadbeat ignores repeated requests to pay. He sometimes even thumbs his nose at a court after judgment is entered against him. He even goes so far as to hide assets, change jobs, or even move out of state to avoid paying. What he doesn’t know is that skip tracing can still be utilized to track him down.

Skip tracing is the deadbeat’s #1 enemy. A debt collector highly skilled in skip tracing can find just about anyone who hasn’t dropped out of society and gone to live in the middle of nowhere. As hard as the deadbeat may try to run and hide, he probably won’t succeed.

●               Technology Has Upped the Game

Judgment Collectors, a Salt Lake City company that specializes in collecting unpaid judgments in multiple states, says that skip tracing is a tool they and other collection agencies utilize to locate deadbeats. The thing is that skip tracing is not new. It has been around for decades. So what makes it the deadbeat’s #1 enemy in the 21st century? Technology has upped the game.

In days past, skip tracing was moderately successful. It required a lot more work. Moreover, there were more opportunities for deadbeats to avoid being found. This is no longer the case in the digital age. Thanks to technology, it is nearly impossible to hide without dropping out of society altogether. Not many deadbeats want to do that.

●               How Skip Tracing Works

Companies like Judgment Collectors are not in the habit of giving away their secrets. After all, they do not want deadbeats to know exactly how they do their jobs. Still, skip tracing has been around long enough that its general principles are well known.

For all intents and purposes, skip tracing involves searching a treasure trove of public and private information to find a person. Collection agencies and private investigators are looking for names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Even email addresses are on the table.

Skip tracers in the technology age have a lot more database information at their fingertips. Here are just some of the records they scour:

  • Property records
  • Title searches
  • Bankruptcy filings
  • Commercial code filings
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Court records
  • Tax records.

Technology has been an immense help in recent years. For example, did you know that the majority of U.S. counties now publish property transaction information online? A skilled investigator who knows what to look for can locate a deadbeat who has recently bought or sold property. Property transactions are generally published within 30 to 90 days.

●               Automation and Paid Services

Two more advantages investigators have these days are automation and paid services. In terms of automation, advanced software with built-in artificial intelligence can run automated searches on dozens of databases in short order. What used to take an investigator months to complete can be done in mere minutes. As it turns out, automated computer algorithms are a lot more efficient at searching databases than human eyes.

To facilitate better searches, collection agencies and private investigators utilize paid services. These services come from companies who make their money retaining and searching databases. Paying for such services gives an investigator the opportunity to track down dozens of people simultaneously, rather than getting bogged down by just one or two.

Take Judgment Collectors’ word for it: skip tracing is the deadbeat’s #1 enemy. Thanks to big data and the technology that powers it, it is nearly impossible to hide from a persistent investigator in the digital age. Deadbeats are better off just paying their bills.