Tips for Better and More Cost Effective Skip Tracing
Every person who works in the debt collection industry has encountered the problem of skip tracing, and even many people who are not collecting debts can use skip tracing techniques to track down deadbeat parents, find people they need to locate and make good on personal loans.
Skip tracing is an important part of the debt collection process, of course. After all, it is impossible to collect money that is owed, either business funds or personal funds, if you cannot find the person who owes that money. Whether you need to collect a personal loan or a past due credit card debt, it is important to streamline your skip tracing program for best effectiveness.
Professional debt collectors face this dilemma all the time – whether to focus their limited resources on skip tracing or collecting debts for those debtors who have already been found. With a cost effective skip tracing program, those professionals can do both.
The first step in implementing such a program is to set a time for those skip tracing efforts. For most professionals the best time to concentrate on skip tracing is during non-peak efforts, when phone calls and other collection efforts would be less effective.
Before implementing skip tracing efforts on a particular account, it is important to determine that the account will be worth the effort. It is important, for instance, to be sure that the account has not entered bankruptcy or held up in legal limbo. This filtering of accounts should be an integral part of any skip tracing efforts.
The account should also be profiled in order to make those skip tracing efforts pay off. It is important to verify the last phone number and address that has been supplied, and to make sure that there are no typos or transcription errors that could have hindered past attempts at collection. In some cases a simple address search will be able to yield results.
If these simple efforts do not pay off, the next step is to contact the person’s neighbors, employers and others that may be in the record. It is important to contact everyone in the file, even if you are sure the phone number has been disconnected. You just may be surprised at how effective this skip tracing method can be.
It is important to categorize the accounts you are skip tracing according to how much money they owe. As a rule of thumb, the more money the debtor owes the better and harder they will hide, so additional skip tracing efforts may be necessary to capture those who owe high balances.
For low balance accounts it is important to negotiate discounts when using a skip tracing or people search service. With so many people moving so frequently it can be hard to keep up with these low balance individuals, and unless you are able to negotiate such discounts the skip tracing efforts may not be cost effective.
Fortunately there are a number of quick checks you can do to filter out accounts for which skip tracing will be ineffective. It is important, for instance, to make sure the target of your skip tracing efforts is neither deceased nor incarcerated. A quick search can reveal this important information and help you better filter your search.
After you have filtered your accounts properly, you will be better prepared to make your skip tracing efforts pay off. By focusing on those efforts most likely to get results, you may be able to get the best and most cost effective results.