Business & Finance

What is Skip Tracing and How It Works?

Skip Tracing is the means of locating an individual and their location for several reasons when their contact information is not immediately known. The “skip” is the person that is being looked for and is also known as the “locate”. The “tracing” is generally a reference used as many detailed methods are used to find a missing person. Very often these methods involve detailed tracing mechanisms.

Skip tracing today is used for anything that involves the location of an individual. This could be for debt collection, legal matters, to repossess something, witness location, missing person location, secure life insurance beneficiaries; lost relative locates, and so on. A skip tracer can be needed for several reasons but is commonly known for debt collection.

Locating people that have fled and neglected to provide notice can be done. Anyone that is deemed as missing can be deemed so for any variety of reasons, and in this day and age, a paper trail is almost always left behind. There are two kinds of “skip”. The Intentional and the Unintentional. If you know which category your missing person is in, it may be easier to trace them.

An Intentional Skip has fled from the authorities because of criminal actions, or they simply do not want to be found. It is unlikely that the standard trails skip tracers are searching for will be left behind. At this point, an Intentional Skip knows the system fairly well and is aware of what they need to do to prevent it from being found.

An Intentional Skip will avoid the law and debtors by moving their residence frequently. They could change their phone numbers and rent a P.O. Box to avoid their responsibilities. Generally, they will not make a complete identity switch and they usually leave a paper trail that can be eventually followed. In these cases, the Intentional Skip works very hard to stay hidden, and they know how to and skip tracing is very difficult. The skip tracer simply hopes that the skipper will slip up somewhere along the way, and they usually do.

An Unintentional Skip is simply just that. It could be that they forgot to submit the change of address information, or fell into circumstances and had their phone disconnected, or something to that effect. In all cases of an Unintentional Skip, the individual is not intending to hide, and more than likely is not even aware of they are being sought. In these cases, skip tracing is very easy to accomplish and will be resolved much sooner than an intentional skip.

Skip tracing is performed for a variety of reasons. The capability of finding someone will depend on many factors: the type of skip, the length of time that has passed, and the available resources to the person trying to find them. There are a variety of tools used in skip tracing, and in more cases than not, the individuals are found.

What Is A Skip Tracer?

A skip tracer is a person who performs the skip tracing. It may be the person looking for the lost person, or it may be someone whose career is an investigative one and who is hired to search.

Why Would I Use Skip Tracing?

Batch Skip tracing is a tactic used when you are having a very difficult time finding high volume of individuals information. This could be for several reasons. Sometimes the person does not want to be found and has covered their tracks very well. Other times, the individual has no idea they are being looked for and their information has not been updated. The very common reasons people hire skip tracing are to recover debts, bail bondsmen, seeking child support, missing or lost relatives or loved ones.

How Is Skip Tracing Performed?

This depends entirely on how you decide to employ your search. You can start on your searching telephone books and public records, or you can hire someone to do the job for you.

A common tactic to skip tracing is locating any known friends or relatives that may be able to help you. You may have to entice them with reward money to get them to talk, or you may not. Very often there is at least one person, ideally a parent of the locate, that knows the whereabouts. This may be easy or difficult depending on how desperately the person does not want to be found.

If I Hire A Private Investigator, Is It Going To Cost A Fortune?

This answer depends on who you obtain, and what methods they require to find your individual. Private investigators have many tools available to them that are more advanced than you will have, and they will have a very high success rate of finding your locate. They may charge a flat fee, and they may charge you per service. If it does not take long in finding your person, it may not cost you very much at all. Shop around and ask about success rates, and compare rates. Very often the cost of skip tracing is outweighed by the outcome.


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