What Exactly Is Skip Tracing?

Banks and other financial institutions exist for quite a number of reasons. One of their main reasons for existence is to provide credit to its customers. This as it is known is risky business. Although these institutions have their own ways of making sure that all credit they give out is paid, there are a few individuals who give these institutions a hard time while others go missing with unpaid credit.

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Individuals can go missing with amounts of money that has been loaned to them. Besides this, there are other reasons why an individual can go missing. They include:
· Crimes committed
· Crimes witnessed

Repaying loans can at times prove to be a challenge to individuals when all sources of income run out. You are aware that at times people who have loans may lose their only source of income and this may be a challenge when it comes to repaying loans and other finances that may have been given to them by different people.

When things get tough for someone and they are unable to repay their debts, some opt to face their problems head on by informing their lenders and are very apologetic about it. They do their best and sit down with their lenders to come up with a plan on how they will settle the money they are owed. Others on the other hand who have a dishonest disposition may decide to take the easy way out and run away so that they can avoid all the troubles. This is where the creditors may opt to hire the services of a professional skip tracer to try and track down the individual.

Banks and lending institutions often find themselves in situations where they need to track down someone who has gone missing with their money. When this is the case, they acquire the services of a Skip tracer.

A Skip tracer is an individual that performs the task of Skip tracing. Skip tracing is the process used to locate someone’s whereabouts. The whereabouts of an individual may be unknown for different reasons. It is not necessarily because the person is avoiding paying back his debts.


There is no formal training required for one to become a Skip tracer. Anyone interested in becoming one needs to make learning about state and federal laws a priority. One will need to have knowledge of state and federal laws regarding surveillance. The fact that there is no formal training required for one to be a skip tracer, training is usually on the job. Good computer systems knowledge and good communications skills are required for one to achieve success in this profession

A professional Skip tracer can work for:

· Bail bond agencies
· Debt collection agencies
· Private investigation firms

Formal training can be achieved through attending workshops and seminars which are offered through professional associations.

How is it Performed

Skip tracing is generally performed by collecting as much information as one can get on the individual in question. All information gathered is then analyzed, verified and then used to determine the location of the individual. Before you start tracing the individual, it is important to establish whether the skip (the act) is intentional or unintentional. The individuals who go missing because of bad debts or because of any criminal act are generally intentional skips. Search cases may get a bit difficult to discover because the individual knows they are wanted and they will do their level best to cover their tracks. They will know how and where to hide and how to avoid being found and this may become a challenge to the skip tracer.

Nowadays, most skip tracers rely on the internet to gather information on the whereabouts of the culprit. This can be quite helpful although one can also employ social engineering. This is the art of calling on individuals who may have any information on the whereabouts of the subject. This job can be hard but there are two things which can make it easier. These are search and contact. You can search everything you can about the individual you want to trace using legal ways. You can do this by obtaining their previous addresses, contacting close relatives, contacting former employers or using possible legal ways.

This search will not give you an exact location of the individual but it may give you clues and patterns of the individual which will get you started.

Skip Tracing

When doing their job, skip tracers can often involve accessing the following:

· Credit reports
· Credit card applications
· Job applications
· Phone number database
· Loan applications
· Public record database
· Public tax information
· Department store loyalty cards
· Courthouse records
· Driver’s License or vehicle registration departments
· Air travel records.

Information you may get from the above sources can be quite helpful in tracing the individual. Some of the information can be of recent activity that the individual may have embarked on and this can give you clues and draw you closer to finding the person.

By looking at the paper trail the individual may have left behind, you can make good progress in trying to find the person. Credit card information can provide a lot of information on the person. By noting which areas the person has used their credit card, you can get helpful information which can bring you closer to finding the individual. Account transactions can also be used.

The information you may need can be publicly available while some may be restricted information. In case the information is private, you may need a search warrant to enable you access the information.

No one wants to deal with chasing a person who owes them money. Not even the lending institutions. If all were asked, they would greatly prefer when the agreement is concluded well. But every once in a while people and lending institutions will have to deal with skippers. But with a good search, chances of finding the culprit and bringing them to justice are high.

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