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How Skip Tracing Can Help Locate a Person
Skip tracing is the process of locating the whereabouts of a person using various tools and investigative methods. Skip tracing is derived from the phrase, “to skip town,” which essentially refers to the act of leaving town and going into hiding. Process servers often have to employ skip tracing in order to complete serving a legal document successfully. Whilst looking for an obscure person might sound like something you could also do, using the expertise of a skip tracer makes the process faster and easier. Skip tracing is also the most efficient method of tracking down people who deliberately do not want to be found.
Skip Tracing: Steps in Locating a Person
What do bounty hunters, debt collectors, lawyers, process servers, and stalkers have in common? They usually do a lot of research to track someone. However, bounty hunting, lawyering, and process serving are legitimate sources of income, while stalking is illegal!
Here are the steps in skip tracing:
Step #1: Verify the Information
Whether one is a process server or a debt collector trying to locate someone, they will receive basic information about the skip. Usually, it’s about where people last saw the skip. It is the duty of the skip tracer to verify the information. During the verification, the skip tracer will get more details about the person they are trying to locate.
Step #2: Check Public Records
With the available public documents, a skip tracer can find patterns or specific information that may provide leads on the whereabouts of the skip. An experienced skip tracer can connect the dots easily when the right information comes along. Social media, for example, is rife with information about a person and their friends and associates.
Here are examples of public records that skip tracers check:
- Address: home (current and past) and business (current and past)
- Credit card/s (including applications)
- Credit reports
- Criminal records
- Court records
- Driver’s license
- Public tax information
- Social security
- Social media
- Travel history
- Utility bills
- Vehicular history and records
Step #3: Connect with Family and Friends
It is the time when the skip tracer has to brush up on their social and communication skills. Family and friends may be uncooperative when asked for information about the skip. However, some may also be sympathetic especially since the skip tracer is just doing their job. They will be a great source of information about the skip, not just about their whereabouts but also with regards to their personality.
Step #4: Get a Search Warrant
There are dire situations when the skip tracer needs records that cannot be accessed publicly. In this case, the skip tracer needs to apply for a search warrant.
For People Who Vanish
Skip tracing is a crucial process in finding someone, especially when that someone doesn’t want to be found. Experienced skip tracers will easily get leads just by going through the available public records. Social media has also made it easier for many skip tracers. If the skip’s location is still unknown even after the tracer went through many records, the next step involves interviewing the person’s family, friends, and associates.
A skilled skip tracer will have access to expertise, tools and methodologies to locate people, which the layman will certainly not have. It is also important to take note of the fact that professional skip tracers will also stay within the boundary of the law while carrying out their tasks.
Business News Daily. What is skip tracing in debt collection? March 24, 2021
Wikipedia. Skiptrace. January 16, 2022
Browne, Clayton, Job Functions of a Process Server, work.chron.com, https://work.chron.com/much-money-can-private-process-servers-earn-20599.html
The foregoing podcast has simply been presented for informational purposes only. He or those at Lafayette Process Servers LLC, are not attorneys. Process serving laws and rules of civil procedure are different from state to state. If you seek further information about this topic, please make sure to contact an attorney in your local area
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