What is Skip Tracing and How Can It Help You Recover Debts?

If your business comes across the challenge of debt collection, you must be aware of the trying nature of this process. To successfully recover a debt, you first need to locate the individual who is the debtor. Sometimes, locating debtors is easier said than done. Some individuals would be upfront regarding their financial constraints while others would find it easier to disappear. In situations like the latter, skip tracing is the tool for you. Most third-party medical billing services offer Skip Tracing such as HospAid.

What is Skip Tracing?

This is a process through which you can successfully locate an individual who has either moved or made an effort to disappear. The reason for their hiding is usually to avoid the responsibility of paying back the debt that they had taken. Skip Tracing is unlike any detective work, which oftentimes would utilize illegal methods. This process is included and legal during the debt collection process, as it is designed to assist the creditors.

Who can use Skip Tracing?

Skip tracing is a commonly used tool during the process of debt collection. If you seek the assistance of a professional collection agency, they can legally use this tool to locate the debtor.

A collection organization has the time, skills, and technology dedicated to finding the debtor for its client. If you are a business owner in the healthcare sector or any other industry, you would prefer to utilize your time doing other tasks which rely on your expertise. Delegating collection to an experienced team, who can use the right tool and generate revenue for you, can be the cost-effective method you had been looking for.

Skip tracing is also used by other professionals such as detectives, private investigators, reporters, lawyers, and journalists.


When to use this tool?

When a debtor goes awol, you might want to consider using skip tracing to locate them. However, it’s not always necessary to use this tool. You may end up finding information on the debtor without using skip tracing at all.

This is a possibility as most information is readily available online or on various social media platforms. You can use search engines and find out basic information about individuals. They often update their geographical locations as well and choose to make them public. Gaining access to information debtors have themselves made public is within the legal realm. These steps are the initial stages of skip tracing.

What is the process of Skip Tracing?

If the employment of skip tracing is necessary for your collection process, there are some steps that you may follow.

Verify Information

The reason you are unable to reach the debtor may be because of incorrect information. This process starts with verifying the contact information provided by the debtor.

If the skip tracer can detect the correct information, you may get in touch with the debtor promptly and inquire about the debt.


Publicly available information

It’s tedious work to go through debtors’ online presence and public information and look for anything helpful to your search. You may find some valuable information, however, there are equal chances that you won’t. Result or no result, this process is a time-consuming one and can frustrate the researcher. If you don’t want to invest your energy in this task, a skip tracer can do it for you.

A skip tracer will look into public records and hunt for information including but not limited to:

  • Travel history
  • Current address and history
  • Court orders and records
  • Credit card information and applications
  • Credit reports
  • Background checks
  • Criminal records
  • Driving license history
  • Employment information and history
  • Loan details and history
  • Phone and mobile number records
  • Social media presence
  • Search engines
  • Tax records
  • Various utility bills
  • Vehicle information and history
  • Transportation card history

With information from the records mentioned above, the skip tracer can join the missing pieces and locate the debtor in most cases.

Reach out to the debtor’s family and friends

Many times family members and friends can help locate the debtor. However, they may not be keen on giving that information to the collection services, and legally they should not be forced to do so either. However, the agency is allowed to persuade them, not harass them.

If friends and family prove to be of no help, skip tracers may reach out to previous landlords, neighbors, colleagues, or employers of the debtor. These individuals may prove to be of some assistance.


How to complete the process of Skip Tracing?

You may feel like this is something you can handle yourself. This is not necessarily wrong, however, professional skip tracers have the expertise and software to go after the debtor for you. You might not need to skip trace regularly, which means that installing expensive software may turn into a costly decision. With professionals using the best tools available, you may get desired results in a matter of days.

Should I hire a skip tracer for collection purposes?

If you own a business, you have enough on your plate as it is. Utilizing your resources, or going after a debtor yourself may end up costing you more in comparison to recovering revenue. This is precisely why businesses choose to hire debt collection services.

Since these organizations specialize in locating debtors, they have higher chances of finding clues, and convincing debtors to pay. They are also trained in arranging payment plans and sympathizing with a debtor who has genuine financial constraints. They provide extensive guidance and accommodate them into paying the debt.


Skip tracing has proven to be an essential tool during the collection process. Collecting your debt becomes quite consuming. With the right tools and a professional approach, you can generate that revenue before it’s lost. It’s recommended you employ a collection method not more than 30 days past the due date. The longer the debts stay in default, the less likely it is that your business will get paid at all. To boost this process, it is recommended that you hire a collection agency that would have a team of skip tracers onboard.

Collect that money you’re owed before it’s too late!

About Nina Smith