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What is Skip Tracing?

Have you ever heard of the term “skip tracing”? If you are completely unfamiliar with what this term means - to put it simply, skip tracing is the process of figuring out the whereabouts of a person in need of finding.

While this is done by various types of professionals, the most common professionals who use this method are process servers. In the event that a process server’s target cannot be located, skip tracing may need to be implemented. 

The team of professionals at Encore Legal Process are knowledgeable and experienced in practicing skip tracing. To learn more about skip tracing and the other services we provide, click here: Services - Encore Legal Process

Situations When Skip Tracing Is Needed

There are many instances in which this method is needed. Skip tracing is generally used in the context of law enforcement, but it can be used in other situations, as well. Let’s take a look at some industries/professionals who frequently need to practice skip tracing: 

  • Process Servers
  • Lawyers / Legal Personnel
  • Police Detectives
  • Private Investigators
  • Bail Bondsmen
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Repossession Agents
  • Medical Finance Professionals
  • Insurance Fraud Investigators
  • Collection Agencies 
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Banks / Financial Institutions
  • Employment / Tenant Verification Services
  • Genealogists
  • Journalists

“Time Saving”: The Skip Tracing Way

In situations where multiple targets are needing to be located at once, a business professional may use what is called “batch skip tracing”, also known as bulk skip tracing. Batch skip tracing is the process of gathering basic information for multiple people for use in your business. 

Batch skip tracing is commonly used by real estate agents in order to gather the needed contact information for their potential buyers/sellers. The downside to this type of skip tracing is that it can sometimes produce results that are deemed unusable because it can get information wrong. Unless you just need to get the job done cheaply and do not mind having a 50/50 chance of the batch information being incorrect, then you likely will not want to implement skip tracing in this way. 

Perhaps some things are better left to the professionals - like process servers who ensure that the information being collected is, indeed, correct! If you are in need of hiring a process server for your legal needs, reach out to the dedicated professionals at Encore Legal Process today!

A Common Misconception About Skip Tracers

Oftentimes, people will confuse the work of skip tracers with that of bounty hunters. This is understandable, since both professions are used in locating someone who is not easily located. However, they are not the same thing. Here’s why… 

Bounty Hunters - people who locate criminals after they have skipped out on a court appearance, etc. to avoid going to jail. 

Skip Tracers - people who locate someone in need of being found, for various reasons. While skip tracers can locate criminals, they are not the only people they locate. A process server, for example, could implement skip tracing for investigating witnesses, individuals of interest, etc. A journalist may use it for locating subject matter experts in a story they are covering.  

A bounty hunter (or bail bondsman) could technically be used as a skip tracer, but a skip tracer could not be used as a bounty hunter. The intent of skip tracers is not always to locate someone for purposes of being arrested. A bounty hunter, on the other hand, does intend to arrest the person they are locating. 

How Does Skip Tracing Usually Occur?

As aforementioned, this process is needed in the event that a person of interest cannot be located. When process servers are attempting to locate a target, they initially have an address given to them for that individual. However, oftentimes, the person attempting to be located, cannot be located based on that initial address. 

So what happens now? Well, this is when skip tracing comes in handy for process servers and helps them to actually locate their target. 

In the event that the process server verifies that the contact information initially given to them for their target is no longer relevant, they need to act quickly to locate them. 

The next step is to gather the necessary information on the “skipper” (the target person you are needing to locate). How is this done, you ask? Through the use of scouring through public records and investigatory databases, the following information can be gathered: 

  • Address History
  • Previous Court Records (if any)
  • Civil Records
  • Driver’s License History
  • Employment History
  • Criminal Records (if any)
  • Previous Phone Numbers
  • Property Records
  • Tax Records
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Social Media Information (if any)
  • Utility Information
  • Loan Applications
  • Credit Reports

In some instances, the above information conducted in this tracing process may be enough to now locate the target. Process Servers can usually ask someone at the residence they are attempting but they are not allowed to do any real investigatory work to locate someone. 

Tracking down a target is not always easy, therefore, it is extremely helpful to hire a process server to handle this task for you. Let the professionals at Encore Legal Process alleviate this stress from you!

The Cost of Skip Tracing

You may be wondering if you can afford the added service of skip tracing after you have already hired a process server to serve your target with the required papers. Guess what? When you hire the process servers at Encore Legal Process, if we come across a “bad” address (meaning the target is no longer located at that address), it’s no problem. We include FREE basic skip tracing with every order that is submitted to us!

Why do we offer this free service? The answer is simple: to help streamline the process and move your order along faster! Some services we will offer in this skip tracing are: searching license plate numbers, checking CAD records, postal searches, criminal cases, etc. 

You may think that you can handle this process on your own. However, it will cost you time, money and energy. Wouldn’t you rather just leave it to the team of professionals who handle this service on a regular basis? Contact the professionals at Encore Legal Process today! Contact Us - Encore Legal Process

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