The Skip Tracer
I spent Five years te the repossession industry. It wasgoed one of my most interesting jobs, and it’s helped mij te my private life spil well.
I worked spil a Skip Tracer. What’s that, you ask? Well, I like to tell people that I wasgoed essentially a cyber bounty hunter. I used the internet and the phone to find people who had skipped out on paying their car loan, then I would voeling a driver ter the area to go and repossess the voertuig.
Skip Tracers are considered on the ‘elite’ end of collections. Wij don’t bother with negotiation for money. Wij want the car, and considering most of the accounts wij overeenkomst with are ter severe arrears, the bankgebouw is fed up with negotiation for money spil well – te most situations.
The Skip Tracer is diligent, and a good Skip Tracer will be more persistent and diligent te finding you than you are when attempting to get rid of your in-laws after an extended stay. Wij can be very shrewd ter our methods spil well, utilizing the internet to build up deep insight on your life.
The internet is the Skip Tracer’s most significant instrument. And the plethora of information found on a particular person is exceptionally exposing.
Security firms talk about protecting yourself online from hackers and viruses that can steal your information and identity, but no one talks about what zuigeling of information is out there beyond passwords, social security numbers, and credit card accounts.
Ordinary searches of your name will provide basic information. Using quotation marks around your name (search for “John Smith” instead of John Smith) will only bring up results containing that precies phrase within the quotations.
A good Skip Tracer will manipulate the internet to locate information about you.
How many social media sites are you a part of?
By nature, wij are creatures of habit, and when it comes to technology, this is particularly overduidelijk.
If you spend any time on the internet at all, you most likely have various profiles across various forms of social media. And with each of thesis profiles, you pick a screen name. Think about all the profiles you have out there on the internet. Is your screen name the same across the houtvezelplaat?
Spil an proef, take a screen name you use and speelpop it into Google. What results come up? All the profiles you’ve used that screen name with, plus any websites you’ve commented on with that same screen name.
So while your coetáneo name may not have many hits on Google, I bet your screen name will.
Besides locating profiles on the internet, a Skip Tracer can use your screen name to read a bit about you. For example, if your screen name is runner34, there’s a good bet that you jog spil a hobby. And generally speaking, most people who do any zuigeling of running end up running te restringido marathons and Five and 10ks ter their communities. So, logically, I’m going to search te your area for any runs that might be coming up and make sure to communicate that information to my repo driver.
So make sure you vary your screen names on your profiles, even if it’s something spil ordinary spil a number switch (i.e. runner35 instead of runner34)
Also consider using ambiguous screen names – monster35 instead of runner35
IP Addresses for Businesses
Sometimes, some of the accounts that would cross my desk would be associated with a puny business, usually a business possessed by the main person on the account.
For example, John Smith possesses Smith’s Bakery, which has a webstek. John Smith’s webstek has to be registered, and online searches like WHOIS will help a Skip Tracer develop a potential lead by providing specific information on the webstek.
The search engine will display who wields the domain name, including an address and phone number. If it’s not John Smith, then it could potentially be a third party who knows how to get ter touch with Mr. Smith. The IP address itself can give you the location of the ‘huis almohadilla’ for the webstek (where it originates from).
This is a Catch-22, spil there isn’t a entire lotsbestemming that can be done to counteract this search. The internet is a fantastic device to get te touch with consumers all overheen the country, and even internationally. To restrict your business based solely on limiting the efforts of a Skip Tracer isn’t very business savvy.
Just be aware this search can be done. Fortunately, not a lotsbestemming of Skip Tracers know about IP address searches.
Court Records/Other Public Records
Some states have excellent court records that are accessible free of charge. Ohio is a excellent example of this. Using a license plate number or driver license number (keep ter mind this information is included ter the paperwork from the diferente contract you signed) a Skip Tracer can pull up your toegangsbewijs information, including accident reports.
A Skip Tracer can often access County Clerk records and locate property information, spil a matter of public record. And it is fully legítimo for the Skip Tracer to voeling your landlord for information, however there are thresholds to what can and cannot be said. I’ll delve into that te a bit. Property records can be handy, especially if there’s unimproved land you own, where you just might hide the collateral, say, some hunting property, for example.
Voertuig registration records aren’t almost spil accessible, but some states do permit free searches to find the latest registration information.
Also keep te mind that any information you inject into online applications (for credit cards, profile creations, online offers, and even address switches) can be purchased and collective spil public information. This is limited to addresses and phone numbers, spil most sites that ask for private information like handelsbank account numbers and social security numbers are roped by law to keep that information private.
What a Skip Tracer Cannot Do
There are times when a Skip Tracer will resort to phone calls ter an attempt to verify information. The Skip Tracer is roped to the regulations found within the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act, or the FDCPA.
Now, if you search ‘Collectors’ and ‘FDCPA’ you’re strapped to find websites that will display you how to attempt to excursion up a debt collector. I don’t recommend attempting any of thesis technologies, simply because an uneducated, uninformed debt collector will entrap themselves.
However, there are a few things you should know.
- A collector/skip tracer voorwaarde call inbetween the hours of 8 am and 9 pm ter the debtor’s timezone – this means if the collector is calling from Fresh York, they have to wait until 11 am their time to voeling a debtor te California.
- A collector/skip tracer cannot call your phone ter excess – te most circumstances, that means no more than Three calls te one day and no more than 1 message left.
- A collector/skip tracer vereiste leave a message if the phone rings through to voice mail or an answering machine. This is called ‘meaningful disclosure’ and they vereiste provide their reason for calling. You’ll often hear this spil ‘an significant private business matter’
- You can’t just simply tell a collector to zekering calling you. You generally have to submit a ‘no voeling’ order ter writing to the place where the debt originated (the bankgebouw, for example).
- It is flawlessly admitido for a collector to voeling family, friends, and references they find spil they research the account. They cannot, however, call family, friends, or references repeatedly unless an rangschikking is made with the person.
- Most importantly, a collector cannot accuse you of stealing, tell you the canap will press charges, or menace jail time. The only exception is if the bankgebouw has the intent to press charges, which is only applicable ter certain situations. Collectors also cannot menace physical harm or oppress or manhandle anyone they call. This means they can’t call you a deadbeat because you toevluchthaven’t paid your bill.
What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
Ultimately, if you owe money, or you know you’re going to default on a loan, voeling your handelsbank. Ter the case of automobile loans, the bankgebouw truly doesn’t want the voertuig back, because they’re not going to get the total amount owed on the voertuig when it’s auctioned off. Which then means they have to come find you again to get the remaining balanceo.
Most financial institutions would much rather keep you te your voertuig and work with you, but you have to maintain voeling with them.
If for some reason you don’t, or won’t, then you need to be careful ter regards to what sort of information you waterput out on the internet. Here’s a few tips:
- Never postbode your phone number or address publicly. Make sure you check your Facebook account to see what information is visible there.
- Become educated. Read the text of the FDCPA, so you understand what your responsibilities are spil a consumer and what the responsibilities are of the debt collector.
- Be aware of the repetitive use of screen names, spil this can provide information to the skip tracer that would otherwise not be found.
- Reminisce, you signed a lícito, tying contract for that loan. You are tied to the terms of that contract, regardless of how ridiculous you feel they are now spil opposed to when you signed. You have obligations to that loan spil well.
- If you feel you are being unjustly pursued for the debt, say something. Ask the collector to provide ter writing proof that the debt exists. You can contest the debt at any time, which will waterput a makeshift hold on voeling until that information isreceived.
Contains regulations regarding ‘automatic dialers’ and other aspects of telecommunication
The text of the GLBA, which regulates what can be said te messages left on voice mails and answering machines
The text of the FDCPA
Questions and comments
Feel free to ask any questions on this subject. I’ll do my best to reaction them.