What Is Skip Tracing?

Debt Collection Strategy: What Is Skip Tracing?

When a customer fails to pay for goods or services, the first step is to contact them about the missed payment. But what do you do when that customer does a disappearing act? Most collection agencies like CGI Credit Guard have several debt collection strategies to recover debt more efficiently and overcome common payment issues. One of those strategies is called skip tracing.

What is skip tracing?

Skip tracing is locating a debtor who has “skipped” or left town, hence the name “skip tracing.” Skip tracers are especially useful for the debtor’s failure to answer or return repeated contact attempts.

Even if a client has a physical address to send collection letters to, there’s always a chance that the person they’re looking for no longer resides there. This can be problematic as some undeliverable mail is from people moving to a new home and simply not leaving a forwarding address or leaving the wrong address. Unfortunately, this leaves no way of informing the consumer about the debt and allowing them to pay before it negatively impacts their credit score.

What does the skip tracing process look like?

Commonly, skip tracing is performed in a series of steps. The initial step is to verify the information provided by the client and amend any misinformation. This step also helps the skip tracer in familiarizing themselves with the subject. Then, the skip tracer begins to amass as much information about the subject as possible, using public resources, including:

    • Credit Reports
    • Public Records Databases
    • Loan Applications
    • Criminal Background Checks
    • Job Applications
    • Courthouse Records
    • Utility Bills

Before the internet gained popularity and the advent of social media, skip tracers had to do everything manually, such as travelling on location, speaking with friends and family, calling references, and scouring public records at the library. Thankfully, with a large amount of data available today through the internet, skip tracers can often find who they’re searching for in a relatively short amount of time. Over the past decade, the amount of resources available to skip tracers has risen dramatically. However, when a skip tracer hits a wall, they may reach out to the subject’s existing or past acquaintances, like neighbours, landlords, friends, relatives, and coworkers.

How do I hire a skip tracer?

If you’re looking to hire a skip tracer to recover debt, the best thing is to research different skip tracers and collection agencies to see which is the best fit. Like CGI Credit Guard, some collection agencies will skip trace and collect on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning there’s no fee if no money is recovered, while most independent skip tracers charge an hourly fee. Hiring a third-party collection agency with a skip trace department is often more cost-effective than hiring a stand-alone skip tracer.


Call CGI the next time a customer pulls a Houdini after failing to pay a bill. Our licensed and bonded skip tracers produce successful results and employ many different techniques to collect important information about debtors’ location and whereabouts, such as our scrub process with the credit bureaus. We scrub our database every 72 hours, providing thousands of new phone numbers every week. This process also finds skipped judgment accounts that maximize post-judgment recoveries..What is skip tracing? What is skip tracing?

Don’t accept bad debt as a cost of doing business in the B2B space. It simply doesn’t have to be that way. Reach out to my team of B2B collection agency professionals or me anytime!