This article has been written by Ryan Shaw, Debtor Tracing Expert. Ryan and his team were nominated for Debtor Tracing Team of the year at the 2012 Debt Collection Awards in Manchester.

This article is designed to give information and advice on skip tracing and skip tracing procedures in the UK.

Skip tracing
I just wanted to put a short blog post together about skip tracing. There’s not really much to say about it really. I’ve written extensively on debtor tracing in the past and essentially its the same thing but as people are typing it into Google, I thought I should write something in case there was any confusion.

For anyone new to the site, I’ve been involved in the location of debtors for over ten years. I started at an investigations company before moving over to the collections side of things. My colleagues and I wanted to bring a real quality debtor/skip tracing service to the market and that’s where my involvement with People Tracing Experts began. Ok enough about me; let’s get on with this blog post.

Skip tracing is an American term; it means the same thing debtor tracing. Basically you’ll be looking for someone who has “skipped” away usually owing money!
A skip trace can be performed to locate the person. In the UK if you are using a tracing company to locate the person then you would need to wait around 6 weeks from the time of the “skip” until a new address for the person could be obtained.
In the UK it is usual for skip tracing companies to be regulated by a variety of bodies. This bodies provide guidelines that skip tracing companies follow, failure to comply with these set guidelines can lead to access to systems being revoked by service providers so it is imperative that you use a company that is regulated by the following people

Credit Service Association – Essential for skip tracing companies been able to access the best information
Financial Services Authority – recently took over consumer credit licences from The Office Of Fair Trading
Information Commissioners Office – Data Protection to you and me

So if looking to select a company to carry out skip tracing for you, make sure they comply with the above organisations.
Its important to select a company that is comments to these organisations but this is only part of it. As you will have seen in the new over recent weeks and months, some “tracing” companies fail to realise where the line is between a successful trace and breaking the law. Obviously these high profile cases involve high profile people and high profile cases but even at a level of tracing someone because the owe you £800 you have to be within the law because if it end up in court and the skip tracing company have traced your debtor illegally then you could end up in trouble and the case could be thrown out of court.

For this reason it is always wise to insist on a full report once the debtor has been located.

Skip Tracing No No’s
It is illegal to use any of the following information to locate a debtor

–    Their bank account details
–    Their National Insurance no.
–    Their number plate
–    Any council tax or benefit number

If any company is offering to skip trace someone in the UK using these methods then they are doing so illegally and need reporting.

I hope this has given you some good information regarding skip tracing in the UK