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Skip Tracing Tips for Collection Agencies

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Is your collection agency’s skip tracing procedure as efficient as it can be? We spoke to Chris Ball of Belvista Software to learn more about how agencies can maximize their skip tracing procedures and outcomes.

Skip tracing is one of the most important parts of your debt collection process, and finding the data is just as important as knowing what to do with it.

We wanted to speak to an expert about what skip tracing services are available, how to find those services and how to make sure you are using the data to it’s fullest potential.

Luckily, we met Chris Ball of Belvista SoftwareBelvista Software, LLC was founded in 2019 with mission to help businesses realize the full potential of their technology investments – one of which is skip tracing.

Chris answered all our questions about skip tracing at scale and how agencies can maximize their productivity and effectiveness with the skip tracing investments they make.

Finding The Right Skip Tracing Service [1:15]

In addition to traditional credit bureaus, Chris says there are a lot of additional organizations that now offer skip tracing services. Chris recommends using your network to identify new sources.

“Talk to your network, talk to your peers in the industry, find out what they are using.”

Most people will be more than happy to share their best processes an vendors with you. With so many options available, turn to agencies whose processes and outcomes you admire.

Some data points you should make sure you’ll receive are:

  • Phone Number
  • Address
  • Bankruptcy
  • Credit Score

What to Look For in a Skip Tracing Service [2:20]

According to Chris, there is already a lot of public data available. If you’re talking to a new vendor and they say they pull public data, examine how their service might be differentiated. Look for unique sources or unique relationships that a vendor might have that could give you access to different types of data.

A vendor should be able to provide access to information that others may not have.

Identifying Consumers Correctly [3:20]

Most vendors are able to match using a combination of a consumers social security number, first and last name, and address. It is often as simple as that because they want to make the process of selling you data as quick and easy as possible for them.

Be mindful of that, and measure the effectiveness and quality of the data you receive.

Using Skip Tracing Data Effectively [4:15]

Don’t be an agency who buys data and doesn’t do anything with it. Skip tracing is often the second largest expense in a collection agency and you don’t want to waste that investment.

It’s not enough just to dump data into the system. Make sure you have a plan for how you’re presenting the information to collectors and what kind of actions they take with it.

That could be as simple as making the calls, but you might also consider creating a role or rotating a role that follows up on things like bankruptcy or credit data.

Automating Parts of The Skip Tracing Process [6:10]

Things like generating files, downloading and uploading can easily be automated. Chris describes these as non-value add activity and very easy to automate.

Talk to your IT team about eliminating as much of the manual work as possible in order to make room for value-add activity.

Determining Efficacy of Skip Tracing Efforts [7:25]

Chris says although there is no magical formula, you should look for trends. You won’t see effectiveness one way or the other on individual accounts. You’ll want to take a step back and look at a portfolio overall based on the collection and contact rates to see if there are any meaningful variances.

It should be obvious on a portfolio level.

The important thing is that you make decisions based on those observations to make sure you are not spending money on skip tracing services that are not effective.

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