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Why you might need someone to trace a skip

by Josef Kafka

Every business has its own jargon, or private language, and it’s very easy to forget that terms that professionals understand can be totally baffling to others. One term used in the private investigation business that might be confusing to outsiders is “skip tracing”.

In reality, the term is used to describe the range of actions taken to trace either a debtor or fugitive – one who has “skipped” to avoid their responsibilities. The term probably originally came into use through phrases such as “skipped town” – when a person deliberately disappears, leaving few apparent clues about where they have gone. Skip tracing works to locate those whose contact information isn’t currently known by those who need to be in contact with them.

One of the most common reasons why a private investigations firm is asked to undertake skip tracing covers those occasions where a debtor has reneged on payment, and those due the money want to force them to make good what is still outstanding. There are many other circumstances where the services is also necessary. These include cases where a business associate may have disappeared and taken with them valuable information or customer contact details, as well as actual funds. Another sad situation is where a partner, known to have been unfaithful, has left and made no attempt to meet their financial obligations – say where child support would be involved.

It pays, in such situations, to make use of professional private investigation services, skilled in undertaking such actions. This is ever more true as the level of privacy legislation increases, and data protection requirements need to be stringently adhered to. Recently, more skip tracing work is being completed online, where a trail can often be found. It’s also important when someone who has skipped is then located, that this person isn’t alerted to the action being taken. There is no point simply giving them an opportunity to vanish one more time! Their location and current actions can be reported to the person initiating the search, allowing them to take the appropriate next steps.

If there are any other terms used as part of the private investigation industry that you feel would benefit from a clear explanation, please let us know.

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