Skip Tracing Guide: Finding an Individual’s Location

Under ordinary circumstances, process service follows a simple flow. The plaintiff provides information about the recipient, including their home or work addresses. The process server then shows up at their door and serves the papers, and the case moves forward.

However, not all lawsuits are this simple; some recipients change addresses or move to another job without the plaintiff knowing, so the process server performs extra work to find the recipient’s current location. Others actively evade process service. Because courts won’t have jurisdiction over the recipients unless they get served, they are on the move to avoid getting served.

When difficult recipients are concerned, you need professional skip tracing services to determine the current location of the recipients. Unlike non-professionals, skip tracers have more resources at their disposal to effectively track defendants and debtors, even those who intentionally hide.

Skip Tracing as Done by Professionals

Skip tracing is the process of using information to discover the current location of certain individuals. These individuals often “skip town” and need to be traced (hence the word skip tracing). Process servers engage in skip tracing, but this method is also employed by banks, credit card companies, and law firms, among others. It’s also used by genealogists, alumni reunion organizers, and real estate agencies.

It’s important to note that not all recipients that need to be tracked did skip town. Some simply moved to a new residence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves residences more than 11 times in their lifetime. They could have changed jobs, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an employee holds an average of 12 jobs in a lifetime.

Man writing at a his office

In the context of process service, skip tracing is part of the job of a process server. If the location information given by the plaintiff is outdated, then the process server sleuths around and employs various resources to track down the defendant or debtor.

The Resources of Skip Tracers

Process servers are professional skip tracers in their own right, and they have access to extensive background checks. For instance, they employ:

  • Social Media Accounts – Skip tracers identify active accounts and investigate posts or mentions
  • Public Records – They find contact information from alumni websites, corporate profiles, or electronic calling cards
  • Property Records – They find recent contact information from the county recorder’s office
  • Investigation – Skip tracers ask questions from the recipients’ neighbors and colleagues
  • Government Records Search – Skip tracers request for information from the Department of Motor Vehicles, which can be expedited since they have built relationships with these government entities

Skip tracers start with the information provided by the clients, then scan different databases to verify this information.

Given these resources, as well as their professional experience, skip tracers can obtain precise data in a matter of minutes. By following trails of data, they can track evasive recipients in a matter of hours.

Work with Professional Skip Tracers

Serve Index LLC boasts of strong expertise in skip tracing. We have access to the necessary databases that will make the search quick and accurate. It enables us to serve legal documents within the prescribed period.

Get in touch with us for a free skip tracing quote.

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