Catch Me If You Can

Catch me if you can! Skip
Tracing Strategies Using 21st
Century Tools
John G. Schwarm, D.B.A.
General Revenue Corporation
November 7, 2011
Session Description
• We live in a world where virtually all our students
are in constant connection with their respective
social networks. However, they are largely
disconnected from their financial life and even
harder to reach when you are looking for a
payment. In this session, you will listen to a
discussion of new strategies, tips, and tricks from
the professionals on how they track down these
missing persons.
Session Agenda
Who, what, & why of skips
Communication & 21st Century tools
Collection strategies for high performance
Social networks & skip trace web sites
Credit bureaus & social security numbers
Government regulations & rules of
7. Questions
Skips: definition and goals.
• Account holders that do not have current
contact information with the creditor.
– Strategic search involving numerous leads
• Goal: Locating and validating
– Contacting 1st and 2nd degree relatives
– Validate residence and place of employment
– Obtain personal information to enable collection
– Once contacted, good chance of recovery
Why do people skip?
Fear / Panic
Path of least resistance
Don’t know who to talk to on campus
Problem too deep to find a way out
Learned behavior from parents / peers
How can you disappear?
Don’t use credit – cash only
Don’t own property – no bank accounts
Couch surf / roommate responsible
Spouse responsible for everything
Parents hiding adult children
Straw purchase (Parents buying car for
• Living in shelter / foreign assignment
It’s All Greek To Me…
Ethos: An appeal based on the perceived
character of the sender of the message.
Logos: An appeal based on the logic of the
Pathos: An appeal based on the use of
Competencies of a skip tracer
 Intelligence
 Common Sense
 Patience
 Self-control
 Friendly Personality
 Persistence
 Detail-oriented
 Assertiveness
 Persuasiveness
 Helpfulness
 Creativity
 Competitiveness
 Goal Oriented
What are 21st Century Tools?
21st Century Tools:
• Computer/ data bases / internet searches
• E-mail / next day air
• Telephone / Mobile
• Social Networking Sites
• Job verification letters
• Credit bureau reports
Typical Account Scrub –
Placement process
All accounts receive Electronic “Scrubs“
regardless of balance - NCOA, NSLDS, Clearing
House, Death Master, Incarceration, Disability
and Banko upon placement
Upon placement, all accounts are sent to
Trans Union, Experian, Equifax for
recovery score to group accounts and
devise appropriate work strategies
High Performance Collection
Agency Methodology
Accounts Distributed
Skip Trace or Contact to
Federal Unit
Skip Trace Division and
Front Line Collection
Skip-trace waterfall initiated
coupled with manual skiptracing
Calling Strategies
Telephone contact is
attempted via Time
Management and dialer
campaigns launched
Management Review
Weekly Inventory Spins
Skip Trace Waterfall Tools
Acxiom Insight Collect
CBC Innovis
• A LexisNexis brand skip-tracing tool designed to locate more debtors, increase
amounts collected, increase efficiency and shorten the collection cycle
• Interfaces with FACS™ to effect a waterfall scrub and locate process
• Processing to determine if a debtor has filed bankruptcy
• Provides unique address and telephone numbers in order to maximize ability to
contact debtors
• Provides CBR reports and other location tools
• Provides CBR reports and other location tools
Electronic Directory
TALX The Work Number
• Verification of deceased debtors by SSN, including date and place of death
• Integrated into FACS™ to find telephone numbers for homes and businesses
• Credit bureau for sub-prime lenders not reporting to the major credit bureaus
• Automated employment and income verifications
• A debtor locating tool with the following features: Individual Monitoring SSN
Search ID Search Contact Locator Comprehensive Locator Report
• A tool used to located a debtor’s telephone number and place of employment
Social Networks & Skip Tracing
• Use social network to find subject, do not
use this medium to communicate or collect.
• Business officers rarely use any social media
to locate debtors
– Use alternative products such as Trans Union,
Equifax, and Experian
– Address, employment, and Social Security
Number searches through credit bureaus
Top 15 Popular Social Network
Web Sites
Linked In
My Space
The Google
Hi 5
10. My Yearbook
11. Meet Up
12. Badoo
13. BeBo
14. My Life
15. Friendster
Social Networking
Venn Diagram
Free Skip Trace Websites
Free Skip Trace Web sites
Fee-Based Skiptrace Services
Accurint LexisNexis
Acxiom Insight
Choice Point
Fletch Data
Interactive Data
Master Files
Veri Facts
More Research Tips
 Charged Internet Search:
• If other attempts have failed to yield
information, use a fee-based search engine if
one is available.
 Tax Assessor:
• Determine if the borrower owns property.
Consider calling the landlord for the borrower
and leave a message if necessary
Credit Bureaus
 Credit Bureau Report:
• If other attempts have failed, order a CBR for
the borrower. The CBR does not benefit a
collector unless the information is used.
 Credit Bureaus:
What does your SSN reveal?
Social Security "Area Code" Number Chart
The first three digits of a Social Security Number correspond to locations as follows:
SSN State or Territory
SSN State or Territory
001-003 New Hampshire
449-467, 627-645 Texas
004-007 Maine
468-477 Minnesota
008-009 Vermont
478-485 Iowa
010-034 Massachusetts
486-500 Missouri
035-039 Rhode Island
501-502 North Dakota
040-049 Connecticut
503-504 South Dakota
050-134 New York
505-508 Nebraska
135-158 New Jersey
509-515 Kansas
159-211 Pennsylvania
516-517 Montana
212-220 Maryland
518-519 Idaho
221-222 Delaware
520 Wyoming
223-231, 691-699 Virginia
521-524, 650-653 Colorado
What does your SSN reveal?
SSN State or Territory
232-236 West Virginia
232, 237-246, 681-690 North Carolina
247-251, 654-658 South Carolina
252-260, 667-675 Georgia
261-267, 589-595,766-772 Florida
268-302 Ohio
303-317 Indiana
318-361 Illinois
362-386 Michigan
387-399 Wisconsin
400-407 Kentucky
408-415, 756-763 Tennessee
416-424 Alabama
752-755 Mississippi
429-432, 676-679 Arkansas
433-439, 659-665 Louisiana
440-448 Oklahoma
SSN State or Territory
525, 585, 648-649 New Mexico
526-527, 600-601, 764-765 Arizona
528-529, 646-647 Utah
530, 680 Nevada
531-539 Washington
540-544 Oregon
545-573, 602-626 California
574 Alaska
575-576, 750-751 Hawaii
577-579 District of Columbia
580 Virgin Islands
580-584, 596-599 Puerto Rico
586 Guam 425-428, 587-588,
586 American Samoa
586 Philippine Islands
700-728 Railroad Board*
729-733 Enumeration at Entry
“I’m from the government and I
am here to help”
• Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(FDCPA),
15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p.
• Telephone Consumer Protetion Act (TCPA)
47 U.S.C. § 227
• Consumer Protection Bureau (Dodd / Frank
Wall Street Reform and Protection Act)
• Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Just call me…Joe…
• Collection agencies can call anyone in an
attempt to secure the debtors location.
However they must:
– Follow FDCPA
– Disclose who they are if asked
– Just confirming location information on debtor
– Never disclose the information to a third party.
Can I call you during dinner?
Generally, the agencies can not call you more than once
unless that person agrees to allow additional contact OR
the debt collector believes the response was erroneous or
incomplete and that the person now has the correct
Don’t contact the consumer / debtor if they are represented
by an attorney known to the debt collector. The collector
may not make any additional contacts.
Call me anytime…
If I have your authorization in writing
If we have done business together
If there is a legitimate business need
To process credit transactions
To discuss any issues with new purchaser or
servicer of existing accounts
John G. Schwarm, M.B.A. / D.B.A.
General Revenue Corporation
Office: (847) 829-4453
Mobile: (630) 338-3459
[email protected]

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