Skiptracing as a Profit Center

Having spent 32 years in the collection industry and most of them in the skiptracing field, I felt compelled to write this. I have heard from many collection managers that skiptracing is a waste of time and does not generate any income. That statement is the furthest thing from the truth.
If a company is willing to invest some time into skiptracing it could become a very large profit center for your company. If you have designated individuals doing nothing, but skiptracing and collectors doing nothing, but collecting then you could have a very profitable company.
Skiptracers are very unique, creative and do not think in a bubble. If an account has return mail, unlisted phone numbers and basically no way to reach a debtor, then how will you reach that person. Yes the collector will do a very cursory skiptrace. They may check That does not always help, but that is as far as they will go.
Do you want to make money? I know that my company does. A skiptracer will go above and beyond to locate their subject especially if if it is a higher balance account.
These days everyone has a phone number. It could be a landline or a cell phone, but someone has that number. The skiptracer will find it. If an account has a balance of $45,000 and a non published number, do you not think that it deserves a through investigation?

Collectors work on an hourly rate + commission so they have an incentive to collect. Well skiptracers can be paid hourly too and get a commission perhaps of 1% of gross collection on their locates. I know that when I was with an agency that was what I got. Imagine a $4500 commission. Any agency owner should be thrilled to pay out that money. I know Iwould be.


12 thoughts on “Skiptracing as a Profit Center

  1. Most everyone today carries his/her personal cell phone with them. Most phones with GPS included and if you find that number you’ll stirke gold.

    Most references (good ones) have that number and coaxing it out of them is easy stuff. I’d guess that someone that has been wronged will give up that number easily.

    Others just need to believe that if someone is getting away with something that is wrong, like not paying when they should, a skiptracer will get this information.

    So a good skiptracer is just one phone call away from a payday.

    Good luck to all.
    Ramon P

  2. I could not agree more, we use a batch process and the information received and revenue realized, far out weighs the cost of the batch. Any agency not investing in skip-tracing process, are throwing dollars out the window.

  3. I do skiptracing as part of my business, but in more in-dept. Usually the collateral is a automobile. I have a few tips, and would be willing to aid anyone to locate their customer, just email me, Fred

  4. Great point Steve however in the collateral recovery industry the lender typically refuses to acknowledge TRUE skiptracers and believes that anyone can skip guess an account. As we know so untrue. As I’m also a Recovery Agent it never ceases to amaze me the information we are requested to run (burning our time and fuel) that a real skiptracer could have ruled out and/or produced current info. The largest problem in the repo industry is getting approved skip fees from the lender and tracing their skips are an EXPECTATION and typically a service we can bill out. Frustrating.

  5. is a 24 year old process serving company located in Towson, Maryland.

    We locate defendants/debtors for a flat fee ranging from $55 to $80 depending upon volume of locates requested by our clients……. If a client has a $45,000 judgment, isn’t it worth an $80 flat fee locate ? Hit or no Hit, we still charge this fee, but tell you the truth about your debtor.

    We’re looking for a small skip tracing company to purchase or merge with and combine resources at our Towson, Md office.

    Please contact me via email with your suggestions:

    David A. Kopel, President
    “The Process Server Experts Since 1987”
    908 York Road, 2nd Floor
    Towson, Md 21204
    Office phone# (410) 823-4444 ext 118

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  7. I am an Asset Recovery Specialist, having cut my teeth on collections some 34 years ago. Through charge-off (back end) collections I learned I had a penchant for skipping people.

    Skip tracing can be a profit center for your agency. Witness the agency that returns accounts to a client only to find out that another agency found the customer (who hadn’t been contatced at all by the former).

    I proposed a project to the agency I work for which allowed the ‘floor’ to ‘escalate’ accounts they were stuck on (which relieved dead space in thier queue). Tjhe escalated accounts went to a team of 4 serious skip tracers who recovered a SERIOUS number of automobiles that would have been sent back to the client and found by a competitor (when the accounts were reassigned). Each vehicle was $$$$ to the agency.

    Skip tracers can not only increase the revenue of the agency but portray a professional agency that doesn’t leave many pickins’ for the next agency who has the misfortune to work those accounts.

    It needs to be done correctly in order to avoid a cash drain, but if it is done correctly it can be highly profitable.

  8. Good afternon. I run a midsize company with 7 employees 50 process servers and approximately 3000 cases per month. Our clients are law firms which only 22 percent of them will pay for skip tracing fees of 55-80 dollars per locate. for our business like collection business the most powerful weapon is a phone number. where are the top 3 phone number search companies in the world which we can purchase phone numbers in bulk. any advice would be greatly

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