ServeCon 2015 Excerpt: 'Skip Tracing & Data for Process Servers' Panel
Whether it's a bad address, an evasive individual, or digging up more information for your client, skip tracing can be an important part of a process serving company's process and services offered. Learning what to look for in databases, how to verify information, and how to be a better skip tracer can help influence your business for the better.
Extended Clip from the 'Skip Tracing & Data for Process Servers' Panel
At ServeCon 2015, Mike Dores of Mike Dores Investigations moderated a panel on skip tracing and databases in process serving. Representatives from Skip Smasher, LLC., Thomson Reuters, and TransUnion discuss skip tracing in the process serving space, what makes a good skip tracer, and how to navigate the many database options.
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This is a condensed version of the 'Skip Tracing & Data for Process Servers Panel' presentation at ServeCon 2015. You can rent the full presentation or purchase all videos from ServeCon by clicking the button below.
Want to know how to be a better skip tracer? How should process servers be using data to execute service? How to use commercial databases to effectively locate people? And, how to make skip tracing a profit center? Panel Moderator Mike Dores has performed over 50,000 skip traces in his career. He knows how to find people and he knows the tools available. Mike will be joined by data experts to answer these questions and discuss tools, techniques and the business of skip tracing.
Mike Dores on Skip Tracing for Process Servers
"In general, skip tracing jobs that come from process serving companies are actually easier jobs than jobs that would come from a collections agency," Mike Dores of Mike Dores Investigations says. "I think in general process servers do have an opportunity to pick up skip tracing that really wouldn't be as hard as the type of jobs a standard investigator might get."
Mike explains that this is due to the fact that many times the individuals who are to be served are not hiding, but rather have moved and the process server was simply given a bad address.
Neil Caddell on The Personality Traits of a Good Skip Tracer
"I've found that the people that served the best papers or got me the best data back were the people that had the most persistence, the most doggedness," Neil Caddell of TransUnion explains. "It's not a 9 to 5 job."
Neil says he looks for the individual who's not just going to go to a database or open source and find one address and just run with it. Ideally, that individual will dig deeper and verify the information with checks and balances.
As the former owner of a PI agency, Neil says that he's found that persistence, passion, and a willingness to go out in the early morning or early evening are necessary traits for a good skip tracer.
Amanda DuPont on What to Look for in Databases
"There's a gamut of resources out there," Amanda DuPont of Thomson Reuters says, "[Litigators] say the key is the best information you can get your hands on, and I define the best information you can get your hands on as being the most current information you can get your hands on."
Amanda says this is the number one question facing the process serving industry. She's spoken with industry leaders in the insurance, fraud, and housing litigation who stress the importance of good, current information. "Regardless of who you go to," she says, "you absolutely have to ask 'How current is the data I'm getting?'"
Robert Scott on Determining Which Database has the Most Current Information
"All of the data companies provide a free trial," Robert Scott of Skip Smasher, Inc. says. "Take advantage of the free trials. Try them all and see what works best for you consistently over a number of cases." Robert points out that a common mistake skip tracers and investigators make is running only their information on a data service and deciding whether or not to use it in the future based on that one search.
"The reality is on one search one data service will probably have a superior record, and on the next search another data service might have it," he says. "In my view, only by running a number, meaning a minimum of dozens of searches can you really get a qualified view of the quality of the data that the data service is pitching out there."