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Free Skip Tracing Tips
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Skip Tips & Repo Tips

Here is a collection of skip tracing tips and tricks. We hope that you enjoy them and find them useful. If you have a skip tracing tip or repossession trick please e-mail it to us and we will include it.

It is your responsibility to check your local, state, and federal laws regarding the legality of any of these skip tracing tips. This text is provided for informational purposes only. You are responsible for anything else that you may do with this information.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
#1 Skip Tracing Tip
"Utility Company Searches"

Call the Electric company where you suspect your debtor has moved to, and tell them that you are attorney Robert O'Neil. Explaining that Mr. & Mrs. Debtor have retained your services to represent them in a bankruptcy. You are calling the Electric company to ensure that all of Mr. and Mrs. Debtor's accounts are included in the filing. You have their social security numbers and need a listing of their accounts, current and past due.

Don't ever make that phone call cause it would be illegal to impersonate an attorney. It would also be illegal to:

Call the Electric company where you suspect your debtor has moved to, and tell them that you are Mr. Debtor. You are in the process of refinancing your house, and there is a past due account on your credit report from their company showing up. Tell them you live in another city that they do not service. So you are curious as to what this bill is for. They will ask you for your social security number and check for any accounts under that social.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Phone Breaks for the Repossessor
"Phone Break Tips"

Repo-Links.com has added an area for phone breaks for repossessors. What is a phone break, and why would a repossessor need one? A phone break is the process of determining the address a phone number rings at. This is also called a reverse phone listing.

Repossessors often have their skip's phone number through caller ID technology. They just need the address the phone rings at to effect repossession.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006 makes many of these type searches illegal. Did you know there is a 10 year prison sentence for violating this law. If your company is in the repossession business, you should know exactly what the law is. Our Phone Break Secrets page has a good overview of the law and it's effect on the repossession community.

Check out our Phone Break Secrets page

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Satellite Tracking

"Houston, We have a Repossession"

Many vehicles that are up for repossession are equipped with Onstar, or other satellite tracking system. There are skip tracing companies that will provide you with the vehicles satellite tracking data for a fee. You then know exactly where to locate and repossess the vehicle you are after. This same technology is used on most new RV's and even some boats.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Garage Repossessions
"The Quarter Trick"

The house where you think your debtor lives has a garage. You are confident that he lives here, yet the car you are trying to repossess does not show. Could the car be in the garage?

If you take a quarter, lean it up against the far corner of the garage door, so that if the garage door was to open, the quarter would fall over. Then as you drive by at various times during the day and night, you can see if the garage is being used, and you can get an idea as to when they are coming and going.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Cellular Tracking
"Cell Phone Ping"

There are information brokers that "Ping" a specified cell phone and provide you with it's exact location. If you know the cellular phone number of the person driving the car you are trying to repossess, you can ping their cell phone, get their location, and dispatch a tow truck to their location.

Very effective way to repossess a tough car. There are several brokers selling pings at this point, costs range from $200 to $500 per ping. Not a cheap tool, but very effective when everything else has failed to find you your collateral.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006 makes many of these type of searches illegal. There are both financial penalties and manditory federal prison sentences. Though some companies still offer this service both the seller and the purchaser of these records is breaking the Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006, beware!

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Repossession Tip
"Can You Hear Me Now?"

Don't you just hate when the tires on your repo squeal when you are dragging a car out of a driveway?

Did you know that a squirt bottle filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 Dawn dishwashing soap can be sprayed on the tires and will make for a much quieter escape?

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Collateral in Garage?
"The toothpick Trick"

So you have found your debtor's house, but the collateral you are after goes directly in the garage every night as soon as he pulls in his drive. You have watched him pull in the driveway in the vehicle you are trying to repossess. He gets out of the car opens his garage, and then promptly pulls the vehicle in the garage.

You should understand that it would be illegal for you to tamper with the lock on his garage door. That would be vandalism. What if you were walking up his driveway with a toothpick in your mouth, and you tripped? If the toothpick were broken off in the garage door lock the debtor could not unlock his garage door when he got home, allowing you the opportunity to blast in there and repo your car.

If the debtor uses an electric garage door opener, a simple call to the electric company requesting your electricity be disconnected on a set day as you are moving should also do the trick.

This is a hardcore repossession trick and will get you sued if you use it on honest Mom & Pop debtors. Tricks like this should be saved for your fraud accounts and debtors already wanted by the police. On a normal Mom & Pop repossession, it would be much better to confront the debtor and demand the vehicle surrendered.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Repossession Tip
"Equipment"

Check your equipment daily before you get out on the road and start hunting. Like any professional, you are only as good as your tools. Your tools make you money, so take good care of them. Check all of your fluid levels, including your hydraulic fluid level. You know how much louder a hydraulic pump is once it starts sucking a little air.

Make a checklist of everything on your truck that should be checked, power steering, oil, transmission, tires, etc. and get in the habit of checking them daily.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Skip Tracing Tip

"Speaking Voice"

Your speaking voice is as important as the words you choose. You should sit up straight (or stand ) to give your voice the most resonance. You should also lower the pitch of your voice about one octave below your normal speaking voice. Psychologically this will give you more confidence, and also increase your charisma presence with the person on the other end of the phone. It is important to record some of your pretext calls so that you can go back over your work and hear how well you sounded, and what you could do better next time.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Finding Skip Tracing Sources
"New Databases"

Watch for new potential sources of data in your daily transactions. Pizza Hut, Radio Shack, and Blockbuster Video all keep track of their customers by phone number. If you called Radio Shack in your debtor's city, tell them you are with Radio Shack in another town. Explain that Mr. Debtor wrote your store a bad check and that you are trying to find a current address for him. Ask them if they would look Mr. Debtor for you by his phone number. They will usually help.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Laws Governing Skip Tracing

"Gramm-Leach-Bliley"

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) prohibits "pretexting," the use of false pretenses, including making fraudulent statements and using impersonation, to obtain consumers' personal financial information, such as bank balances, or account numbers. This law also prohibits the knowing solicitation of others to engage in pretexting.

There are many LEGAL ways to obtain this same information without breaking the law. Following your subject to his bank would be one legal way. Taking your subject's garbage once they have put it on the curb is another.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006 also covers activities that skip tracers have used since the telephone was invented. Our Phone Break Secrets page has a good overview of the law and it's implications.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Skip Tracing Tip

"Skip Tracing Basics"

Locating defendants or persons with information critical to a client’s case is a routine assignment for investigators. There is a myriad of resources available to a skip tracer that can assist in our efforts. The proverbial “paper trail” we create as we go through life, from a birth certificate all the way through our eventual death certificate, many documents punctuate our voyage along the way. Additionally, we have a multitude of sources to check when searching for almost any American: all of the computer databases, voter registration indices, civil and criminal court filings, the telephone book, crisscross directories, Motor Vehicle Department records, credit card records, Social Security data, sometimes police reports, and the list goes on forever.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Prisoner Transport Tips

"Bounty Hunter Tip"

Everyone knows to search the prisoner before you put him in the back seat of your car, but how many of you searched the back seat before you put your felon in the back seat?

It is actually proper procedure to completely search your vehicle backseat before you transport a prisoner and again after you have removed the prisoner.

It must never be assumed that someone else has searched a prisoner, If you are transporting a prisoner, search him.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Repossession Tip

"GPS Tracking Devices"

There are GPS devices that are available now that will attach to the underside of someone's car so that their current location can be monitored from the internet. These units are fairly new and still expensive. Prices will begin to fall over the next year as availability increases.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Bounty Hunter Tip
"Reward Posters"

In some cases, you may want to prepare a “Missing” or a “Reward” poster, whichever is appropriate for where you intend on putting them. These are useful for leaving with businesses or individuals, posting in shelter agencies and areas where other homeless people may frequent; give them to people you interview along your way. The posters may generate additional leads on your subject’s whereabouts, particularly if there is a reward offered for information. The posters should include a picture of the subject, name, description, maybe a reason why you are looking for the subject and how to contact you if someone has infor­mation. If a reward is offered for information it should say so on the poster. If you use a “Missing” poster ensure you create a believable pretext why the defendant needs to be found.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
Repossession Tip

"Let There Be Dark"

Is the streetlight in front of your debtors house bothering you?

Did you know that if you hit the streetlight with your spotlight for just one second the streetlight will shut off thinking that it is daytime? It will then take about 5 to 10 minutes for the light to reset and come back on! Plenty of time for you to repossess your vehicle under the cover of darkness.

Repossession Information - Repo Tips
New Skip Tracing Tips
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