searches have changed vastly in the last few years. The
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) prohibits
"misrepresentation" the use of false pretenses,
including making fraudulent statements and using
impersonation, to obtain consumers' personal financial
information, such as bank account balances, bank
account numbers, or other asset search information.
This law also prohibits the knowing solicitation of
others to engage in these acts. This law has completely
changed the way asset searches are done by the skip
There are many legal ways to perform an asset search
without violating the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Here are
several examples of legal and illegal ways to perform
Telephones the consumer and says, "Hello, this is Bob
Duncan with your electric company. I am calling because
your account is 2 months past due and your electricity
is scheduled for cutoff on Tuesday."
shouldn't be past due. I made a payment last month and
another payment this month."
"How did you make these payments? Did you mail in a
check or money order, or did you make a payment
directly at one of our payment centers?"
mailed in a check for both payments."
will try to locate these two payments and get them
credited to your account right now. What bank were the
checks drawn on?
"Second National Bank"
"What is the account number?"
"Let me look, Ok, the account number is 8675309"
have located your payments and credited them to your
account. The two payments were misapplied, and I have
corrected the problem. You are not showing as past due
at this time. I apologize for the inconvenience, and
thank you for your time."
Prior to GLB most asset searches started with a phone
call similar to the above script. Post GLB this phone
call would clearly be illegal as the skip tracer is
misrepresenting their true identity and purpose.
There are many databases that have consumer asset
information for sale. It is usually best to test the
database by running a check on yourself, or someone you
already know what the results should show. Verifying a
new database is a good way to evaluate if the database
holds valuable or worthless information.
Asset Searches &
Locating someone's assets while not violating the GLB
act can still be done, it just takes more creativity.
Careful examination of the consumer's credit report
will often reveal clues as to where the consumer does
their banking. The credit report will also lead you to
creditors that have the consumers banking information
in their records.
Searching your subject's garbage is usually a good skip
tracing technique to locate where your subject does
their banking. This is completely legal method of doing
an asset search under the GLB act.
using County Records
Checking county records for asset information is a
first step in any asset search. County records will
show you if your debtor owns any real estate, or if
they have any judgments against them. Normally if your
subject owns real estate the bank that holds the
mortgage on the real estate is probably the bank where
your subject does his banking.
Asset searches using county records are completely
legal under the terms of GLB.