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Asset Search Skip Tracing

Skip Tracing for Assets

Asset 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 tracing industry.

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 asset searches.

Asset Search Pretext Call

Skip Tracer: 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."

Consumer: "I shouldn't be past due. I made a payment last month and another payment this month."

Skip Tracer:
"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?"

Consumer: "I mailed in a check for both payments."

Skip Tracer: "I will try to locate these two payments and get them credited to your account right now. What bank were the checks drawn on?

Consumer: "Second National Bank"

Skip Tracer: "What is the account number?"

Consumer: "Let me look, Ok, the account number is 8675309"

Skip Tracer: "I 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.

Asset Search Databases

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 & GLB

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.

Asset Searches 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.

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