Tracing debtors in the UK
Tracing debtors in the UK is very different from locating other individuals as the subject debtors are sometimes trying to deliberately evade being traced. This can present multiple issues when attempting to trace the subject debtor’s address which we will outline further in this article.
This is advised as they will have experience in trying to locate a debtor or someone who is trying to evade being tracked.
With the recent pandemic, the UK has experienced a large increase in people being placed into debt and this has placed increased volume on debt collection services. We recommend that all cases prior to issue to a debt collector or solicitor for debt recovery action are placed with a debtor tracing company to either validate the current address is still valid and correct in the alternative a new current address is sourced.
This is vital as you need to be communicating all letters and letters before action to the correct current address. This is also the case where you issue proceedings for debt recovery and is required by the court that you have issued to the correct current address so that the debtor in question has the opportunity to place a defense to the litigation action.
Subject debtors will try different strategies to avoid being traced which can include but are not limited to the following
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Strategies debtors can employ to evade tracing agents
Subject debtors sometimes attempt to place all applications in a partner’s name to avoid detection. Expert debtor tracing agents will be aware of this tactic and use specialist tracing software to get around this type of evasion.
Experienced debtor tracing agents will be able to employ a strategy to locate the correct current address for a debtor and will confirm the correct residency with multiple live data sets which produce a high level of accuracy in locating a debtor’s current address.
Denied at door
Many subject debtors will deny at any attempt that they are the subject at the address, a specialist debtor tracing service will be able to see recent applications for credit and other applications in the subjects name at the supplied address, findukpeople.com will also be able to see the telephone bill payers name and that the line is still active and current in the bill payers name.
When instructing an expert debt tracing agent is advisable to include as much information as possible but confine this to contact and information points – we list some examples as follows which are useful for tracing debtors.
- Debtors full names including middle names
- Debtors date of birth
- Debtors partners names
- Debtors last known address
- Debtors other addresses
- Debtors telephone numbers even if disconnected
- Debtors mobile phone numbers
- Debtors email address
- Debtors work details
- Debtors website or business website
Use of credit agency data to locate a debtor
When debtor tracing typically an expert debtor tracing agency will locate the individual via CRA data ( Credit Reference Agency) – this will show a link from the supplied old address to the current address which will of been formed by either a recent credit application at the new address or by the subject informing a financial institution of the new address such as telling their bank or credit card provider.
Once the debt trace agent has established the new address via a credit reference agency they will verify the supplied address via a non-credit agency supplied source – for example via a BT data feed which shows the telephone line in the new address is in the subjects name.
This is clearly an example of the process but there are many variations of how an expert trace agent will trace debtors in the UK but it shows that the process is robust and uses an accurate methodology to trace and locate debtors in the UK.
Tracing the whereabouts of a debtor – information
Once the debtor has been traced to a new address an expert tracing agent will provide a report and in the case of Find UK People® will show on the report the information sources they have used to trace the debtor to a current address which gives a level of confidence of the supplied trace result.
This information will include Credit Agency information such as linked addresses shown on Credit agency information from one or all of the credit agencies in the UK are;
- Experian – Experian plc is an Irish multinational consumer credit reporting company. Experian collects & aggregates information on over 1 billion people & businesses including 235 million individual U.S. consumers and more than 25 million U.S. businesses. Source Wikipedia
- Equifax – Equifax Inc. is an American multinational consumer credit reporting agency and is one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies, along with Experian and TransUnion. Equifax collects and aggregates information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide. Source Wikipedia
- TransUnion – TransUnion is an American consumer credit reporting agency. TransUnion collects and aggregates information on over one billion individual consumers in over thirty countries including “200 million files profiling nearly every credit-active consumer in the United States”. Its customers include over 65,000 businesses. Source Wikipedia
We recommend for high-value debt cases that the next steps are served via an expert process server to help verify that the subject debtor is indeed at the supplied traced address and that the evasive debtor is served the document or legal notices.
Debtor tracing requires a very different tracing technique which can be more forensic and dig into the rich data sets that findukpeople.com have access to. This enables Find UK People® to deep dive into a debtor trace and will result in a positive result in tracing the debtor in the UK on most occasions.
The best way to locate a debtor
The best way to locate a debtors address is to first obtain the following information as highlighted earlier in this article
- Confirmation of the debtor’s full name
- Confirmation of the debtor’s partners name
- The last known addresses of the debtor
- If available the full date of birth of the debtor
With the above information points on your debtor’s identity, an expert debtor tracing company will be able to locate the debtor’s current residential address in just 24 hours which will allow you to proceed with a letter before action and litigation action if appropriate.
An experienced debtor tracing agency such as Findukpeople will also be able to obtain the financial status of a debtor which will show what assets and liabilities a debtor currently has. This is vital information for any debt recovery case as it will identify assets of high worth and will enhance the ability of your appointed enforcement agent to use the identified asset as leverage to get your outstanding debt paid back.
It is also very useful financial background information to have at the start of your debt collection case and to potentially save you numerous fees including court fees if the subject debtor is a “man of straw” with no assets to repay your debt back at the current time.
Sometimes it is better to wait until a debtor has re-established themselves rather than chasing after someone who has no prospect of paying you back in the short term. After all, you have up to 6 years from the time of the debt establishment plus a further extension of this time if you issue proceedings and have a judgment awarded that gives you a further 6 years to enforce your judgment.
If you have less information than listed above then it may still be possible to locate your debtor and as it is a no trace no fee debtor tracing service there is nothing to lose in using the tracking service to find a debtor’s address. We would also always recommend for you to also obtain a financial background of the debtor at the same time which will go a long way to establish an informative picture of the debtor’s assets and liabilities.
The recommended debtor tracing agent service is from Findukpeople as it takes just 24 hours to complete and is no find no fee,
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Editors note: Original article was written on 9th June 2017, the article has been updated in February 2021.