Why debtors move house in the UK


In this article we will discuss why debtors move house and what to do when they do move address. Dealing with debtors who have absconded from their previous address without leaving a forwarding address can be a challenging task, but it is not an impossible one. In the UK, this is a common occurrence as many people change addresses frequently, and some may intentionally hide their whereabouts to avoid debt recovery efforts.

According to the latest statistics from the Money Advice Service, over 8 million people in the UK are in debt, and around 2 million people are struggling with severe debt problems. Many of these people may have absconded from their previous addresses without leaving a forwarding address, making it difficult for debt collectors to locate them.


The size of the problem

Debt is an unfortunate reality for many people in the UK, and it’s a problem that can follow you even when you move house. Debtors who move house can make it difficult for creditors to locate them and collect what is owed. This problem is not insignificant, and the statistics bear it out.

According to a report by the Centre for Social Justice, over 3 million people in the UK are in problem debt, and this number is expected to rise to 3.5 million by the end of 2022. Furthermore, the Money Advice Service estimates that over 8.3 million people in the UK are over-indebted, which means they have fallen behind on payments or are struggling to keep up with their financial commitments.

Moving house is a common way for debtors to try to avoid paying their debts. In fact, research by the Debt Resolution Forum found that over 20% of people in debt have moved house to avoid creditors. This can be a costly problem for creditors, as it can be expensive and time-consuming to locate debtors who have moved without leaving a forwarding address.

The problem of debtors moving house and creditors having to find them is not a new one, and the UK financial services sector has implemented measures to help creditors track down debtors. One such measure is the use of credit reference agency data via debtor tracing agents, which provide information on a debtor’s address history with links to their current address via recent application data and can be used to track down their current address. 

Another preferred option, available to creditors, is to use transactional debtor tracing agents or debt collection agencies to locate debtors. 

In conclusion, the problem of debtors moving house and creditors having to find them is a significant issue in the UK. With over 3 million people in problem debt and over 8.3 million people over-indebted, this problem is unlikely to go away anytime soon. While there are measures in place to help creditors locate debtors who have moved house, these options can be expensive and time-consuming. 


How to find a debtor

However, there are some effective ways to find debtors who have absconded from their previous address. Here are ten tips for finding and locating debtors to enable a successful debt recovery:

  1. Start with the basics – try contacting the debtor’s friends, family, and previous employer. They may have information about the debtor’s current whereabouts.
  2. Use social media – check the debtor’s social media profiles for any recent updates or posts that may give a clue about their location.
  3. Check credit reports – credit reports may have the debtor’s updated address, which can help you in locating them. You can access this via an approved debtor trace agency
  4. Hire a private investigator – a private investigator can conduct a thorough search to find the debtor’s current address and contact details. Use a specialist debtor tracing agency
  5. Use tracing services – many companies offer debtor tracing services that use a variety of methods to locate debtors who have absconded from their previous address.
  6. Check utility companies – the debtor may have applied for utility services in their new address, and this can be a good source of information. This information will be available to a debtor tracing agent via credit agency data sets.
  7. Use electoral rolls – electoral rolls can provide you with the current address of the debtor, as long as they are registered to vote. Be warned this data can give a false positive from a historic address!
  8. Use property ownership records – property ownership records can give you information about the debtor’s current address if they own property.
  9. Check job sites – the debtor may have applied for a job or posted their CV on a job site, which can give you their current location.
  10. Use online forums and discussion boards – online forums and discussion boards related to the debtor’s interests can provide you with information about their current location. Just be careful not to post any sensitive information about the person which would breach their right to privacy.


What else can you do

In addition to these tips, it’s essential to be persistent and thorough in your efforts to locate debtors who have absconded from their previous address.

Keep in mind that debtors may use false identities, aliases, or fake addresses to evade debt recovery efforts.

It’s also crucial to comply with the UK’s debt collection regulations, such as the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Credit Sourcebook and the Civil Procedure Rules. These regulations provide guidelines on how debt collectors should behave when attempting to recover debt and ensure that debtors are treated fairly.

In conclusion to what else you can do, locating debtors who have absconded from their previous address without leaving a forwarding address can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By following these tips and being persistent in your efforts, you can increase your chances of successful debt recovery. Remember to comply with UK debt collection regulations and GDPR privacy requirements to ensure that your debt recovery efforts are ethical and lawful.


Why Debtors Evade Creditors

Debt is a reality for many people in the UK, and it’s not uncommon for debtors to try to avoid their creditors. There are many reasons why debtors may choose to evade creditors, and understanding these reasons can help creditors find ways to better manage debt collection.

One of the most common reasons debtors evade creditors is fear. Being in debt can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, and some debtors may be afraid of the consequences of not being able to repay their debts. They may fear legal action, repossession of their assets, or damage to their credit score. This fear can lead them to avoid contact with their creditors and to move house in an attempt to avoid being found.

Another reason why debtors evade creditors is a lack of understanding of their financial situation. Debt can be a complex issue, and many debtors may not fully understand the terms of their loans or the consequences of not repaying their debts. This lack of understanding can lead them to ignore their debts or to believe that they can simply avoid their creditors without any consequences.

Some debtors may also evade creditors because they feel overwhelmed and hopeless. When debt becomes unmanageable, it can feel like there’s no way out, and some debtors may choose to ignore their creditors or to move house in an attempt to escape the situation. This can be a sign that they need additional support and resources to manage their debt effectively.

In some cases, debtors may intentionally evade creditors because they believe that they can get away with it. They may think that creditors won’t be able to find them or that the debt will simply go away if they ignore it for long enough. This behavior is not only unethical, but it can also have serious consequences for the debtor’s credit score and financial future.

Regardless of the reason why debtors evade creditors, it’s important for creditors to take a proactive approach to debt collection. This means reaching out to debtors and offering support and resources to help them manage their debts effectively. It also means being persistent in tracking down debtors who have moved house or are otherwise difficult to locate.



In conclusion, debtors evade creditors for a variety of reasons, including fear, a lack of understanding, feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness, and intentional avoidance. Understanding these reasons can help creditors develop more effective strategies for debt collection, including providing additional support and resources to debtors in need. By taking a proactive approach to debt collection, creditors can help debtors manage their debts effectively and avoid the negative consequences of non-payment.

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