Why Solicitors need to trace people
Learn why solicitors need to trace people. Whether you are an individual searching for somebody or a business in search of a debtor, you may have stumbled across the mention of a tracing agency from time to time. Most people have a tendency to take things into their own hands when it comes to tracking people down, and the truth is, this won’t be successful because it’s not as easy as the movies make it look.
If you have started a search and all that has come back is emptiness, then the only viable remaining option should be a tracing agency.
Tracing agencies work with businesses, individuals and most prominently solicitors who need to find the location of somebody quite quickly. Usually, the people that at the centre of the chase have disappeared without leaving a forwarding address or any contact details at all.
Tracing agents have teams of expert agents who are armed with some incredible technology that can help root out the missing person, sometimes in a matter of hours. It is crucial to find a tracing agent with a very high success rate and one of excellent reputation. It isn’t hard to find a reputable company, and a quick Google search will help you find a company with over a 90% success rate.
While some traces can be performed quite quickly, the length of time it takes can, of course, be dependent and will always vary from case to case.
A tracing agent will always perform better with more information. The more information a company can provide about the missing individual, the better.
In today’s blog, we are going to be examining the ins-and-outs of tracing agents, what they do, and then we will be examining why tracing agents are so important to solicitors.
What Is Tracing?
Tracing is actually more complicated than most people can imagine. In fact, due to the wonder of Hollywood, most people believe tracing can be done quite easily and in a matter of minutes. The truth is, tracing is actually one of the most complicated forms of investigation and requires an exceptional level of skill.
Tracing is essentially a form of investigating where complicated techniques and software is used to locate somebody that does not want to be found. People often do not want to be found if there is a debtor problem or some other issue they are running from.
Tracing agents will generally be asked utilised by landlords, debt collection agents and especially different legal bodies. The trace investigators will regularly use a group of sources to their aid such as public databases, client given information and credit reference agencies.
What Information Do Tracing Agencies Require?
Initially, a successful trace begins with as much information as can be provided. The basic information usually required is name, date of birth and a previous address. Armed with this information, this is enough to get the ball rolling for a successful investigation.
However, if more information can be provided, such as family names, family addresses, or even names of friends, this can see the investigation be successful at a far faster rate.
From time to time, clients will also request a trace from a photograph, while this can be difficult, it is still possible. It is important to remember though, armed with only a picture, this can make the case very difficult, and the chances are lowered exponentially.
How Does Tracing Work?
As briefly mentioned previously, tracing agencies have access to a number of public databases. The most important among these databases are credit reference agencies and access to the electoral register.
The information that tracing agents can gain from the agencies is generally not available to the general public and can only be accessed at a cost. Tracing works by combining the availability of these agencies with a wide range of experience and the application of sophisticated techniques.
When all of this is put together, and the right team are on the case, the team will be able to successfully determine where the person in question is living, and sometimes even their new place of employment.
There are primarily three different types of trace, and we are going to look at each of them in detail now.
While every investigation would primarily start with skip tracing (which we will get to shortly), micro tracing is examining the small stuff.
By using the techniques available through micro-tracing agencies are able to test the waters before delving deeply into what could be a pointless and colossal investigation. More often than not, a micro-trace can produce results far quicker than a skip trace.
If you have been given some information regarding the person you want to trace and it is more a guess or a hunch, it is often best to chase these up first. Whether it’s checking a suspect phone line, contacting a neighbour and even look into their previous landlord.
These searches will not only be fast, but they could also be extremely reliable. Micro-tracing is something that all tracing agencies love as sometimes it can connect the dots a lot more quickly than anything else.
Macro-tracing is another fantastic way of locating people and doing it fast. With macro-tracing, you will find yourself looking closely at the acquaintances of the person you are attempting to find.
Whether it’s the girlfriend, boyfriend or old roommate of the subject, no stone goes unturned with macro-tracing. The whole idea behind macro-tracing is getting into the mind of the subject. There is often a reason they are difficult to find, and that is simply because they do not want to be found.
If somebody does not want to be found, they will rarely use their name against anything, and this is where looking into people close to them comes into play. Subjects who want to stay out of public record will often rely on those close to them to support them.
Finding the people who are closest to them and looking for simple changes in habits, can often provide a location for the subject. If there is a suspected significant other that the subject may hide behind, there are patterns that are also looked at to get the subject to reveal themselves.
Skip-tracing is one of the most popular forms of tracing used the world over and is usually utilised to locate debtors.
Skip-tracing is generally the go-to form of tracing when a debtor cannot be located. The one thing that people with debt have a tendency to do is hide, so having a great tracing agency onside to help is essential.
One thing that makes locating a debtor nigh on impossible has no contact information for them, and not having this information leaves the account sitting as uncollected. At this point, it is necessary to skip-trace. Skip-tracing doesn’t rely on specifics but is more a skill that is employed and practised over time that allows the tracing agent to get results and fast.
Skip-tracing primarily uses all of the information provided when a person makes an application for credit. Nowadays this information stretches over to not just the subject but also to any of their financial associates.
Generally, the information obtained during a skip-trace is name, address, and sometimes the employer can come up too. As a general rule, skip-tracing is far more complicated than the previous two and uses a plethora of credit reference agencies and even uses other valuable information such as marriage and divorce certificates, genealogy records and even local authority certificates. There is also now a range of skip-tracing tools available that can be combined with the skill of the tracing team to result in a successful search.
So, as you can see, there is generally a tracing solution for whatever you may require. As we mentioned earlier, tracing agents are most popular among solicitors, and next, we are going to take a look at why solicitors need to trace people.
Child Maintenance Proceedings
One of the top utilisations of tracing within the legal world is by family law firms. Family law firms are often presented with the hurdle of trying to locate an absent parent who is set to pay child maintenance.
Unfortunately, there is a skewed belief in the United Kingdom that if you are a parent and you do not have access to the child, then you should not pay child maintenance. This is, in fact, untrue, even if you have absolutely no access to your child, you are still liable to pay support for that child.
If a parent fails to pay any form of child maintenance, the chances are that either the supporting parent or even the Child Maintenance Service will contact a family law firm and start proceedings against the non-paying parent.
In the case the non-paying parent cannot be located, a tracing agency could employ its total power to locate the subject for that law firm.
There are still a great deal of parents in the UK that seems to think that not paying child maintenance is ok and that they can escape the responsibility. The truth behind this is, with a great family law firm and a brilliant tracing agency, it will only be a matter of time until the matter is rectified.
Finding The Beneficiary Of A Will
While it may seem like something straight from the movies, it is an all to familiar issue for probate lawyers.
There are generally two kinds of beneficiaries, one who is known and the other whose name or even existence are both in doubt. The second of the two is a relatively common issue for probate lawyers and can be quite an issue for them.
The issue generally arises when a person dies and does not leave a Will. If the person had never been married and if they did not have a family, then Rules of Intestacy are set in motion. Rules of Intestacy will determine who should be the main person of responsibility when it comes to dealing with the estate and also who would be the qualified beneficiary.
At the time a personal representative has been appointed, it will then be their job to identify who the beneficiaries of the estate are. Identifying them may be simple, but finding them, on the other hand, can be where the challenge comes.
The complication, of course, arises as there are no immediate relatives and you would need to involve a probate specialist and the skills of a tracing agency. When a tracing agency gets involved with a case like this, there is far more involved than simply just applying the main rules of tracing.
One of the first and foremost steps that would be completed with the assistance of the probate lawyer is the building of a family tree. Building the family tree will initially help to identify possible candidates, but this is only the start of the journey
After a possible list has been provided, the list must then be examined, and the names on it must be officially connected to the deceased. This process alone can be very laborious, and the only way to ensure this is done properly is to use a trusted and respected tracing agency.
Debt Collection Solicitors
When it comes to the most important requirement for a tracing agency, then debt collection solicitors are the ones that can always make the best use of an experienced tracing agency.
A debt collection solicitor has one task, and that is to set the ball rolling for the collection of a debt. While most companies will often attempt to chase any debt themselves in the first instance, more often than not, this chasing will go ignored.
If the company to whom the debt is owed have no luck getting payment from the debtor, they then instruct a debt collection solicitor.
The primary reason the debt cannot be collected is that the debtor has actually gone AWOL, and there is now a need to locate the debtor. At this point, the debt collection solicitors will employ the services of a tracing agency.
As we have mentioned earlier in our post, finding debtors is where tracing companies generally come into their own. Tracing agencies will put skip-tracing into action so they can locate the debtor as requested by the solicitor.
It is vital for debt collection solicitors to find the debtor, as unlike many solicitors and lawyers if they are unable to locate the debtor, they generally do not get paid.
Having a trusted source when it comes to people tracing is one of the best moves a debt collection solicitor can make, and it will often yield fast results. The sooner the tracing agent can trace the subject, the sooner the debt collection solicitor can start to pursue the debt.
Locating A Missing Freeholder
Unfortunately, when it comes to missing a freeholder of a building, there can be some huge ramifications when it comes to selling. These problems can lead to a delay in the sale and from time to time, there can even be an inability to sell.
There are, of course, other problems that can arise that are often tied together with the sale of the property, such as lease extension.
Missing freeholder locating really does need to be done with pinpoint precision; if it isn’t, the implications can be huge.
In order to resolve an issue with a missing freeholder, a commercial lawyer and his client must make an application to the court. This application is called a Vesting Order. The order itself must show that as the leaseholder, you have taken all necessary steps to locate the freeholder and you have also issued a formal notice to their last known address.
This is obviously where the tracing agency come in. The agency will, of course, be able to help the commercial lawyer track down the missing freeholder. Once the freeholder has been located, it will then be up to the client and legal team to issue notices.
As you can see, there are so many applications when it comes to the provision of a tracing agency for solicitors. Solicitors are incredibly busy and deal with more than their fair share of stress on a daily basis.
Tracing people can be a long and arduous process and one that no solicitor has the time to deal with. So whether a solicitor needs family tracing or just to find a debtor, the addition of a skilled tracing agency is always going to be the best option for them.
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