Have you heard the term skip tracing in the context of real estate?
Curious what it is?
Well, did you know that the US Postal Service, also known as the Post Office, is not obligated to provide you with the forwarding address of a person you’re trying to locate?
It doesn’t matter how valid your reasons may be; the Post Office only releases these details to law enforcement officers, licensed private investigators, or another entity under orders of the court.
This can be both comforting or frustrating, depending on your perspective.
It’s certainly great to know your privacy is protected.
But what happens when you’re looking for someone and can’t get ahold of them?
To obtain a forwarding address from the Post Office (without specifically requesting it), there is a way to do so.
To get an absentee homeowner’s new address, mail them an envelope and write, “Do Not Forward – Return Service Requested” on it.
By including this information on the envelope, the Post Office will not forward the letter on your behalf.
Instead, they will return it to you with a sticker bearing the new address.
In some cases, USPS may not have a forwarding address on file, and this is where skip tracing comes in.
It’s a method of tracking down information on an individual that isn’t in typical databases.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the top things you should know about skip tracing in real estate.
Let’s get started.
1. WHAT IS SKIP TRACING?
In the general sense of the term, skip tracing is the process of finding a fugitive, defaulter, or any person who cannot be located in typical searches.
Sometimes this process will also be used to track down an individual who needs to be served a subpoena.
“A skip tracer will typically start by looking through a number of public resources, such as credit reports, DMV records, public property records, loan applications, background checks, job applications, court records and utility bills.”
A professional skip tracer may even contact current or past acquaintances if they are not able to find the information they are looking for from public sources.
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