Skip tracing and locating people are two entirely different types of enquiries. For instance, skip tracing is the process of locating a debtor wanted by a finance company, a Mercantile Agent, or in some cases, a law firm (law firms usually only deal with clients who are trying to find a debtor who owes a large amount of money – for example over $20,000).
Specialised databases are used for this type of enquiry and upon finalisation of the file, the investigator must have 100% confirmed that the person they have identified as the debtor, is in fact the debtor, before submitting the Final Report.
To obtain the correct name, date of birth as well as their current residential address (to be served a court document by a Licensed Process Server), is quite a feat.
Usually only experienced Skip Tracers produce the correct results because the file is considered a confirmed locate only when the investigator has spoken personally with the debtor and has obtained their full name, date of birth, or at the very least their year of birth, as well as their current residential address as in some cases, vehicles etc need to be recovered. Even then, the file is not closed for the Mercantile Agent/Finance Company, or law firm until a Process Server physically serves the debtor.
Locating someone is an entirely different type of skill. For instance, when locating someone, the private investigator is usually contacted by a private individual or a law firm. Private citizens seek distant family members or a child who has been taken from the mother at birth, as well as parents seeking their adult son/daughter.
Law firms usually ask private investigators to locate witnesses and beneficiaries and only the occasional large $$$ debtor.
Private Investigators cannot legally obtain access to bank accounts, vehicle registration plates, Centrelink, club memberships, hospital records, rate notices, employment payslips and a host of other avenues. Locating someone is based entirely on skill, telephoning and patience.
The databases used are expensive and must be absorbed into the cost of an enquiry for a client as well as the time the private investigator takes to locate someone. We at Trace and Identify (Australia) have located someone within 24 hours and on other occasions, taken much longer because the person (Subject) has gone to great lengths not to leave a paper trail.