Best Business Practices, Part IV

Skip Trace Waterfall Procedure

So far in our series on best business practices, we’ve discussed disaster recovery and vendor management plans, both of which are applicable to a variety of business models. Today’s topic, skip tracing waterfall procedure, is more specific to the debt collection industry.

The bottom line is debt collectors and lawyers cannot do their jobs without being in contact with the person in debt.  Skip tracing is the process by which collectors and investigators use software to search electronic databases and online profiles. These searches can uncover information useful in the efforts of debt collection and assists collectors in ensuring they’re contacting the right individuals.


Skip tracing waterfalls combine the use of electronic information, automated lists created by the collector and the talents of skip tracing specialists to ensure that every available resource is expended.  A beneficial skip tracing waterfall procedure streamlines old skip tracing practices and makes the process of finding information more efficient.

The waterfall model itself is a process often used in software development and designed to emulate a waterfall in that the information flows from top to bottom through phases (or in our case, vendors).

Your skip tracing waterfall procedure should include building easy access lists of accounts as well as having a dependable and cost-efficient arsenal of vendors.  Once established, it’s paramount that you train your skip tracers to find the best vendors that do the best work for the best prices and then use these tools for optimum success.  This will allow you to find and contact debtors and help them to explore their options for satisfying the debt by making payments or settling the debt upon contact.

Vendors are ranked and utilized based on their capability, economics, past successes and accuracy of results.  Once these factors are determined and searches are underway, skip tracers have more time to work other projects, perform other forms of skip tracing procedures and seek new information for communicating with debtors.

The waterfall approach is considered a best business practice because it is a progressive and innovative way to reach people and is part of the successful formula that makes a collections business thrive.

Drop by next week for Better Business Practices, Part V on employment waterfall procedure.



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