With rapidly-shifting technology, regulations, and demographics, the collections industry is facing a wide range of challenges. In today’s highly-mobile society, debtors are more difficult to locate than ever before. Although there is a surplus of information available on individual debtors, it can be nearly impossible to effectively sort through it all.

Thomson Reuters recently surveyed its collections clients to discover the most pressing debt collection challenges currently confronting them. The top four reflect their mutual frustrations with finding good, reliable information on debtors.

Which of the following challenges did your organization experience prior to using CLEAR for skip tracing?

1. Lack of current contact information of debtors

Why is this a challenge?

In the digital age, there is rarely a shortage of information available about an individual, but finding the most up-to-date, accurate contact information of a debtor can often be a big problem. 

After all, successful recoveries are based on the ability to contact the debtor. Without current information for the debtor, it’s nearly impossible to contact him or her – and thus impossible to recover the debt.

What causes it?

An organization can lack current contact information on a debtor for a number of reasons: The debtor regularly moves; perhaps the contact information used for the original credit is out of date; maybe the debtor lives with a third party who is the primary owner or tenant of the property; or maybe there’s just an incorrect entry for the debtor in one or more of the available databases.

The list can go on, and gets even longer when considering the newest generation of debtors. However, technology will only be making more individual information available in the future, rather than limiting it. So, even if “too much” information is a problem, it’s not one that is going to be solved by reducing the amount of available entries on a debtor.

Instead, a lack of information verification is truly at the root of this problem – and consequently, the solution lies in establishing one or more methods of information authentication, such as ensuring data is updated in real time and having transparency in information sources.

2. Difficulty in identifying and contacting debtors

Why is this a challenge?

It should be obvious why not having enough information to identify and contact debtors is a problem. Once again, this issue creates a serious barrier to contacting debtors, which itself prevents successful recoveries.

But this challenge may feel especially frustrating, since the lack of information is more than just a waste of time and resources; it often prevents any action from being taken on an account altogether.

What causes it?

In some instances, an organization may not have enough information to successfully identify or contact a debtor because there simply isn’t enough information on the individual in public records. But, considering the magnitude of data captured and stored in public records, this is likely rarely the case.

Instead, most of the time, the facts about a debtor are out there, but organizations run into difficulties with identification and communication because the information isn’t where one would expect it to be. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and getting around the problem often demands a broader, more comprehensive look at public records, such as scrutinizing a debtor’s third-party connections, for example.

3. Difficulty in accessing the most valuable information

Why is this a challenge?

For some debtors, the information most likely to lead to a successful recovery isn’t something basic like a phone number or address. It may be data about their place of employment or known associates.

Unfortunately, this information isn’t nearly as accessible as the more straightforward records. This, in turn, can create the problem of additional time wasted trying to locate and access this data, or attempting a less effective recovery without it.

What causes it?

The cause of the problem is the raw complexity of public record databases and the ability to access the information. It may not be possible to access any public record from any platform or for any purpose. The solution is to either have your organization become well-versed in accessing these databases – which may not only consume substantial time, but also some associated monetary costs – or to pay someone else who already has the infrastructure set up to get the information that you need quickly and easily.

4. Takes too long to locate debtors when sorting through all the data

Why is this a challenge?

This is, once again, a problem of “too much” information. But beyond determining whether the contact information is the most current, this problem encompasses the extra time spent trying to determine which information is best for reaching the target.

As the adage of “time is money” certainly applies in collections scenarios, it is unwise for organizations to spend too much time on a single account. However, it’s also crucial to ensure the information you’ve gathered is the kind of information that will lead to a recovery. This is especially true for accounts with an overabundance of available data. 

What causes it?

In short, this is caused by too much information without enough organization. All the information about a specific debtor should be evaluated to ensure the most effective recovery effort possible. On the other hand, there is so much data available on individuals today that it is often not feasible to manually comb through every record.

As with Challenge #3, unless your organization is able and willing to create a cost- and time-effective solution, the best answer to this challenge is to find a public records platform that does the organizational heavy lifting for you.

In fact, considering that accessing and managing data are at the root of all four of these problems, the key to solving all of them may simply be to leverage a platform that specializes in those specific features.

Thomson Reuters CLEAR is such a platform. As the next installment will discuss in detail, CLEAR addresses all of these top debt collection challenges comprehensively through access to numerous public records databases, with the information updated in real time and organized in a clean, easy-to-understand interface.

How Thomson Reuters Can Help 

If your information is inaccurate or outdated, it will either take too long to find the right people or you’ll waste time and resources searching for the right data. Thomson Reuters CLEAR for Skip Tracing provides access to transparent sources with easy access to scope and update frequencies. Now you can feel confident that you’re accessing the most current and comprehensive data.

  • Access key proprietary and public records in one intuitive environment
  • Enable batch alerting to run one search for a large number of people and businesses
  • Receive real-time records such as arrests, watch lists, and social media
  • Instantaneously analyze search results to shorten investigation time and uncover hidden unknowns

Request your FREE person or business investigations search 

Thomson Reuters is not a consumer reporting agency and none of its services or the data contained therein constitute a ‘consumer report’ as such term is defined in the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681 et seq. The data provided to you may not be used as a factor in consumer debt collection decisioning, establishing a consumer’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, government benefits, or housing, or for any other purpose authorized under the FCRA. By accessing one of our services, you agree not to use the service or data for any purpose authorized under the FCRA or in relation to taking an adverse action relating to a consumer application.





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