Collector - March 2018 - 25

F

or some people, the idea of a
"skiptracer" conjures up the image of
a beefy, tattooed character like Duane
"Dog" Chapman, star of the A&E reality show,
Dog the Bounty Hunter.
While Chapman and his crew use street
smarts, teamwork and luck to hunt bail
jumpers, 21st century skiptracers working
in the debt collection industry are a totally
different breed, tapping into their knowledge of
databases, websites and social media to locate
consumers who have dropped off the grid.
In a recent ACA International Hot Topic
seminar, "Using Open Sources and Social
Media in Skiptracing," Michèle Stuart, owner
of JAG Investigations Inc. in Queen Creek,
Ariz., spoke for nearly two hours about her
innovative approach to identifying and using
open sources on the internet and within
social media channels to help clients find
hard-to-obtain information.

COLLECTOR 03.18

Throughout her lengthy career as an
investigator, Stuart has helped an array
of clients, including federal and state law
enforcement, military intelligence, attorneys,
corporations, small businesses, insurance
companies and private detectives, solve
problems by fitting puzzle pieces together.
"Twenty-five years ago we didn't have
the ability to utilize information sources on
the internet," said Stuart, a licensed private
investigator in Arizona. "We had hundreds
of contacts on rolodexes, Cole directories,
notebooks with pages of contacts from
other companies and scribbled-out notes on
scraps of paper."
Flash forward to 2018, and nearly every
bit of information a skiptracer needs is
located somewhere on the internet. The
trick is to understand how to use available
information without overlooking seemingly
insignificant data and knowledge.

WHERE IS THE INFORMATION?
Databases offered by LexisNexis and
TransUnion's TLOxp are among some of
the most commonly used resources by
skiptracers working for debt collectors or
other financial services organizations. For
companies like Collection Service Center
Inc. in New Kensington, Pa., electronic
databases are usually the most efficient
means of finding information, particularly
when the debt is not large, CEO Jim
Simmermon told Collector magazine.
"There's a lot of public information out
there, and sometimes it is not cost-efficient
to spend a lot of money or staff time unless
you have a high-balance account," he said.
In cases involving high-dollar accounts,
a debt collector may want to consider
Stuart's approach to mining open sources
or public information to collect "actionable
intelligence."

25



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - March 2018

From the Editor
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Enriching the Diversity Conversation
A New Take on Skiptracing
Collecting From Different Generations
Calendar
Honor Roll
Are You an ACA Professional Collection Specialist?
Understanding the Credit Reporting Landscape
An Inside Look at ACA’s Judicial Advocacy Efforts
Break It Down
ACA Files Amicus Brief with Court of Appeals in Case Combatting TCPA Abuse
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - March 2018 - Cover1
Collector - March 2018 - Cover2
Collector - March 2018 - 1
Collector - March 2018 - 2
Collector - March 2018 - 3
Collector - March 2018 - From the Editor
Collector - March 2018 - 5
Collector - March 2018 - Industry News
Collector - March 2018 - 7
Collector - March 2018 - 8
Collector - March 2018 - 9
Collector - March 2018 - Best Practices
Collector - March 2018 - 11
Collector - March 2018 - FYI
Collector - March 2018 - 13
Collector - March 2018 - Collection Tips
Collector - March 2018 - 15
Collector - March 2018 - Enriching the Diversity Conversation
Collector - March 2018 - 17
Collector - March 2018 - 18
Collector - March 2018 - 19
Collector - March 2018 - 20
Collector - March 2018 - 21
Collector - March 2018 - 22
Collector - March 2018 - 23
Collector - March 2018 - A New Take on Skiptracing
Collector - March 2018 - 25
Collector - March 2018 - 26
Collector - March 2018 - 27
Collector - March 2018 - Collecting From Different Generations
Collector - March 2018 - 29
Collector - March 2018 - 30
Collector - March 2018 - 31
Collector - March 2018 - Calendar
Collector - March 2018 - Honor Roll
Collector - March 2018 - Are You an ACA Professional Collection Specialist?
Collector - March 2018 - 35
Collector - March 2018 - Understanding the Credit Reporting Landscape
Collector - March 2018 - 37
Collector - March 2018 - An Inside Look at ACA’s Judicial Advocacy Efforts
Collector - March 2018 - 39
Collector - March 2018 - Break It Down
Collector - March 2018 - 41
Collector - March 2018 - ACA Files Amicus Brief with Court of Appeals in Case Combatting TCPA Abuse
Collector - March 2018 - 43
Collector - March 2018 - Compliance
Collector - March 2018 - 45
Collector - March 2018 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - March 2018 - 47
Collector - March 2018 - Last Word
Collector - March 2018 - Cover3
Collector - March 2018 - Cover4
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