The ABCs to Skip Tracing
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Mr. Kevin R. McLeish has used his 10 years in the collection industry to develope the Skip Tracing Institute. He has worked directly on the front line in every positions involved in skip tracing. When it came to training skip tracers, he could not find a useful training tool and so the ABCs to Skip Tracing was developed. The Skip Tracing Institute is a virtual training facility which can be access via the internet at and offers an interactive skip tracing training program.

With The ABCs to Skip Tracing guide you are offered basic knowledge on locating anyone. Included in the 43 page guide are sample scripts for telephone conversations, which assist the beginner in gaining confidence. There are example of Form Letters, which could be used to gain information from banks, property management offices, employers and other sources. The guide includes a Tracing Quick List for reference while working files. As an added feature, the guide includes space for Notes and Contact Numbers. The information and procedures described in The ABCs to Skip Tracing have been used in professional skip tracing office environments and we are sure you will find its content useful and informative.

The guide is meant to become a basic guideline for owners, supervisors and individuals interested in skip tracing. Skip tracers are primarily associated with collection agencies but are also a vital part of some credit granters recovery teams. Also, in recent years individuals have used these same techniques to locate family members and other missing persons. The Skip Tracing Institute and this guide has been developed to offer a better understanding of what skip tracing is all about.

We have found that success comes when astute minds are armed with knowledge and experience; offered at the Skip Tracing Institute.

  Good luck.
  KRM sig KRM
  Kevin R. McLeish
I look forward to keeping up to date with the most current Skip Tracing 'schemes', feel free to contact me with your suggestions or input. Only through these kinds of open forums can we all learn. Any constructive criticism of The ABCs to Skip Tracing is appreciated and will be responded to.

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Table of Contents

The following subjects are covered in The ABCs to Skip Tracing guide:

Qualities of Skip Tracing
  1. Effective Skip Tracing Is An Art
  2. Qualifications For A Successful Skip Tracer
  3. Is Subterfuge Necessary?
  4. Importance Of Recording Full Information
  5. Methods Of Obtaining Information
  6. Explanation of Sources of Information
  7. Employed Or Unemployed Skips
  8. Companies & Proprietorships
  9. Commercial Accounts
  10. Tracing A Company
  11. Steps To Tracing
Phone Scripts & Form Letters
  1. Calling Landlord & Property Management
  2. Employee Verification
  3. Former Employee Verification
  4. Calling Banks or Credit Card Companies
  5. Calling Property Tax Offices
  6. Calling For Verification of Death
What Is Considered A Trace
In Conclusion
Notes/Contact Numbers
Skip Trace Quick List

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"Kevin - I find the structure and content… very clearly presented. The reading of the material is very easy and educating... the overall design and the meanings presented are well thought out and make the booklet both attractive and useful."

- John Herbert, Author
Toronto, Canada

"After 19 years this is the best tool I have seen; not only to assist in training but as a reminder to those who have been in the industry for years."

- Jackie Mercer, Collection Supervisor
Toronto, Canada

"As the title suggests, it is the ABC s of Skip Tracing; easy to follow from cover to cover. Simple for a junior tracer to follow and, interestingly, for the senior tracers, it is a great reminder to take them back to basics. It has the ability to bring them back to good habits. I also enjoyed the fact that it is purse size which I found extremely handy."

- Doreen Wilcock, Senior Legal Skip Tracer,
The Collection House, Toronto, Canada

"On the floor, there is alway one person who gets stuck training... Kevin's guide everytime a 'virgin' comes my way. It explains step by step... great for beginners. When I started skip tracing there was nothing to explain how to do the job."
"The scripts are useful in the beginning when training because they give the confidence needed to do it on their own (the trainee). The form letters are great, I always get a response. It (The ABCs to Skip Tracing) gives you suggestions when you are at the end of your rope asking youself,
'Is there something else I can do?'
Kevin gave me one of the originals (5 years ago) and I still use it."

- Debbie Springett, Assitance Supervisor
Equifax, Canada

"I consider this informative condensed guide to skip tracing a beneficial tool in the training of new tracers as well as a handy reference and refresher for those experienced in the art.
Kevin's vast knowledge and many years experience in the field of skip tracing are evident in this guide which would be an asset to all in the field."

- Chuck Manchester, Canadian Debt Recovery LTD.
Ontario, Canada

"I found it very informative; I really like this training tool. I wish that all my collectors could have it."

- Karen Granger, Acting Collection Supervisor,
Canada Trust, Ontario

Review A

The ABCs to Skip Tracing was recently previewed in
The Professional Collectors Magazine
, winter 1998 issue and in
What's Working in Collections, April 30, 1999.

The Professional Collector
Click above to see copy of article or read article below from Winter '99 issue, page 32.

Skiptracing Spelled Out

"When he discovered the lack of skiptracing guides out there, Kevin McLeish, a consultant in credit investigatations, skiptracing and collections, decided to write his own. The result, The ABCs to Skiptracing, is a forty page manual with tips, source ideas and space for notes. McLeish, with the help of Graphic Artist Vv Blake, began writing the book using his 12 years of experience training skiptracers in Ontario collections agencies. The manual, which costs (now) $39.99 US. is general enough for use in both US and Canadian collectors."

- compiled by Sarah Johnson,
Professional Collectors Magazine

Review B

What's Working in Credit & Collections

Click above to see copy of article or
read article below from April 30th 1999, page 8.

Bad Credit Decision?

Find customers who don't want to be found.

"High-tech tools like CD-ROM directories and call display can help.
It happens to most creditors sooner or later. You try to contact a customer only to find that the phone's been disconnected or the addressee is unknown. Locating such "skips" can be tough. But tracking them down can also be extremely satisfying, suggests Kevin McLeish, author of The ABCs to Skip Tracing. Here are some tips that can help you succeed:

Better Telephone Tracing
The telephone is the best tool for skip tracing. First check Info Direct, a computer program that combines phone books, 411, crisscross (reverse) directories and postal code info on CD-ROM. If your skip is listed, call. Many times a change in number will be reported. If the phone number is no help, take the next step. Go back to a crisscross directory to find the names of other parties located at or near the old address. There may be a telephone at the specific address you're checking but not listed in the name of the debtor you're trying to locate. Keep in mind that your customer might have given you the wrong address.

Simple Contact Cards
Contact cards are particularly handy for making contacts with skips. Just mail them to your skip's known address. Give your name and phone number and ask them to get in touch with you ASAP. The idea is to entice the skip to respond, so try to make the card as interesting or mysterious as your imagination will allow. Then use call display to close the trap. When the customer calls, it will show the possible non-published number, new resident number - or even place of employment."

What's Working in Credit & Collection Editor:

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