Effective skip tracing strategies have evolved alongside changing regulatory requirements and technological advances. Today, debt collectors can access robust data sources in real-time to power automated prioritization and collection strategies.

For example, an alert indicating a consumer opened a new account or is using a new phone number could send them to the top of your queue. You can then contact via phone or text message with a link to your self-service portal to request that they start a payment plan.

Verifying and continuously monitoring consumers' contact information is important when building automated systems for collections.  The same capabilities can also increase your right-party contact (RPC) rates with live agents, emails, and physical letters, which is important, especially when resources are constrained.

What skip tracing solutions can help?

A comprehensive skip tracing strategy goes beyond increasing right-party contact rates. While having the most up-to-date contact information is important, you also need tools that can help you prioritize accounts.

We recommend:

  • Phone Number ID — Scrub and score phone numbers based on the likelihood that the number belongs to the account holder at the beginning of the debt cycle.
  • TrueTrace— Find new phone numbers with scores based on quality.
  • Email append — Validate and scrub email addresses; find the latest ones to attach to accounts.
  • Collection Triggers  Passively monitor accounts for new contact information and changes that indicate a consumer is now able to make a payment.

Let's take a closer look at each.

Phone Number ID™

This robust contact-management process can help you maintain RPC rates and meet compliance requirements. Phone Number ID verifies consumers' phone information in real-time, including:

  • Subscriber name
  • Carrier
  • Line type
  • Activation date
  • Whether the number was moved from a landline

With connections to over 5,000 carrier exchanges, there's a 97-percent hit rate. If the carriers don't have a name associated with that number, Experian will attempt to identify the owner using its proprietary databases before sending you a complete profile.

Use Phone Number ID to monitor your accounts and serve as a quality scrub. You can choose which categories to monitor and receive daily updates if there's a change.

Phone Number ID also delivers a match score (0 to 99) based on the likelihood the phone number belongs to the correct owner.  This score can help you optimize your outbound communication and stay compliant.

For example, even if you have the right phone number, at best you might achieve a RPC 15 to 20 percent of the time. A high score might tell you that it's worth continuing to reach out until the consumer answers.

On the other hand, a low score might indicate it's a bad number. You might try it once or twice, but then send it to skip tracing and move on if you don't make contact. Additionally, you might want to avoid texting numbers that were recently moved or have a low score to reduce the risk of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations.

READ: A Digital Debt Collection Future: Maximizing Collections and Staying Compliant

TrueTrace and TrueTrace Live

TrueTrace and TrueTrace Live are Experian's most powerful locating solutions and a follow-up solution to Phone Number ID. We've seen TrueTrace achieve a 10-percent lift in RPC rates compared to competing products.

The improvement comes from Experian's proprietary matching process and access to multiple high-quality data sources that are frequently updated:

You can use TrueTrace to filter the results based on the quality of the phone number and the phone type. For example, some collectors use TrueTrace specifically to find high-quality mobile numbers — competing products might deliver every number regardless of its quality or type.

Email append

Email append is similar to skip tracing for phone numbers. We can validate email addresses that collectors have in their accounts to determine if the address:

  • Is deliverable
  • Has easily correctable typos
  • Is a work email address

You can then scrub your accounts to filter out email addresses that you shouldn't use. Experian also has access to approximately two billion email addresses that are regularly evaluated for permissions. We can help you find and append new emails to accounts to improve digital outreach strategies.

READ: What To Know When Adding Email to Collections

Collection Triggers

Collection Triggers is a flexible monitoring tool that can alert you to predictive changes in consumers' credit profiles and enables a data-driven approach to prioritization.

For example, the daily report could highlight consumers who applied for, or opened, new credit accounts or consumers who settled or brought other accounts current. These changes can indicate a consumer's finances are on the rebound, allowing you to prioritize those who are more likely and able to make a payment.

You can choose from nearly 100 triggers to monitor, including changes to a consumer's phone number, address, and employer.

While consumers rarely update their contact information with Experian directly, we receive new information through furnished trades and inquiries. Passively monitoring for these changes allows you to avoid having to repeatedly skip trace older accounts and minimize lost time.

TIP SHEET: Strengthening Your Debt Collection Strategy

Why partner with Experian?

Experian has worked with collection agencies and debt buyers for years to understand their challenges and develop effective solutions. We've gone from skip tracing solutions that relied on physically mailing collectors updated reports to monitoring and verifying information on millions of consumers in real time.

Today, we see debt collectors and agencies leverage Phone Number ID, TrueTrace, Email append and Collection Triggers to create effective and compliant skip tracing strategies. These affordable tools are easy to integrate with existing collection systems. And the results allow organizations to optimize and scale operations without expanding their workforce.

Learn more about Experian's Skip Tracing Solutions.

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