questionshave you ever had to have a skip trace done?


I have never hired a Skip Trace service, when I started out with the company I currently work for (11 years ago), I worked Skip at times using Fast Data and Lexis Nexis. Locating people and finding information on them is easy -- it only takes a moment.

The real issue is how you would use it to your advantage. Locating him is one thing. Then you have to file suit (again) and that doesn't necessarily mean they'll actually pay you. It doesn't seem like they hold the courts in the highest regard when it comes to doing what they order.

I would offer to help, but I'm sure it would be misuse of my credentials and would cost me my job as well.

Best of luck to you


You know, sometimes it's just better to let it go. Stop trying to get back what's legitimately due. I know it's hard; been there on different issues.

In your case, you've sued & won. Nothing collected. It's been years. Years you've spent knowing you're ethically & morally right. Of course you are!

This is probably causing you a lot of stress. Letting go may lessen and eventually rid you of that stress. Or not. Yet, when you look at it logically, you won't win this time either. Seems all you gain is an added expense of $3,000.

Just my opinion - I could be wrong. Wishing you the best of luck.


Growing up, my dad always told me, "If you lend someone money, expect to never get it back."


Expanding upon @gmwhit: do you have any knowledge that this person has funds/resources to pay you back? You have a judgement of $15,000 against this person. Great. As you discovered, there is a big difference between having a judgement and getting money.

What I'm driving at is this: unless you have very good information that this person can come up with the money (or a significant fraction thereof) you are not only wasting your time, but also throwing good money after bad. Maybe you can talk to your accountant and see if there is any way that you can write this off as a bad debt and move on.


Actually, wolfbrim brings up an interesting counterpoint - debt that is forgiven is considered income by the IRS. I wonder if there would be a way to forgive the debt owed to you by this person, causing him to have to report that debt as income to the IRS. Follow up with a tip to the IRS in the subsequent tax year that this person failed to report the income on his tax return. He may be able to run from you, but it would be tough for him to run from the IRS. Best case, maybe he goes to jail, worst case, he has to pay the IRS taxes on that forgiven debt. I don't know whether it would actually work out this way, but it is food for thought.


Are you in the US? I didn't think you could put someone in jail for owing you money. Garnish their wages, maybe, but prison?


Nah, Nah. BS
It's worth $3k to get somebody in jail for being a deadbeat. If you can guarantee he gets jailtime.

j5 j5

@raijen: The would be in jail for contempt of court (there is a court judgement against the person). Still, unless you can show that the person has the funds, but just isn't paying, courts are generally not going to put somebody in jail because they owe money.


@purplefeather After reading your question again, I realize that I did not answer it. I apologize for responding w/my own opinion on what I think you should do about your situation.

I have never had a skip trace done, nor can I recommend a service.


Just throwing this out there.

If you think he has the money it would be easy to get the information you need once you've skip traced him. Skip tracing him means nothing unless you have some more important his bank account number.

That would be very easy to hire on someone who might be able to send him a letter saying he's won some sort of local contest or is owed some sort of refund. Issue a check, or print out your own, corporate looking logo with corporate looking letter. Make sure it's for an amount he won't forget to cash like $50 or more. Once that check clears when you (or your phantom company) gets the check back you should have his banking information on both the front and back. If he goes to a check cashing place then you know he's got no money. It'll be a lot cheaper than paying someone to try and track down his checking account information.

Better still I suggest simply finding out where he works once you'd traced him & garnishing his wages.


@gmwhit and @wilfbrim: In my experience you both are correct...a judgment is just a piece of paper and nothing more. As for the OP, I've never used a service like that but probably wouldn't unless I knew that it would get me a repayment.


I checked and I can indeed have him arrested (it's child support). Plus he'd be held in Georgia and transported to Mississippi for the contempt charges. That alone might be worth the money spent on legal fees. I am an evil and vindictive woman if you cross me.


@purplefeather: Oh! Had NO idea it was child support. Go after that deadbeat loser! Whatever it takes. I do not think you are an evil, vindictive person - this is money rightfully owed to you & your child(ren). Apologies again for my earlier answer.


@gmwhit: No offense was taken. I know I was being a bit vague, but I was in a hurry.

I guess I can just let the attorney do the skip trace, but I was almost hoping that I could get his contact info and just threaten him with another lawsuit so that he'd straighten up. After some thought, I don't think that'd be a good idea. If he had any intention of paying, he would have done it by now.


@purplefeather: Am assuming you are in Mississippi because of your previous response. Have you checked into Child support advocacy there? Most states have these agencies now.

Forgive me again for suggesting something you may already have checked into. As you can guess - spineless fathers (& mothers) who do not support their children are repulsive to me. There is NO excuse for not caring for your children. If you choose not to be an active participant in their lives, the very least you can do is pay child support. /rant


I have heard of very good results with the help of this group:


For Child Support, what you need is a wage garnishment. With his SSN, you ought to be able to track down his employer information, eventually. Get a court order for the garnishment, and you'll be all set... until he changes jobs, at least.


@purplefeather: I definitely don't think it's vindictive to go after child support. I have a friend that works for child support enforcement here in Florida, and they do a lot to go after these men/women, garnish wages and tax returns, etc. Even after the child is 18, they continue to collect until all of the funds are paid. You've probably already checked with them, but just in case, it looks like Mississippi has something similar:

Oops, see someone already posted that link, should read better! I wish you the best of luck!


@purplefeather: Send me a PM. I know I'm not supposed to, but since it's child support, I'll be happy to use my resources to find out what I can about him. If there is one thing I hate in this world, it's people that shirk responsibilities where children are concerned.

You can also email me at my username if you'd rather do that.