We Know Who THEY Are

Am I the only one that does not have an "A" button on my computer? I have looked on the keyboard, monitor and hard drive I can not find that darn thing anywhere. Nobody will tell me where it is.

You know the one I am talking about, right? No, not the one between the Caps Lock and "S" key.

Let me explain. You can go up to some people and tell them that you are a skip tracer. If you are like me you then have to explain exactly what that means. You tell them that you use the telephone and computer to locate people that owe money. The usual response I get at this point is, "yeah, you can get on the Internet and hit "A" button and- poof! - you can find anybody." Sound familiar?

Is it really that easy? If so, I have been doing it the hard way for years. Or, is it just some people think they know how to do our job better than we do? I like to refer to this group of people as "they".

I think that there are a few things that "they" do not understand. "They" don't realize that we have only 4 tools- the telephone, the computer, our minds and each other. We then take these tools and use them in various combinations much like a surgeon to dissect mountains of information until we find our debtor.

"They" don't understand the multitude of laws such as the FDCPA, FCRA, GLB and others that guide our searches because of the fear of what we could do with this gained knowledge.

"They" do not understand that we can take social security number and just by looking at it we can determine that any SSN that begins with 000 or ends with 0000 is not real, or that the first three numbers indicate the state that it was issued in. We also know that previous to 1972 SSN's were issued when the individual got their first job, after 1972 the SSN was issued at birth. Should we tell them that until recently SSN's were issued in numeric sequence starting in the New England states then going down the east coast, then the mid west and finally the west coast. Only now additional numbers are being added to the list.

We also know that if the debtor has hunting or fishing license that document is a public record. We can obtain address and phone information from it. And when it comes to public records there is a ton of information that we can obtain. These include, UCC, if the debtor has a Lien, or if the debtor is a Notary, or if the debtor is deceased or if the debtor has been sued, divorced or won a judgment.

"They" do not understand that if we have a debtors name that we can go to www.bop.gov and determine if that debtor is or was in a federal prison. Should we tell them that if we have a possible name, address or telephone number that we can go to www.argali.com or www.pretrieve.com and find all kinds of useful information? "They" didn't know that with just a possible address we can go to www.netronline.com and find out who owns that property such as the debtor or their landlord.

Do "they" know that if we go to the Secretary of State Page for any state we can determine who owns a corporation, who the officers are and possible even see documents filed by the corporation. I am sure that "they" are unaware of the fact that we can go to www.vinelink.com or www.publicrecords.com and find almost every public record available about the debtor so that we can lead our investigation in various directions.

There are so many more things that we do that "they" do not understand. But, let them think what "they" want. We know the truth. We know our benefit to the overall corporate process. We know that if we were not able to do our jobs that prices would have to go up due to the loss for the inability to collect from those you can't find.

It is time that we bring our resources, experience and skills together creating a place to exchange techniques and updates so that WE can control the future of our industry.

It is time that "they" know just how valuable we are. "We" are interested in your thoughts.

As always, happy hunting.

Ron Cooper
PO Box 30485
Greenville, NC 27833

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