Skip tracing is a time-tested, reliable method of tracking down hard-to-find individuals for various reasons. Today’s professional use ranges from debt collection to bail bonds, real estate investment, and marketing. You can use the information gleaned to make contact in various ways.
- Phone or SMS outreach for most kinds of debt collection
- Email or landline phones for non-marketing contact
- Direct mail or landline phones for bulk marketing outreach
- SMS and email for opt-in marketing campaigns
Before you get started, you must understand how the laws in New York affect the skip tracing industry.
Is Skip Tracing Legal in New York?
Skip tracing that uses publicly accessible records and respects the state’s many laws around privacy and consumer protection is legal. However, New York is a state with robust laws in those two categories. That means you must use high-quality skip tracing resources that take full advantage of public records without crossing the boundaries outlined in the state’s laws.
Skip tracing that uses private information or involves trespassing physically on private property is illegal in the state. Still, there is no law against using publicly available records to find someone’s contact information. That being said, there are laws around telemarketing and online communication that may impact specific uses of those public records.
New York Skip Tracing Laws
New York State has many privacy protection and fair debt collection laws that impact skip tracing for some industries. Suppose you comply with acceptable debt collection practices, consumer protection regulations, and state-level privacy laws. In that case, the remaining requirement is that skip tracing be performed by a licensed professional. That means a lawyer or private investigator with a valid license within the state.
Some of the protections for consumers and borrowers in New York are very specific to certain tracing activities. That means someone building real estate leads may not face the same legal hurdles businesses face in debt collection, for example. Make sure you understand telecommunications statutes at the state and federal levels and how they impact your business specifically before you plan an outreach campaign.
Pros And Cons of Skip Tracing
As with any research tool, there are upsides and downsides to skip tracing. Some disadvantages can be mitigated with the right choice for tracing services, but others are built into the process.
- Potential legal exposure if privacy or consumer protection laws are breached during skip-tracing activity
- Contacting someone found through a trace directly risks a very cold reception and may not work for certain kinds of sales and marketing
- Performing your own traces can be very labor-intensive and sometimes very costly
Hiring a private investigator eliminates the labor costs to you, but investigators bill by the hour, so hiring one for a simple trace might not be a good idea unless you have additional follow-up work for the investigator. Skip tracing services like BatchSkipTracing provide results compiled from public records for a small per-result fee, allowing you to get the contact information you need quickly without adding much to your overhead.
Skip tracing in New York requires you to understand the ways the state’s laws limit the use of personal information for commercial activity. The best way for the average business to steer around them is to hire professionals instead of tracing independently. When all you need is the contact information for outreach, a bulk skip tracing service like Batch Skip Tracing provides you with fast results at a low cost, making it an easy to use and accessible resource for any industry.