If you consider skip tracing as an option to help your business, you need to know about the specific rules for it in your state and every other state where you do business. Most of the time, purchasing a trace is perfectly legal as long as you go through a licensed professional. There are also restrictions on how data can be used that you may need to consider, especially if you are seeking information for marketing purposes. Like debt collection or an attempt to make a property purchase offer, other reasons for skip tracing are generally acceptable in Texas.
Is Skip Tracing Legal in Texas?
It’s not unheard of for it to be legal to purchase something but illegal to provide those services just because of a loophole in the law. This is not the case with skip tracing. Texas allows it to be done, provided by a licensed professional. In other words, you do not need a license to buy results to do the actual tracing.
Texas Skip Tracing Laws
Texas considers skip tracing a form of private investigation, making it fall under those licensure requirements. That means you must abide by the state’s laws restricting what investigators can do once you have the license. You need to meet one of the state’s licensing requirements for education and experience to get one.
- Three years of consecutive experience working for a licensed private investigator
- An associate’s degree in criminal justice or a closely related field as well as one year of qualifying experience working for a licensed investigator
- Completion of an accredited credentialing program built specifically to meet the educational needs of the profession, which have their requirements about classroom contact time and experiential learning
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a qualifying related field
- Any bachelor’s degree, along with six months of related field experience
An excellent example of someone who fits that last qualifying requirement would be, for example, a police officer with a degree who leaves the profession to become an investigator.
Pros and Cons of Skip Tracing
There are pros and cons to using this tool. Skip tracing results depend highly on the quality of the professionals performing the task. That’s one of the things private investigators build reputations on. Similarly, services that automate results from a database of national or statewide skip tracing information are widely different in the quality of the contact leads. On a good day, skip tracing results deliver all these things in minutes:
- Contact information from white and yellow page records
- Addresses of properties owned by the subject, as well as any liens against them
- Social media accounts and publicly available email information
- Any publicly available employment information
- Criminal and civil court records, arrest records, and other justice system records as available
This information can be a lot to wade through. That’s the biggest drawback to skip tracing when it is done correctly. You get so much information that it can take some time to master the art of figuring out what you need to pay attention to.
If you are still trying to figure out whether a skip tracing service like Batch Skip Tracing is right for you and your business, consider these points:
- You can get results on a pay as you go plan where you only pay for the results you pull
- Searches and skip trace reports take just a few minutes to complete
- You can get trace information any time of day, any day you need it
- If the trace quality is based on the quality of the information your service accesses, all you need to do is subscribe to the one with the best data
It should be pretty easy to tell by now that you should give it a try if you’re on the fence. With pay as you go results, what have you got to lose?