Locating debtors can be tricky, though the Internet and private database aggregation systems now make it harder for someone to hide. Use multiple sources, both online and offline, to improve your chances of finding a debtor.
Review Your Records
Business or personal records often contain clues that can help you find a debtor. Review debtor paperwork and correspondence: Forms, applications, contracts, and emails often include a lot of information, including home addresses, contact information for references or next-of-kin, and the name of the debtor's employer. Even if some of the information isn't current, you can use it during your search to verify that you are researching the correct person's records.
Contact Employers and Associates
Follow up on the information by calling the employer or personal contacts and asking if they can tell you where the debtor is. If they can't, ask if they can pass on a message for you. Pay close attention to what the employer, relative or associate says, as they may provide additional information about the debtor. For example, the contact may use the debtor's nickname during the conversation, which can be useful when trying to locate someone's social media accounts.
Search Social Media
Social media account profiles often contain a lot of information about debtors, including where they live, work, and go to school. Profiles often include photographs: If you know what the debtor looks like, looking at photos will make it easier for you to identify her if she has a common name.
According to Nolo, some state driver's license bureaus provide information on driver's license and state ID holders to creditors and collection agencies. If the debtor is registered to vote, you may be able to obtain his information from county voter registration records. If the debtor owns real estate, a county recorder's office may have an address for him.
Use Online Databases
If you don't want to comb through multiple sets of government records or credit bureau reports, you can try fee-based online search databases. These databases contain data from multiple sources, making it easier for you to locate your debtor.
Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.