Debtor Search – Debtor Identification
What to do if your debtor has disappeared?
Persistent and pressureful!
For claim amounts from EUR / CHF 50’000.–
success rate 23 *
Have you also made such an experience?
Your debtor has “disappeared” – what to do?
A debtor should pay you back a loan or settle a bill. When no payment is received, you call him on the known mobile number – “No connection on this number”. So, you write an e-mail; there is never a reply. What remains is a registered letter by post. After some time, it comes back with the label “Not available at this address” or similar.
Going into hiding from creditors in this sense is a popular method. Such debtors hope that the creditors will let themselves “shake off” in this way. Often enough, they succeed. But to go underground professionally and burn all bridges requires a lot of effort and is hardly ever possible. In fact, the people concerned still need an address, a telephone number, bank details, etc. For example, they need proof of residence for a bank account. They usually continue to pursue a job or a business. Thus, there is an employer or a company with an entry in the commercial register. They still have family or friends with whom they are in contact. And nowadays, very importantly, they usually leave tracks on the internet.
Debtor Search / Debtor Identification
Thus, it is clear: there will still be connections to the old data known. This is where private detectives / private investigators come into place. This is also where we get active because debt collection in such cases always means first meeting the debtor in person or being able to contact him.
Starting points for debtor identification are:
- Address determination based on the previous address. The enquiry at the registration office sometimes results in a departure address. Of course, it is easy to give a wrong address or no address at all.
- On-site inspection: We experienced it many times that in fact there were hints, e.g., the friendly elderly neighbour who likes to tell us that Mr. XY moved away to his daughter in Austria two months ago. Of course, he may have mislaid her.
- Fake enquiries: Sometimes there are addresses of relatives, friends, or business partners of the debtor. You can ask them directly. But they may have been “prepared” by the debtor with a false trail or instruction. So, we build up a fake identity, sometimes with the cooperation of real existing companies. For example, we tell the recipient that the target person still has a credit balance with “our company” which we would like to refund, but that a letter to his previous address has been returned. Sometimes we receive information directly or the debtor is tempted to reply.
- If we have a local clue, e.g., a workplace, we find the private residence via a follow-up observation. Of course, in such a case, we could also contact the debtor directly on the spot. But if we want to serve or enforce him, we need the residential address. We have an ongoing case where we still do not know the private address. The debtor, however, is now regularly forwarding money to us because of our appearances at his employer’s place of business. That’s good too, because in the end we just want money.
- Technical monitoring: If there is a clue, technical monitoring options often help, which we will not go into in detail here.
- Database and internet searches: There are databases that collect information about people also from sources that the debtors are not aware of and do not know. Internet orders, for example, often lead to a return of the delivery address, which we find out via these databases and can check on the spot.
- Instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, we can also run a magnet over the haystack. Specifically: we publish a search query on the Internet, e.g., on our site schuldner-finden.com . Very often this yields informant reports on the whereabouts and other useful information about the debtor.
This is a first selection of possibilities for finding debtors. Finding debtors is always a creative task. It often requires great persistence. In cases where we are stuck, we start a second search round after a “grace period”. For example, we recently found a debtor who, according to informants, was supposed to be in prison in Serbia. A year later, during a periodic check that we routinely carry out in such cases, he was found. We found out his new place of registration in Switzerland.
This way, we almost always find debtors and other targets. Since 2014 there are only less than 5 cases in which we have not been successful.
How do you find your debtor?
There are a few things you can do yourself when searching for debtors if you look in the list above. However, it quickly becomes time-consuming for private people, and they reach the limits of their know-how. Private detectives are good and specialised addresses. The disadvantage: a detective agency does not necessarily carry out the subsequent debt collection.
As mentioned, debtor investigation is often part of our work. You can also give us an investigation mandate first and upgrade it to a debt collection mandate after success. Please get in touch with us.
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Hire us now to find your debtor. We will take care of your request!