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    Collections | 2 min read

    Dude, Where's My Car?

    First things, first. We've all forgotten at some point in our lives where we've parked the car. As we get older, it doesn't get any easier, unfortunately. Unlike those 'dude, where's my car' moments, your borrowers may purposefully not want to be found as they skip out on their loan by missing payments.

    Financial institutions who attempt to find borrowers during the collection process often find they can only get so far when trying to locate the collateral. Turning to outside sources to help locate the person and/or the collateral allows your institution's staff to focus on other collection and insurance tracking efforts. Skip tracing services are used to help protect your auto loan portfolio.

    The Skip Trace Process

    Through a four-step process, skip tracing agents handle it all from start to finish.

    Step 1

    Once an account is deemed delinquent and your institution categorizes the borrower as not locatable, the skip account would be handed over to our agents for assignment.

    Step 2

    This is where the fun really begins for our agents. We start the investigation process to gather as much information as possible. Using a variety of software and technology, paired with good ole' fashion detective work, our team begins to essentially build a case for where your collateral could potentially be located. We use vehicle identification number search tools, we search repair shops to see if the vehicle has had recent repair or maintenance work completed.

    The team uses public utilities to find alternative addresses and additional names and contact info to track down. Using search tools, we search title records to see if the collateral has changed hands and the borrower neglected to notify your institution.

    With the help of technology, we use license plate recognition software to see if any cameras were able to spot the vehicle within the last known area or other regions as determined by the investigation.

    Step 3

    Once the preliminary investigation has taken place, our team begins the process of actually physically locating and repossessing the collateral. Each week, reports are provided to the financial institution with the status of the skip investigation.

    Step 4

    Once the vehicle is secured, the financial institution is notified of the recovery. The financial institution can arrange the transport of the vehicle themselves or allow us to make the necessary arrangements for them. If the collateral is not located after the initial 90 day investigation period, then your institution will be presented with options of closing the assignment or continuing it with SWBC.

    Outsourcing skip tracing service makes sense for many financial institutions because partnering with a firm that does this service full time can leverage a large network of service partners across the nation.

    Learn how SWBC's Asset Recovery services can play a role in your institution's risk management strategy.

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    Michael Dippo

    As Senior Vice President of Automotive Products, Michael works closely with our Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI) carriers to manage existing CPI programs and develop new coverages for our clients. He is responsible for underwriting, corrective action, skip tracing, and asset recovery as they pertain to our CPI and blanket VSI products.

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