A Complete Guide to Debtor Tracing in the UK

63% of the adult population in the UK entered 2020 with personal debt. You’ve been owed money for months, and you’re finally at the end of your rope. The debtor has become untraceable, and you don’t know what to do.

Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. This complete guide to debtor tracing in the UK will teach you everything you need to know about finding your debtor and getting the money you’re owed.

You’ll learn about the different methods of debtor tracing, how to use them, and when to use them. You’ll also find out what information you need to get started.

So if you’re ready to get started, keep reading. This guide will help you get the money you’re owed in no time.

What is Debtor Tracing?

Debtor tracing is locating an individual or business that owes money to another party. This can be done through various means, including online search engines, public records databases, and tracing agencies. Once the debtor has been located, the creditor can then take steps to collect the debt.

Debtor tracing can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but it is often necessary to collect a debt.

There are several resources available to creditors who need to locate a debtor, and it is essential to choose the right one for the particular situation.

a worried debtor

Why do you Need Debtor Tracing?

There are a number of reasons why a creditor may need to locate a debtor, such as if the debtor has failed to make payments on a debt, the debtor has moved and the creditor has been unable to locate them, or the debtor is deceased, and the creditor is attempting to locate their next of kin. The debtor may also be trying to avoid collection attempts by the creditor.

Debtor tracing is an important tool for businesses when chasing up unpaid invoices and outstanding debt. The most common method is to use a credit reference agency to provide you with a list of potential addresses and contact numbers for the debtor. Other methods include searching the Land Registry, using online directories, and contacting the debtor’s friends and family.

Additional ways include:

  • Public records
  • Internet searches
  • Private investigators 

Businesses should consider all of these options when trying to locate a debtor.

While debtor tracing can be a helpful tool, businesses should remember that it can be expensive and time-consuming. They should only use it as a last resort when other methods have failed, such as sending letters and making phone calls.

What Information do you Need to Provide to Trace a Debtor?

There are a few key pieces of information you will need to trace a debtor. This includes their full name, last known address, date of birth, contact details, and any other aliases they may be known by. If you have any information on their current circumstances, such as employment, this can also be helpful. The more information you have, the easier it will be to find someone.

Once you have a current or last known address for the debtor, you can start to take action to start recovering debts. This may involve sending them a letter of demand, issuing a court claim or using bailiffs to seize their assets.

How Does the Tracing Process Work?

Once you’ve decided to employ a professional debt collector, they will work to locate your debtor using a variety of tools and resources. This is known as debtor tracing.

Most debt collectors in the UK will use the following three methods to trace a debtor:

  • Electoral Roll Search
  • Credit Reference Agency Search
  • Land Registry Search
  • Consented data

1. Electoral Roll Search

An electoral roll search is a powerful tool for tracing debtors in the UK. By searching the electoral roll, you can obtain current and previous addresses for an individual and other vital information such as date of birth and occupation.

This information can be used to locate debtors who have moved or retired and verify an individual’s identity before taking legal action. Electoral roll searches are an essential part of any debtor tracing strategy and can be conducted online or through a professional tracing agent.

2. Credit Reference Agency Search

A Credit Reference Agency Search is a process used by businesses to check the creditworthiness of their customers. This is usually done by companies who lend money or provide services on credit.

The search helps the business to assess the risks involved in lending money or providing services to the customer. The investigation also allows the company to set the terms and conditions of the credit agreement.

3. Land Registry Search

Debtors who do not reside at their given address can be challenging to locate, and as a result, tracing them can be time-consuming and costly. One method used to trace debtors in the UK is to conduct a Land Registry search.

This will identify any properties that the debtor owns and provide the name and contact details of the registered owner. The Land Registry search will also identify the landlord if the debtor is renting. This information can be used to contact the debtor and request payment.

a person searching the land registry

Private investigators may also be employed to track down debtors who have disappeared and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Once the debtor has been located, the debt collector will contact them to discuss the outstanding debt and try to come to a payment arrangement. If the debtor is unwilling or unable to pay, the debt collector will take further action to recoup the debt.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Professional Debt Tracing Service? 

There are a number of benefits of using a professional debt tracing service. Some of the benefits of using a professional debt tracing service include:

Access to a Large Database of Debtors

There are a number of professional debt tracing service companies in the United Kingdom that have access to extensive databases of consumer information. These companies can provide businesses with the facilities and tools necessary to locate and trace debtors who have absconded or disappeared.

Debtor tracing can be a valuable tool for businesses struggling to recover money that is owed to them. It can also locate individuals who have skipped bail or are wanted by the police.

There are several ways these companies can access debtor information, including through the use of Experian and Equifax data. This information can help businesses track down debtors who have moved addresses or changed their names.

It is important to remember that it is illegal to use these services to harass or stalk individuals. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can investigate companies suspected of misuse of personal data.

The Ability to Track Down Debtors Who Have Moved

In the UK, there are a number of ways to trace debtors who have moved. As mentioned above, the most common way is to use the Electoral Register. This is a public record of everyone registered to vote in the UK. By searching the Register, you can find out the debtor’s last known address.

Another way to trace a debtor is to use a credit reference agency. These agencies keep records of everyone’s financial history, including their current and previous addresses. By searching the agency’s database, you can often find the debtor’s new address.

Finally, you can also try to find the debtor through social media. Many people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, even if they have moved. By searching for the debtor on social media sites, you may be able to find their new address.

feet walking down the stairs

Experienced and Efficient

Tracers can be an incredibly useful tool for tracing debtors, as they can provide you with a wealth of information that would otherwise be inaccessible. However, it is important to remember that Tracers are a resource that should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.

When it comes to tracing debtors, experienced and efficient tracers will always be your best bet. They will know how to use the resources at their disposal to get the information you need without wasting your time or money.


There are many reasons why using a professional debt tracing service is cost-effective. The main reason is that they have the experience and expertise to locate debtors quickly and efficiently. They also have access to databases and resources that you may not have access to. This can save you time and money in the long run.

Understanding of Laws

Debt tracing agents with an understanding of the laws surrounding debt in the UK can provide a valuable service to individuals and businesses alike. Understanding the legal process and the various methods available for tracing debtors can help locate individuals who have absconded or are hiding from their creditors.

This can be a time-consuming and challenging process, but with the help of a debt tracing agent, it can be made much simpler and more efficient. In many cases, these agents will also be able to provide advice on the best course of action to take to recover the debt owed.

If you are owed money by someone, hiring a professional debt tracing service is an excellent option to recover the money owed to you.

What Are the Risks Associated with Debtor Tracing?

In the UK, you need to be aware of several risks associated with debtor tracing before embarking on this process. These include:

  1. The debtor may have moved address, and you will not be able to locate them.
  2. The debtor may have changed their name, and you will not be able to find them.
  3. The debtor may be located in another country, and it may be difficult to enforce any judgment you obtain.
  4. The debtor may be declared bankrupt, and you will not be able to collect any debt from them.
  5. The tracing process may be expensive, and you may not be able to recover all of your costs.

If you are thinking of tracing a debtor, you need to weigh up the risks against the potential benefits of successful tracing. You should also seek professional advice to ensure that you are undertaking the tracing process most effectively and efficiently.

paperwork underfoot

The Importance of Using a Reputable Debtor Tracing Service

When it comes to debtor tracing, using a reputable service is essential. This is because debtor tracing can be a complex and sensitive process, and you need to be sure that the company you use is experienced and reputable.

There are a number of debtor tracing services available in the UK, so it is important to do your research before choosing one. It would be best to look for a company with a good reputation and experience in the tracing process.

You can read online reviews or ask for recommendations from friends or businesses who have used their services before. It’s also important to make sure they are experienced in tracing debtors in the UK. Ask them about their success rates and their methods to trace people. Once you have found a reputable company, you can then start to negotiate a price and time frame for them to carry out the work.

Once you have found a reputable debtor tracing service, they will be able to help you locate the whereabouts of your debtor and collect the outstanding debt. This can be a stressful and challenging process, so it is vital to have someone on your side who can help you through it. 

How Much Does It Cost to Trace a Debtor?

No two cases of debtor tracing are alike, so it isn’t easy to put an accurate price on the service. Most companies that offer debtor tracing in the UK charge between £50 and £100 + VAT for their services. This price will usually include a standard report that details the current whereabouts of the debtor and any available contact details.

Some companies also offer an ‘extended report’ for an additional fee, including information on the debtor’s financial history and any previous attempts made to trace them.

Are You Ready to Get Your Money Back? 

If a debtor owes you money in the UK, it is important to know your rights and how to go about tracing them. Time is of the essence for debt collection, so don’t delay – start tracing your debtor today. Contact us today so we can help you recover your debts. 

contact us today
Comments are closed.