Finding people who are not too keen on being found is referred to as 'skip tracing'. This can be a necessary part of life for collections agents, judgment collectors, businesses owed funds from work or services they've provided, and bail bondsmen. But what resources will be the best for the time spent?
First, start with the obvious. Websites like White Pages, Addresses or Anywho will give you an address and sometimes a phone number, though they aren't always the most accurate. Still it's worth sending a letter or a phone call. Make sure you send the letter certified, though, that way they can't deny it later when you go to court.
Some might still update their location or information on social media. If you use websites such as Zabasearch, you can look up addresses and phone number information, as well as any social networking profiles. Use these to look at their location, or their pictures for anything that might give away a location like a street sign. You can also see their friends list, which could include family. This way you can get their information and call them, letting them know that you are attempting to someone they know.
Are they registered to vote? Many state websites have a "Are you registered to vote" site where you type in your name and birth date (information you should already have if you've had legitimate business dealings with this person), and it will tell you if you are or are not registered. If you are registered, it will come back with the county that they are registered to vote in. Remember, that most of the time, if you sign up for government run programs or anything like that, they require that you register to vote as well. Call the county voters registration clerk and tell them that you need to verify the address.
Sometimes the post office will give you updated information if you send them a written request on letter head, detailing the reason that you are requesting the information. Privacy laws generally do not apply if you've had legitimate business dealings or are engaged in legal process.
If you have a driver's license number, you can pay a fee and have them send you a record on them, which should include any changes of address they might have had. It needs to be on letter head, with the reason you qualify to get the information.
Experian has a tool called Collections Triggers, which you have to pay a certain amount per trigger, or a monthly fee if you don't meet the minimum amount of triggers. You send them the information you have: name, address or social media. If the person you're searching for applies for a job, a loan, a credit card, an apartment or anything that can leave a trail, the information will be sent to you.
This is only to be used for legitimate purposes. It is all public record information, and even Collections Triggers is pretty cheap. It doesn't cost more than $30.00 a month, but you can call to make sure. If you run your own collections business, are a bounty hunter or a judgment recovery business, the cost of these tools can be reimbursed by your clients.
Get a P.O. Box of your own. The last thing you want is people you are collecting money from to know your home address.