Debtor Tracing Services | Trace Success Rate | About Us | FAQ | Contact Us

The Tracing UK office in Edinburgh

Debtor tracing agents in the UK

As a long established firm of legal service providers, our trace team deals with a high volume of trace enquiries for major clients and consistently achieves a high success rate in the field of residential address and employer tracing. We co-ordinate all tracing activities from our offices in central Edinburgh.

Debtor tracing service structure

Ecomomy service
Economy service employs online/electronic tracing methods. No Find – No Fee. Get a quote!

Standard and Premium services
Standard and Premium add the services of our UK agent network. No Find – No Fee. Get a quote!

Premium plus service
Premium plus includes a personal call to the subject’s address. Get a quote!

Residential address trace and employer trace

Please note that it is not possible for us to complete an employment trace without a correct and current residential address.

Economy Electronic residential address trace.
Turnaround: 7–10 days.
Trace price: dependent on volume.
Standard Where no immediate residential address linking information is available from online sources, we utilise our UK-wide agent network and other non-protected data sources.
Turnaround: 21 days.
Trace price: dependent on volume and complexity.
Premium Residential address trace and employment trace utilising our UK-wide agent network and other non-protected data sources.
Turnaround: 21–30 days.
Trace price: dependent on volume and complexity.
NO FIND – NO FEE, if completely unsuccessful. Should only one trace element be successful, the normal fee for the particular type of trace applies.
Premium plus Price on application; dependent on complexity of enquiry, traced location of subject and estimated units of time.
  • Residential address confirmed.
  • Employment status checked.
  • Heritable property title checked.
  • Electoral register information obtained.
  • Register of directors checked.
  • Credit check report prepared.
  • Personal call to subject’s address executed.
  • Pre-litigation report prepared.
Our Premium plus package is designed to provide a full insight into the viability of proceeding with legal action against a particular individual. We can tailor our enquiries to the level of your budget by providing the whole service or omitting individual elements, including only those of your choice. This will reduce the overall cost.

Trace and serve

Do you have legal documents to serve on subjects, but they have moved away leaving no forwarding address? We will be pleased to provide you with a trace and serve package, taking advantage of our position as Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers.

Trace reports

Our trace team provides detailed reporting of as much of the information obtained as possible, even in unsuccessful cases. Should we encounter difficulties during the course of a tracing action, we aim to notify the client without delay and to provide regular email updates.

You will find some examples below of our typical report styles. These examples are in Portable Document Format; to read them you will need a PDF viewer such as the free Adobe Reader. Each file is approximately 35KB in size.

We intend our reports to be relevant, precise and to the point. We can tailor reports to a style of your choosing if you prefer.

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Trace success rate

We are pleased to state that over the year 2019, our volume aggregate trace success rate was 86%, with most traces completed within 7–10 days. The precise breakdown is shown in the adjacent pie chart. We review and update these statistics annually.

Pie chart showing breakdown of trace success rate

58% of subjects Traced within 7–10 days.
26% of subjects Traced within 21–30 days.
2% of subjects Traced after re-check. *
14% of subjects Not traced.

* Re-checks are carried out if an address traced by us is found to be incorrect or recently out of date.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to collate accurate statistics for 2020 due to Covid-19 business interruption.

Success factors. Please note that overall trace success is strongly influenced by the nature and quality of information you supply to us about the subject, for example:

There is no need to supply a National Insurance number as we are legally prohibited from accessing related files that are protected under the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

Re-check policy. We make every effort to confirm that the subject still resides at a traced address, and we give a brief explanation for our findings. However, if the original traced address is found later to be incorrect, we attempt a second trace. If successful, we charge no further fee (if you have notified us within our 60 day guarantee period). If unsuccessful, we credit or refund the initial trace fee.

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About us

With so many United Kingdom service providers in the competitive field of debtor tracing, you might ask, “Why should we use you?”  The list is not exhaustive, but here are a few of our answers:

Company history. Based in Scotland, Tracing UK is a UK-wide tracing service provided by Thomas Hannah & Company, an established firm of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers.

Experience. We have over 35 years experience of providing a broad range of legal support services, including trace enquiries.

Inhibition on decree or judgment (charging order). As Officers of Court we are able to offer extended services in terms of establishing heritable title on a traced address, thereafter serving inhibition (charging order) on decree and lodging the certificate of service of inhibition at the Registers of Scotland for you if so required.

Citation & diligence. In the event that citation (process serving) or diligence (enforcement of judgment) requires to be executed on the back of our trace report, as Officers of Court we can proceed with the relevant action for you as part of a seamless, expeditious trace and serve package.

Tracing where other agents have been unsuccessful. We are regularly called upon as “second agents” where clients have previously been unsuccessful using initial agents with limited sources. We have gone on to achieve success with our wider network of non-protected data sources, available on a UK basis.

Cost. As tracing can on occasion prove to be an inexact science, we offer no guarantees of success. However, we do offer a “No Find – No Fee” service on simpler, less time consuming cases.

60 day guarantee. On all traced addresses provided.

Professional indemnity. As Officers of Court, we carry compulsory professional indemnity insurance.

Data protection. As Officers of Court, we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Registration number: Z5538304). All of our tracing activities are carried out in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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Frequently asked questions

Do you provide tracing services to every one who submits an enquiry?
No; generally we specialise in bulk instructions from solicitors and financial institutions and carry out trace enquiries in conjunction with legal proceedings. In the case of private individuals instructing traces it would be necessary for us to verify their credentials and confirm that they have lawful and moral reasons to instruct a trace enquiry that is compliant with data protection laws, before a decision can be made to accept the instruction.
Do you guarantee the stated turnaround times?
No, the turnaround times are not guaranteed but we always aim to finalise successful trace action within the stated time period. Should delay occur, we automatically update you with an interim report and advise on further estimated time for completion. In the event that the trace action is unlikely to be successful we would aim to advise you of this as soon as possible by an agreed cut-off point.
Do you deal with all trace enquiries “in house”?
All enquiries are dealt with by our own specially trained operatives, who utilise a variety of online databases plus agents in the field where the complexity of the enquiry necessitates direct call to the last known address or locality. Where necessary, we utilise our additional UK-wide agent network thereby enabling higher overall success rates due to greater variety of sources and expertise.
Do you trace missing persons or lost relatives?
No, but we recommend the following organisations: Missing People and the Salvation Army Family Tracing Service.
Do you trace beneficiaries?
We specialise mainly in locating absconding debtors or tenants due to the nature of our core business. However we will be pleased to advise on the potential success of attempting to trace a beneficiary depending on the history and information available.
Do you deal with trace enquiries on subjects outwith the United Kingdom?
No, we only conduct traces in the UK.
Do you provide private investigation services?
Not at this time, although we can recommend the following providers:
Private investigators in Scotland: Nor-West Caledonian Legal Agency

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Contact us to start a tracing action

To start a tracing action, or for further information and assistance, just call us or send an email. Please see our Terms and Conditions (PDF file, approx. 15KB in size).

Tracing UK
9 Mansfield Place

t: 0845 413 0610 *

f: 0131 557 4234

e: enquiries[at] (replace [at] with @)

* Calls will cost 3ppm plus your access charge.

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