Frequently Asked Questions

  What does an independent courthouse researcher do?

Marketing companies nationwide are eagerly looking for data collected from mortgage documents. These documents are filed after a home is purchased or an equity line of credit is obtained. The documents are public records, and available to collect in the courthouses free of charge.

  What if I don’t have any experience as an independent courthouse researcher?

That's ok, no experience necessary. We will train you to become an independent courthouse researcher.

  As an Independent Contractor does this mean I am self-employed?

Yes. You are self-employed. You will be responsible for filing and paying all income taxes and social security taxes due. You will be responsible for all liabilities as it applies to data collection, you will also be responsible for all of you own expenses. You should seek the advice of a qualified tax specialist or accountant and possibly an attorney.

  Is this a full or part-time commitment?
Man working

Whether this will be a full or part-time commitment will depend on four factors:

  1. The size of the territory you agree to cover.
  2. The quantity of records available in each county.
  3. The amount of time you choose to invest.
  4. The needs and requirements of our clients.
  Will I need to pay any start up fees?

No, you will not have to provide any up front fees.

  Can I really set my own hours?

Yes. You still have deadlines that you need to meet, but being a courthouse researcher gives you the flexibility to collect the courthouse records anytime during courthouse hours (usually 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM). The frequency that you need to visit the courthouse and submit the records you collected to us depends on which counties you agree to collect.

  What if I want a friend to help?

Good! We often have teams of researchers who collect data together.

  Will I need to physically go to the courthouse?

Yes. The frequency that you need to visit the courthouse and submit the records you collect to us depends on which counties you agree to collect.

  What type of records will I be collecting from the courthouse?

You will be collecting mortgage documents and possibly marriage documents as well. Depending on your county, the mortage documents will be called Deed of Trust, Trustee, Warranty Deed and Mortgage. The marriage documents you will be collecting are marriage licenses.

  Are the records I collect public records?

Yes, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ensures that all records that you will be collecting from the Courthouse are public records.

  How many records will I be collecting at the courthouse?

The number of records you will be collecting per visit to the courthouse depends on which counties you agree to collect.

  What is the purpose and use of the information being collected?

The information collected by the researcher is used for direct mail marketing.

  How will I be paid?

We will pay you by direct deposit. You will be paid per accurate record collected.

  What is an accurate record?

An accurate record is a record that is collected that meets all of our criteria. Once you are accepted as a researcher, we will let you know what our criteria is.

  Will I get a W2 at the end of the year?

No. Assuming you make over $600.00, counting all data payments made to you during the current tax year, you will receive a 1099 form that is filed with the federal government. Unlike an employer who deducts taxes from a paycheck, as an independent contractor you are solely responsible for reporting and submitting payment of any and all taxes due, such as federal and state income tax, social security and Medicare etc.

  How will I be trained?

Training will be provided to you via the web.

  Who owns the information once it has been collected

At the time of collection the information becomes the contracting company’s Confidential Intellectual Property. The unauthorized duplication and distribution of any collected information is prohibited.

  Are there other ways of making money?

Yes. This will be discussed after you become proficient and have been collecting records for several months.

  Will I need any special tools or equipment?

A laptop or home computer is the most useful tool for a courthouse researcher. You should also have a reliable method of transportation to get you to and from your assignment.

  What if I want or need to take time off?

Great! You are in control of your time. However you will need to manage your time & territory so that you do not miss any visitation frequencies or deadlines that apply to the territory you agree to cover.

  What are the most common mistakes researchers make?

The most frequent mistake is duplicating your work. Simply keeping track of where you start and stop can eliminate a potential error. Other common errors are simple miskeyed addresses, transposed numbers, or incomplete information.

  What is a "visitation schedule"?

The suggested visitation schedule is based on a county’s population and amount of data to be collected. Larger counties may need to be visited as often as every day. However, a smaller population county may only need to be collected twice per year. Prior to accepting a territory assignment, the suggested visitation schedule will be agreed upon between you and the company.

  What happens if I miss a deadline or visitation?

As in every relationship, communication is key. Communication with the company prior to the deadline will be crucial to retaining your assignment.

apply         successes