Become A Resident Pest - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by Tim on May 26, 1999 at 08:14:15:

Computers?!?!? We have computers in the small town of Cleveland, OH (hear my sarcasm) but most of them are those old IBM’s with glowing green screens. They are apparently hooked up to some outdated (pre- AS400) mainframe that is absolutely frustrating to try and figure out, and I consider myself fairly computer literate.

Luckily, the courthouse is close to where I work, so I spend a lot of lunches down there. I am getting to be known as a pest as well, but I am getting a thicker skin as I go on.


Become A Resident Pest - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on May 25, 1999 at 17:13:56:

I got the highest compliment today from one of our town clerks who called me, " the resident pest". Now that’s actually a compliment.

It’s only myself that relentlessly goes to the city and town clerks offices. Pouring over everything from transfers to know market value, to checking out the liens so that I may buy some for pennies on the dollar, to finding out who is holding mortgages for whom so that I may buy some of these at discounts.

I also do the same pest thing at my county court house on foreclosures. The woman there told me other than lawyers filling these suits , I’m the only guy that checks out this information.

So I say to you. Become a local resident pest. It could put money and or equity in your pocket.

Pestilence - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on May 25, 1999 at 17:46:00:

The Recorder’s Office has given me some very strange and somewhat perturbed looks as I have hauled as many as a dozen people in to check titles during one of my 5 day trainings. One title company employee asked one of my assistants what he did there every day. He said his boss bought mortgages and the reply was “oh! you’re one of those people. You steal mortgages from little old ladies”. Whenever I saw Chris after that he would jokingly say “Slither, slither, slither”.

I think one of the most important tools an investor can have can be his knowledge of how to use the Recorder’s office (or a title company).

It helps because I know the full story on a property. I know if there are going to be problems getting insurance or if there are shenanigans going on. It helps a great deal in loss prevention - both in money and time. At the moment, I’m hard pressed to think of any scam I’ve seen in the mortgage business that couldn’t have been prevented by some due-diligence in checking the title.

Once I have a deal (real estate or paper) firmed up with an option, the Recorder’s Office is the next step. I can spot and begin solving problems immediately and have salvaged numerous deals and avoided those that would be a waste of time, money and energy.

It’s a valuable tool in many ways.

Philadelphia - Posted by MS

Posted by MS on May 25, 1999 at 18:45:37:

Here in Philadelphia City Hall operates diffrent. I have been trying to bypass the Recorder’s Office Clerk to look for my own information, and it has been impossible. I have to actually give them one request for information per day. The sign on the door use to read “Three search per day” now it reads “One Search per day”. How can I access deeds, mortgages, etc? I see alot of non-employee personnel going up and down to the basement with micro-film in their hands, I don’t even have the chance to say “Sir, excuse me,
could I ask you a question”. Do you have any advice for me?

How I did it in my area - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on May 25, 1999 at 18:56:34:

Our Recorders used to be about the same way. They’ve eased up a little now, but I got tired of having them get me information.

I noticed another room one day where people that weren’t employees were just walking in and out. At that time, they weren’t on computer. They were walking right into the vault area where records were kept.

I found out the area was for title companies. I started using it and then started sending an employee to use it. One day the man in charge of the Recorder’s office cornered him and asked to talk to him. He thought he was “busted”. All they wanted to know was who was coming and going in the vault area. We never had a problem after that. In my area now almost everything is on computer terminals that are available to the public.

Others have gotten the information they need through the information at the title companies. Years ago, they used to pay to have copies of all of the microfiche in what they called their “title plant” (usually in the basement of the title company). Now most have the information on computer and CDRoms. In some areas the CDRoms or even a direct computer connnection is available, but usually costly. You might want to go to your local REI club and see if others have access or want to joint venture with you.

I’m not sure how the system works in Philadelphia. I’m sure someone here knows.