O.K.....NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by ReggieSC

Posted by ReggieSC on June 24, 2001 at 02:10:36:

What does a skip tracer usually charge for thier services?

O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by ReggieSC

Posted by ReggieSC on June 22, 2001 at 14:28:57:

This is related to a question I posted earlier in the week. The question was about how to locate and
contact owners of vacant properties. Well I ran into 2 problems: 1. Two of the properties don’t have
fowarding addresses, but did list the owner’s name. 2. They(Tax Assesor’s Office) didn’t have
contact phone #'s for any of the owners. I can’t remember whether the clerk said they weren’t listed
or they didn’t give those out. Anyway my question is…how do I go about locating an owner w/no
fowarding address? Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me on this.

-ReggieSC

P.S. I just want to thank BeckyIL and Joel who responded to my earlier post, you both were very
helpful.

Re: O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on June 22, 2001 at 18:40:08:

Reggie,
This can be easy, or it can be hard.
This will only be hard if the owners of these homes have actually moved on to another state, changed there names, or stayed out of the public eye.
But, chances are that someone somewhere knows these people and can get you in touch with them.
Since you have only a name, and there previous address, start there.
Mail out letters to these people, mail it to the address you have for them, and include a request for "Forwarding address info."
The post office employees can tell you how to do this.
After this, try looking the name up in a nationally registered phone listing data base.
Try looking them up online, if you goto “The Ultimate White pages”, you may get what you need there.
And if the above things fail, check other places the person may be listed, or someone who knows them.
You may try to look in the phone book for others with the same last name, and call them.
When I did this as a P.I., I would simply call these people up and ask if they knew or were related to “John Doe”. If they said, “Yes”, then I would say, "Well, I am trying to get ahold of this person, they have some money coming, and I need to talk to them about this ASAP."
Some of the people I called would actually give out a phone number and/or address for the person I was seeking.
Others would simply take a message and have that person call me back.
Of course, I always told people, I am a buys person, so have “John Doe” call me at this pager/cell phone number.
This gave me privacy, and still got me in touch with this person.
Since you are just trying to buy there homes from them, you may take a different approach when calling. Something like, I just want to talk to John Doe about a home he possibly has an interest in.
Another good way to find these people is to talk to neighbors near the property you are looking at.
No one wants an old run down vacant home near theres, they cause problems for the area, and just don’t look nice.
So, most neighbors have been REALLY happy to give out info about the owners of these.
Especially AFTER I tell them that I am interested in possibly buying and cleaning up the home.
Many times when people live in a neighborhood for a decent length of time, they make friends there and do stay in touch. There may even be a neighbor who was asked to keep an eye on the home for the owner.

Another good place to look are in the court files for the county court house.
Many people have cases filed either about them, or against them, so you may find your seller in a file somewhere.
Speeding tickets are common for people, everyone will get at least ONE ticket in there life. And since a drivers license per state laws everywhere is to have the currrent address on it, this should be listed in the file as well.
In my county, I am able to simply walk up to one of the computer terminals at the courthouse which contains the court file data base and type in a name, and get results from that. This only brings up case numbers, but from there I can request to view these files and see if this is who I am looking for.

And, for one last idea, (I have more, but no time to type them in here, and these work the best.), would be to goto the city/village/town hall and ask if there is service at this home for utilities. (Water, electric, sewer, whatever?)
If there is, fill out a “Freedom of information request” and ask to see Who? is listed as the account holder and where the bills are sent.
In my somewhat small town, the employees at the Village hall will look this up for me right away without a written request.
Of course the box of donuts I brought them on my first visit there helped I’m sure.

Oh, I just though of another one. Ask the mail delivery person if they have been on the route that delivers to thise house for some time?
If they have, ask them about the people. Do they know at least what town they moved to?
Do they remember any other names that got mail at this house in recent years?
See, the forwarding mail request that postal customers fill out when they move does not last forever, or stay on file forever, so if your seller moved several years ago, the mail you send them may not get forwarded.
But the mailman might just remember.

Anyway, hope this helps a bit,
Jim IL

Re: O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on June 22, 2001 at 18:28:41:

Reggie,
If it’s worth it, hire a skip tracer. They can probably find the owners in 20 minutes. Hope that helps…

Re: O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by ReggieSC

Posted by ReggieSC on June 23, 2001 at 12:06:23:

Thanks Jim. I’m sure one of these HAS to work!!

Re: O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by ReggieSC

Posted by ReggieSC on June 23, 2001 at 12:08:32:

What’s a skip tracer?

Re: O.K…NOW WHAT!!! (Newbie) - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on June 23, 2001 at 14:46:14:

Reggie,
A skip tracer is someone who does the things that Jim mentioned and more to find the person. It’s essentially a PI that has access to public and private records databases. I’ve never used one, but know someone who does and has had success.