Working as a Court Researcher
Are You Looking For a Work at Home Opportunity?
Are you looking for a home office work opportunity? Do you enjoy doing research, combing through records and files? Do you want something that gets you out of the house and requires a little leg work? If so, you might consider working as a Court Researcher.
What Does a Court Researcher Do?
Courthouse research is a home-based opportunity, it is the process of going to the county courthouse, County Clerk’s office or City Hall, and looking at public documents. Some courthouses and County clerks’ offices keep records in large, books while others have their records on computer. And then some courthouses have their records in both places. You might be working from home, but you won’t always working at home. You will be looking at mortgages, marriage records, tax liens, judgments, divorces, and other types of court records. Clients hire court research companies to collect this information. Typically, clients are law firms, lenders, marketing firms, real-estate companies, or background information companies. They use it for various reasons. Your job would be collecting information based on a list of set requirements.
How much you can make depends on the project, your territory, and how much time you are willing to put in.
Will I Need Special Skills or Equipment ?
A successful court researcher has a cell phone and a Window’s laptop and reliable transportation, you should be able to type at least 30 to 40 words-per-minute. You must be able to run Microsoft software and access PDF, Excel, and Word documents. Almost all projects require collecting information, whether it be on a spreadsheet or in a data entry program.
What Hours Would I be Working?
You will be working out of your residence. It allows you some flexibility. You set your own hours. You are only limited by the hours the Courthouse is open. Sometimes, records can be accessed online. Check if your county is online. It could extend the hours in which you are able to work. Court research agencies don’t hire anyone strictly for online work. If you're not willing to leave your home for court research, you won’t get hired.
How Much Will I Make?
Since you are an independent contractor you can work for several agencies at the same time. As long as you are very organized and have a system for keeping track of various requests.
The amount of work available in given county depends largely on the population. You can work for several surrounding counties in your area. In the beginning new hires are usually given one county. Once you have worked in that county, you've proven yourself to be a serious professional. Then your employer is usually willing to expand the area in which you can work. How much you can make depends on the project, your territory, and how much time you are willing to put in. Different Organizations have variable compensation rates. You can make anywhere from $7-$15 dollars an hour. Most firms pay by document.
How do I get Paid?
After you have collected the necessary data, you'll submit it where it needs to go. Then you'll submit an invoice for your work.
This is an independent contractor position, you get paid per record, and then at the end of the year, you receive a 1099 and file a Schedule C.. Independent contractors are responsible for Self-Employment Taxes. So, keep very detailed records. You may be able to write off certain expenses, such as gas or vehicle maintenance.
Where Can I Find Work?
If you think you might like to do some freelance work, here are some companies that regularly hire court researchers:
• Accurate Background
• Background Profiles
• Deed Collector
• First National Acceptance Company
• Information Technologies
• IT-Boss Research
• JBS Court Research Services
• Jelly Bean Services
• LexisNexis Risk Data Retrieval Services
• Omni Data Retrieval
• Sentinel Screening
• Sunlark Research
• Tax Sale Lists
• Wolfgang Research
If you find that you don’t enjoy being an independent contractor and want a more traditional job. You might consider applying to work for the court. This could mean working for a particular judge. When the judge needs to research court cases, law or find specific documents for a case, they will turn to the court researcher in order to find the information the judge seeks.
I hope you have found this article helpful. Have you ever worked as a Court Researcher? Please comment below with any information I might have missed.