Love to Research?

My love for genealogy research led me to my new love, Court Research !
I want to share this opportunity with other moms out there so they can contribute to the family income and still spend quality time with their families. If you need to work, why not get paid to do work you love !

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The frequency in which you need to visit the courthouse depends on the project you're supporting as well as the population of your county.  Most visits are once a week except for a larger project covering which requires 3 to 5 visits per week (until the backlog is completed).  I hope they have need in your area too !    I SO love this work.  They have a new HR person and she is the greatest !

Friday, April 1, 2011

About the Courts

I personally have never encountered a difficult court. Some clerks however, are too busy to give you a tender smile let alone assistance. But i found that an occasional plate of cookies and a warm smile every time I arrive has done wonders :D Some Land Record Offices (aka Recorder's Office) do have limited terminal use. The best work around for that is to ask what time is the best to arrive - when the terminals are not so busy. I find first thing in the morning until about 10 or 11 am (when the title researchers start arriving), then around lunch time and then near closing are the best for my courts. But ask your clerk and explain that you wish to minimize your visit's impact.

As far as pay scales, they are about the same all around. One company may pay a little more for one type of document search but then pay less for another type. It's a pretty competitive market between research teams. I personally have found it best to go with the company that had more to offer me in my counties. I prefer having one 1099 form at the end of the year, one set of due dates and that's why I work for one company, Wolfgang Research. From my personal experience, they have been able to offer me more types of court research than the other companies. More is always better :D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sorry I haven't been back to the Blog for a while - I've been busy, busy, busy ! Many of you have questions, so let me try to answer them quickly here for you so that you can feel comfortable venturing with this work from home opportunity as well.

Identity Theft - this is a concern for all of us and one of the reasons I posted this blog. I too was nervous but then IT-Boss (who I applied through) made some good points. They put a lot of effort in their recruiting program. Their training is top-notch. Their application process is detailed and thorough through each phase. Thats a LOT of work to go through just to grab someone's identity. People are out there to do harm with your identity don't want to take hours and hours to steal your information. It's like a house burglar - they want quick and easy homes to break into, not ones that take hours. Olivia at IT-Boss explained it to me that since they conduct virtual interviews, they have to know who you are too! They take a lot of precaution in trying to ensure that they are sending in American Citizens to the courthouses to conduct the clients' research. So its more of a security practice for them. Plus, you wouldn't want the IRS to tell you a few years from now that your SSN received reported income that you now owe taxes on! IT-Boss asks for photo ID and a W9 form - so that they protect "you" from such fraudulent activity as well :)

IT-Boss Research - in addition to provide court research services for clients, they do recruit for several companies, their largest two clients are Wolfgang Research (who I still work for) and A&M Research. They are not an employment agency, but a contractor placement service. They do not charge you a fee for their services going in. It's free with stipulation (very easy ones): you need to pass the "open-book" exam which you have 2 attempts to do so and you are asked to give a 30 day commitment to the client once you receive your assignments. With the wealth of information they provide, I think that is VERY understandable. However, if you for any reason, things change and you cannot keep your commitment, they will NEVER ask you to pay the fee. They simply report it as income via a 1099 at year's end. If the reported income is less than $600 at year's end (which it would be because their fees are MUCH less than that), then you won't even receive a 1099 Form as the IRS does not require such to be sent out "unless" your earnings from a particular company was $600 or more in a given year. So you see, there is absolutely NO risk at all. So try it! Understand that it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks while doing an assignment before you get into your "groove" - a routine where everything flows smoothly and quickly. I LOVE this work !

No further response from application: Once you apply at IT-Boss Research using their online application system, you should receive an email within 48 hours stating that your application has been received and is being reviewed for the needs in your area. Due to the high volume of applications they receive each week, their policy is that if you don't hear from them within 2 weeks, then (1) there is no longer an immediate need in your area, (2) another applicant was selected and you have been placed on a waiting list, or (3) you didn't complete the application properly (remember, your application is their first "view" of your skills and eye for detail - so follow the directions carefully, read the questions thoroughly. They do purge their applications about once every 30-to 60 days, so feel free to re-apply. Don't give up! I promise, it will be worth it !

What can you expect to earn each week? Well thats a toughy folks. You see, there are a lot of "IFs" that fall into play. For example, if you live in a highly populated county, then most likely, that county records and stores a LOT of documents each month. It's the opposite for a less populated county. This of course will affect your possible earnings and how often you will need to visit that county court offices each month. High volume = Weekly; Low Volume = Monthly, etc. For each county, you may not be asked to research the "same" document types. For example, in one county, you may be asked to research tax liens and for another county, perhaps mortgages, marriages and births. Or you may luck out and be asked to research lots of document types, like judgments, probates, civil, bankruptcies, tax liens, mortgages, marriages, births, lis pendens, foreclosures, etc. It all depends on what assignments are available from the client in each county. The more assignments you have and the higher the population, the more you can earn. As for an hourly rate, that depends on variables too: Your typing speed, how quickly you learn to look through (scan) documents for the information you need to report, how the documents are stored at your local courthouse (digital view via terminal, microfiche, microfilm, or paper copies loose in files or bound in books, whether or not you can pull files or the Court Clerks have to pull them for you, etc.) . So you can see how it would take about 30 days for you to grasp the routine and determine the fastest method for you to accomplish your tasks and how often you'll need to visit. With gas prices up and down, the clients do their best to give you as "much" work as possible for each county as to ensure the trip is financially worth your while :) For the first couple of trips, don't get discouraged if your pay rate doesn't fall within the average of $8-$15 an hour, as this is new, and although quite easy work, does take a little time to master the steps and develop your own routine of doing things.

Where is IT-Boss Research located? If you visit their website, you'll see that an address is not listed to the "public". Why you ask? Take a moment to read about the company and you'll find that they are a group of retired recruiters, joined together, all working from their "Homes". Olivia Martin, the Director of IT-Boss Research used to display her home address on the website which is in Northern Virginia (Loudoun Area)... that is, until she started having strangers come knocking at her door wanting to apply for a position. I'm sure you can understand how that information was quickly removed from the website LOL. Her agents also work from their homes for the most part, except for 3 that work from her home. Their entire contractor placement process is conducted by the internet and email. A lot of thought and time was taken to create specific phases for each applicant's processing. They've got it down to a science these days and their clients are very appreciative of their outstanding results.

Can you work for multiple research companies? Depends on who you are working for actually. Some companies don't mind you working for fellow research teams, but I'd suggest you at least tell your "current" company of your plans. Since many of the research companies network together and even support some of the same clients, it's possible that if you tell your current research company that you are working for, that you are interested in County A and B also, or other types of research, your current company might just be able to get you the work you requested! This makes it SO much easier as you have one set of guidelines, one client to report to and one 1099 form at the end of the year for your earnings.

I hope I have answered all the questions you folks have. If not, feel free to post your question here. I'll try to monitor this a bit more closely. Again, my apologies for delaying in getting new posts and responses published.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

IT-Boss Research - Another Great Company

I recently got an email about another research company that seems to be opening doors to a lot of people. Their primary focus is on background and criminal investigations for the legal industry. Starting in 2010, they expanded to offer placement services. This company networks with several research firms and matches applicants up with their clients. What's so great about this company is that as an applicant, you don’t pay a placement fee! I know, how AWESOME is that right? The way they work is that they recruit for various research companies (and folks, they do their homework before taking on new clients – they are a background investigative company after all !). Once you apply, they review your background and then (ready for this?) they provide you links to training materials that will help you understand the type of research you’ll need to perform for their clients. Most clients will require that you take a qualification test, but you’ll have all the information to study so you’ll ACE the test ! IT-Boss Research goes beyond finding you interviews – they help you snag the job!

Remember, you pay nothing up front. The clients pay your placement fee for you. Because they do that, they may require that you stay onboard for a given amount of time (e.g., 30 days) and that you give a two-week notice which I think is quite acceptable considering that most placement fee services can cost you up to $500 with no guarantee that they will find you any work !

So no out of pocket, free training materials so you can prepare for your interview. This company’s placement services division consists of several retired recruiters, each working from their homes. So they understand your desire to work independently with a flexible schedule. So check them out ! You can learn more about them at Good Luck !

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wolfgang Research a Scam ? Not a scam at all !

When I started looking for work I could do from home, I found a LOT of scams out there. It was so frustrating! One day, I came across an article about court researchers at a forum dedicated to help work at home moms find legitimate work. Although not work that I could do completely from home, it was doable! The flexible schedule was ideal for me as I have two small children and could trade "babysitting" hours with a girl friend on the days I needed to venture outside the home to work.

The research is basically going to your local courthouse and reviewing public records that have been recorded by the court. Depending on the type of assignment(s) you get, you could be looking up judgments, tax liens, mortgages, marriages, births, civil suits, personal injuries - the list goes on and on! I found there were three primary research companies offering these types of assignments (a fourth offers only mortgage assignments). I guess this work is not for everyone, as each company had negative posts somewhere on the internet, but I didn't let those stop my pursuit. As long as I didn't have to pay money up front, I figured it was worth a try. I am SO glad I did.

I applied to all three companies and immediately got responses from two of them. One was Wolfgang Research. Although I had found some negative comments about them posted on the internet, I had also found even positive comments. Well, I'm here to say, that Wolfgang Research is DEFINATELY not a scam. They have a lot of work for me, they pay faithfully every 2 weeks by direct deposit and yes, I did get one "lightly" reprimanding email and in all honesty, I expected worse. I was so excited about getting started that I had failed to read the paperwork provided and ended up submitting data that was wrong. Their concern was legit. They have to look out for their clients. They walked me through the errors, referred me back to the paperwork (which I took time to read thoroughly) and I was all set.

I started with Wolfgang Research in Feb 2008. They are always bringing on new clients and have an ample amount of work for me. In fact, my girlfriend that babysits for me when I visit my courthouses is now working for Wolfgang Research too - and I babysit for her so she can travel. There was just too much work for me to handle in my area part-time, so she and I work as a team now. Anyone looking for legit telecommute work (work from home) should apply with Wolfgang Research! Don't let some disgruntle contractor's negative post somewhere cause you to miss out on a great opportunity! This company has been patient with me when my computer crashed, when a family member passed away and when the weather was bad enough I was uncomfortable in driving. I've always been paid for my work and paid on time ! This company is very financially-stable which gives me some security :) If you slack off and don't do quality work, well, then you might get a corrective action email. But in my opinion, you'd deserve it :)

I love the flexibility. I love the type of work I'm doing. Life is good.

(P.S. I no longer work for the other research company. I have plenty enough work at Wolfgang Research. Plus, they don't require me to participate in weekly meetings! YAY)