A title company is a business firm that examines real property titles, reports its findings as to the legal status of such titles, and issues insurance policies to indemnify the owner and lender against financial loss resulting from unknown title defects or prior claims against the property. An escrow company is a firm that acts as a neutral third party to ensure that all conditions established by the buyer, seller and lender in a real estate transaction are met. In many cases, you will find that a title or escrow company can handle the escrow account for any real estate transactions.
An escrow account is a form of account held by an "escrow agent" (an individual, escrow company or title company) into which is deposited the documents and funds in a transfer of real property, including the money, a mortgage or deed of trust, an existing promissory note secured by the real property, escrow "instructions" from both parties, an accounting of the funds, and other documents necessary to complete the transaction. When the funding is complete and the deed is clear, the escrow agent will then record the deed to the buyer and deliver funds to the seller. The escrow agent or officer is an independent holder and agent for both parties who receives a fee for his/her/its services.
Escrow and title companies are constantly dealing with all types of real estate transactions, thus they know the professional sellers in their local area. Your services can be an additional service that they can offer their customers. If their customers are waiting for payments over time, most likely they will not invest in as many properties as they would if they had lump sums of money. It is in a title and escrow company’s best interest to help their customers liquidate their notes on a regular basis, so they can keep doing closing and escrow accounts with these people.
Some title and escrow companies will offer additional services where they act as a third party between a buyer and a seller when seller financing is involved by collecting payments, amortizing, making disbursements, holding original documents and following the exact terms of the contract between the two parties. Many of these service providers will include monthly statements showing all current payments and updated balances, collect reserves for property taxes and insurance, all of which is included in most times in their monthly fee. They will most likely be very well networked in the industry, thus they might help you get to know other real estate, law or finance professionals in the area too.
Now, how can they help you obtain a list of note holders? They record documents related to real estate transactions in the local courthouse and execute the closings for professional sellers. Therefore, they will have an internal list of note holders as well as access to the county courthouse records.
They could do a courthouse record search to find privately held notes that meet your criteria. In most cases, they will require you to pay a fee for these services, but they may offer this service for free once they see that you can help them and their clients. Most likely, they will not offer a list of their clients who hold notes to you, instead they will refer their clients back to you as they have a need to manufacture or sell a note.
Once again, the information the title or escrow company locates might not offer complete names or addresses, so you will not be able to contact the note holder simply with this information. Typically, the list you obtain from them will not be “scrubbed” either. The names and mailing addresses will not be verified. Unless they do a lot of cross referencing, you may acquire leads that have been paid off due to the sale of a property, refinance, or foreclosure. It would not be worth your time or money to focus on these leads.
You can pay to get your lead list scrubbed by the United States Postal Service. They offer a variety of different services or provide a list of licensed providers who can help you scrub your list. You can review your options to scrub your lists here: http://www.usps.com/business/addressverification/welcome.htm?from=busine...
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