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At-Home Career Idea: Court House Researcher


Many work-at-home moms and others pursuing an at home career have looked into the idea of becoming a court house researcher. As companies involved in records searches realize that they can save money outsourcing record-finding jobs to freelancers, many of those who have become self-employed 1099 contractors are taking the opportunity to earn some income by taking on the responsibility of locating various types of records for these companies. Court house research involves looking at mortgage documents, legal case documents or other official records for various uses by a client company. Some work-at-home moms may benefit by adding this kind of work to their freelance schedule.

Self-Employment Benefits

One of the biggest questions when it comes to taking on court house research jobs is the idea of managing your self-employed "overhead." Basically, the court house research duties that you take on should pay enough to cover your gas and wear on your vehicle and still compensate you for your time. Where you live relative to court houses and other records facilities makes a big difference in this kind of work, where client companies will often just pay straight fees per research goal. Savvy work-at-home moms do a quick "transit assessment" to see if available records research jobs will cover these costs and more.

Performing Courthouse Work away from Home

For many work-at-home moms, court house records research is not an ideal way to freelance. Much of this work actually takes place away from the home, and moms who have tried to manage this work by bringing their children along on research jaunts have frequently run into problems. Records facilities are often quiet places and not very kid-friendly. That means that for self-employed parents who must juggle child care and work, true telecommute jobs from data entry to call center work are much more accommodating.

Access to Records

One problem that some freelancers have run into with court house records research is that companies may not always provide for appropriate access to the documents that they want. Before you start working for a company, make sure they provide you with the information that you need to do the job on their behalf. To receive names and numbers for records, it may be necessary to access these records at the court house or another facility.

Seeking out Legitimate Court House Research Companies

Another problem that work-at-home moms and other self-employed people frequently run into is that companies do not always correctly identify themselves or give appropriate background information during the hiring process. This makes it hard to separate true, legitimate clients from scammers who may be seeking personal information, free work or other nefarious aims. As with other kinds of freelance work, those who stay involved and get more experience will find it easier to tell when a client company is legitimate. Starting out, be aggressive in nailing down all of the contractual details and appropriate contact information before you ever set foot outside the house for records research.

The above tips can really help freelancers get involved in a growing industry--court house research for a range of companies that need this critical information and don't want to pay in-house staffers to get it. For some beginning freelancers, this kind of job is part of a spring board to long term success.

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