Are you aware of "Public Records" and what gets published?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

The Grand Rapids area has a paper published called the "Legal News".  This has a variety of key sections that can be very helpful or embarrassing if you do not know it is going to be published.  The "legal News" is a subscription paper like all the others or can be purchased at the local news stand.   Here is a brief description of what you can find on a weekly basis.

  1. Bankruptcies, are listed by name and how much they are owe
  2. Lawsuits, listing the plaintiff and defendants names
  3. Fictitious name filings
  4. Divorce petitions or filings and who along with decrees
  5. Foreclosures who and how much, which lender
  6. Mortgage information and how much
  7. Corporate information
  8. Marriage license filings
  9. Name Changes
  10. Federal Tax Liens
  11. State Tax Liens
  12. Michigan Unemployment taxes, not paid

The list goes on.  Many times the law requires information be published and this is one of the places it will be published.  So if you think your business is private think again.  Anything that is registered is public information.  Recently some friends of our were having hard times financially with him losing his job.  He has been off work for months and finally found another job.  They filed bankruptcy, I did not know and they never mentioned to us.  I am sure it is very embarrassing, sensitive and private so I never mentioned that I knew...I saw it in the Legal News.

I just seen yesterday that some former neighbors daughter is getting married.  I'll send a card, again I saw it in the Legal News.  The former company I owned just received a loan, in the Legal News.  One of my clients has filed for Divorce, saw it in the Legal News.

Public records are available for anyone who wants to look and pay for a copy of the record.  You information is available.  Many do not know it is being published.  I thought you may want to know of this publication.  These publications are available in most cities.

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Ambassador
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
While people mentioned in many of these categories would be likely cadidates for a "For Sale" sign in the front yard, I think it would be really fun to farm the list of Marriage License filings!  That is one life milestone that often leads to a second - buying a house! 
Jul 07, 2007 03:37 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Pat, I always send a congratulations card with a first time buyers report. I subscribe to this publication for a variety of reasons.  Thanks for the comment Pat.
Jul 07, 2007 04:01 AM #2
Rainer
12,282
John Occhi
Excellence in Real Estate Tm @ Allison James Estates & Homes - San Jacinto, CA
ePRO, Five Star Certified, Riverside Cnty REO Expert, 951.443.6259
There is always good information in those listings - they are just boring as all get out...unless you have an end objective in mind.  Thaks for sharing

Blessings,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

Jul 07, 2007 04:13 AM #3
Rainmaker
360,175
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Gary,

I always read that section and just yesterday it yielded "interesting" results.  A Realtor that I team with for staging was paying me to do a staging consult for one of her listings.  I had a second appointment to see this house yesterday morning.  The first appointment rudely canceled at this last minute but she persuaded them to reschedule because they need help and she felt they were desperate.

Well, I do not like desperate stagings but if I could help I would.  So before I left I did my usual "I'm on my way" phone call and the sellers were not home, (their teenage child answered the phone) and they would not be home.  Strike TWO and I was not happy. 

I sat down the read the paper and calm down, after I attempted to reach the Realtor and got her voice mail.  AND there was the "interesting" news.  This house was slated for a foreclosure auction on 7/20. DESPERATE, I guess so!!

When I finally got to speak with the Realtor she was not aware of this and she was very upset that her clients had not disclosed this to her.  All that she could say was at least she didn't have to pay me because it was clearly too late to help this folks. 

So, reading these notices and making mental notes of addresses is a good thing.

As I told this Realtor...my magic wand broke a long time ago and that's what these seller's need. 

Thanks for the information!

 

Jul 07, 2007 04:26 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,522,098
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
Very interesting. I was not aware of these legal publications. I will have to research it here in my area. Thanks
Jul 07, 2007 04:44 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi John, I use the information in my daily business and find may of my fellow Realtors names listed too!  Unfortunately the list is getting larger and for the wrong reasons.  It can be boring if you do not have an objective just as you say.  Thanks for you comment John.
Jul 07, 2007 05:05 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hey Ginger, that burns me when people do not have the courtesy to at least be truthful.  I keep a close eye on my little weekly publication.  It has saved me more than one.  Even some of my suppliers sometimes show up in the columns.  Most people are not aware these publications exist.  Thanks for the comment Ginger.  Be thankful you did not get the home staged.  You still lost valuable time.

Jul 07, 2007 05:09 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Gary, I do think there is one of these publications in Melbourne, I do not remember the cost.  Look at your favorite Books A Million store, they should have a copy.  Thanks for the comment.

Jul 07, 2007 05:11 AM #8
Rainmaker
360,175
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Gary, I totally agree!  It's that lack of honesty and person to person consideration that makes my blood boil.  Yes I lost time and could have been servicing another client that wanted that time slot, but I know that happens a lot with Realtors also.  Part of the business and I am so thankful that was all that I had invested. 

Like too many people today I think that these sellers are playing the "victims" and not acting responsibiliy.  The difficult part for me to digest is that they have NINE children....hope grandma has a large house? 

REALTORS...call the professional stagers BEFORE things get desperate! In fact, call us as soon as you have the listing!

 

Jul 07, 2007 05:27 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Ginger, the 9 kids is who really will have the issues.  I see many people, including realtors wait until it is the end of the listing before they contact stagers.  Some sellers wait until it is to late to even get a Realtor involved, like the case you outline.  It reminds me of animals in car headlights, they freeze and do nothing.  Thanks for the comments Ginger.

Jul 07, 2007 09:39 AM #10
Rainer
103,100
Angie Vandenbergh
Crye-Leike, Realtors - Memphis, TN
A Crye-Leike Blogger
It is certainly amazing what information is public. I remember growing up learning that you don't really talk about money (salaries, house payments etc) and then later finding out that people's mortgages amounts, financing types etc.are public record. That kind of opened my world to public information.
Jul 09, 2007 04:33 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Angie, when people actually check they will be very surprised at what they find.  Thanks for the comment.

Jul 10, 2007 01:55 PM #12
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Real Estate Services You can Trust!
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