Public Knowledge, Inc. needs researchers and has openings!

Courthouse researchers are currently needed in Maryland and many other states. Continue reading for more information on this flexible employment opportunity.

Many of our researchers are paralegals, title examiners, and others who already work from the local courthouse. However, our researchers also include many retirees, parents with children who need flexible schedules, and students. Regardless of your age or background, however, this is a good opportunity because you set your own schedule.

My goal is to have permanent, happy researchers to avoid wasteful turnover. So we will be working together. I work from home too so I, as well as my senior researches, are available for training and support.

What do you need to be a Public Knowledge researcher?

Data-entry work availableYou would need a laptop with Microsoft Excel, a working email address, good typing skills, transportation to the local courthouse, and most importantly – the self-motivation to work on your own. These are public records that anyone can look at.

What information do we collect?

Researchers look at mortgages and find the Borrower name(s) and address, the Lender name, and the amount of the mortgage. This information is typed into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

What does it pay?

Pay is weekly and is per record, not hourly. So the amount you would make depends on how fast you can type and collect the data. However, beginning researchers average $12 – $14 per hour and after a few weeks’ experience average $18 – $20+ per hour.

Take a test to see how fast you can collect the data!

Are you interested in becoming a PKI researcher? Here is a little test that you can take to see how much money you can make and test your typing speed. To start, simply click here to download the sample file to your computer.

Step 1: Now before you start, please make sure to open the file SAMPLE SETUP.xls and read over the instructions carefully. These are the instructions on how to collect the data and also are time saving techniques to help you too.

Step 2: Here is how we do it.

A mortgage in some states is called a “deed of trust” or a “trust deed” or a “security deed”. But regardless of the name, it is a lien given by the owner of real estate to buy that real estate or to borrow money after he/she already owns it using the real estate as collateral. In this information sheet, I will just refer to it as a “mortgage”. But it’s the same thing.


The next thing you will usually see on most standard mortgages is the amount. Just type it in as a number omitting the “$” and comma and omit any cents – round it to the nearest whole dollar amount.

Finally, there is the address. What we need is the address of the borrower (also called a grantor) or as it is called sometimes the property address. It is usually found on the third or fourth page right after a big blank space in the mortgage document where the legal property description goes. On some mortgages, however, it is at the top of the first page (which is real easy!) or it’s somewhere else on the first page. Each lender uses its own form so it varies from lender to lender.

In the address you should also omit all punctuation. And please use the abbreviations as shown on the SAMPLE SETUP file.

When looking at a mortgage, the recording date is stamped at the top of the first page so that’s what you will see first.

Collect public courthouse recordsNext you will see the name(s) of the borrower(s). We only use the first name and last, no middle initials or suffixes like Jr or Sr, etc. The spouse’s name is just the first name too. If there is no spouse, then just leave the spouse name column blank. If there are two borrowers with different last names, then just leave out the second one and type in just the first one. So with a name like: M FRED JONES, JR, you would type in SMITH for the last name and FRED for the first name and omit the initial M and the JR.

Next on most mortgages you will see the name of the lender. This is very important – type the lender name exactly it in as it is on the document. And please omit all punctuation, commas and periods, etc.

With the lender name, you will often see “MERS” or “Mortgage Electronic Registration System”. When you do, never type “MERS” or “Mortgage Electronic Registration System” in as the lender. Always type in the other lender that will appear there.

Step 3: Next, look at the sample mortgages in .pdf format and look at each one to see where the name, address, and amount are found on the document. Note the explanation below which tells you about each mortgage sample:

Sample_Mortgage_1: A typical mortgage – the mortgage amount is at the top of the first page, and the Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor name and address, as well as the Lender name, are in the first paragraph below the bank logo. The property address is on the same page, and in this example, it is the same as the address given for the Grantor.

Sample_Mortgage_2: This mortgage uses a slightly different format. The mortgage amount can be found on page 11, in the “DEFINITIONS”, where the term “Note” is defined. (In other cases, it may be in the definition of “Credit Agreement”.)

Sample_Mortgage_3: Another typical mortgage – the Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor name and Lender names are on page 1, the amount on page 2, and address on page 3.

Sample_Mortgage_4: Same format as Sample_Mortgage_3.

Sample_Mortgage_5: Sometimes spouses have different last names. In these cases we only use the first person listed. This document format has the Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor and Lender names and amount on page 1, and the address on page 2.

Sample_Mortgage_6: Sometimes there are 3 or more people listed as Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor. These are also cases where we only use the first person listed.

Sample_Mortgage_7: In this case the Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor name and Lender names are on page 1, the amount on page 2, and address on page 3.

Sample_Mortgage_8: In this example, the address given for the Grantor/Borrower/Mortgagor is not the same as the property address. In these cases, we use the address given with their name.

Sample_Mortgage_9: All the pertinent information is on page 1.

Sample_Mortgage_10: Sometimes the address is not typed within the body of the document, but can be found in the attached Exhibit (which is usually the last page).

Step 4: After you have looked at the sample mortgages and the notes above on where to find the information that we collect from each one, next, get out your laptop and copy and paste the file heading from the file named PKI_heading.xls onto a blank Excel spreadsheet so that your columns are set up correctly:

So now you are ready to collect from the sample mortgages. I have on purpose included some mortgages in these samples that have the address listed on the back page