FINDING NOTES BI Place ads in newspapers. Spend hours researching in county courthouses trying to find note holders. Spend a lot mailing to them and hoping that if you send thou- sands of letters you might buy a note. FINDING NOTES IA Go to websites like LoanMLS, Bid4Assets, and others that simply list notes and don’t sell training. Network with people who see notes regularly such as title com- pany officials and estate lawyers. Beware: some websites have notes listed by people who do not own them. Don't waste your time chasing these. Others claim to have “secret lists" of notes, which they will let you see if you pay them thousands of dollars. Most, if not all, of those notes are worthless or nonexistent. DUE DILIGENCE BI Call or meet the note holder and get answers to the key questions. Visit the courthouse, find what you can about the note, get copies of the documents, know the laws where the note was originated, and make sure the documents comply or hire a local real estate attorney. DUE DILIGENCE IA Today, most courthouse records are online. But personal contact with the note holder is still paramount. Asking the key questions and establishing mutual trust will always be the most effective way to buy anything. You still must know the state laws or hire a local real estate attorney. CALCULATING OFFERS BI Use printed amortization tables and a complex formula (that I have long forgotten!) This method was abandoned when pocket financial calculators became popular in the 1980s.

CLOSING IA There is no reason to spend time at a title company. But you should still overnight documents. The method du jour is to e-sign documents but proceed with cau- tion. Not all documents can legally have e-signatures, and anything on the internet can be hacked. To avoid

potential liabili- ties, get original signatures. Danette Fer- guson of Reliant Financial advises, “Always use a title company or law firm as an escrow agent to close. There are indepen- dent title compa- nies or attorneys who handle the closings, research the title, and write the final title policies, which are issued and guar- anteed by their

Technology is a strange thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.

Carrie Snow

underwriters. Some title companies act both as agents and underwriters. You need to verify who the underwriter is and that it is one of the major ones such as Chicago Title, Stewart Title, or First American.” SERVICING BI Manually record on-time and overdue payments, calculate what part of each payment goes to principal and which part goes to interest, manually calculate late fees, type late notices if necessary, print, address, stamp, and mail them.

SERVICING IA Use a spreadsheet, a program like NoteSmith or online portals offered by many note servicers. •

CALCULATING OFFERS IA Use an online financial calculator, an app on your phone, or Time Value Software’s TValue amortization program.

W. J. Mencarow has been investing in real estate notes since BI. He offers a free ecourse on note investing at .

CLOSING BI Spend an hour at a title company, or overnight docu- ments.

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