Probates & Notice to Creditors

17 Replies

Ive been following the probate discussions for the past few weeks and am looking to get into marketing to these leads, currently focusing on tax foreclosure and inheritance.  I have started doing some research and have found the business journal in my county publishes the notice to creditor for probate filings.  Doing a little more research it looks like this is not mandatory but will definitely speed the probate process up.

Are the successful probate marketers getting the leads before the notice to creditors or waiting until that notice is published?

Also how are you finding the address of the representative once you find out their name?  I know that I could look up their name not the county recorders site but that would only turn up results if they own property or live in that specific county.

Thank You in advance for the comments,



Be careful about pursuing tax foreclosures, it is a good way to get in legal trouble.

@Bryan R.  Thanks for the advice Bryan.  Could you elaborate a little?  I've purchase most of my deals in the last 2 years via this method and haven't run into any issues but I'm definition interested in hearing why you say be careful.


He's probably referring to the trials and tribulations of Joe Kaiser in his loosing battle with the WA state and Joe's nemesis, Rob McKenna (hope I have the name right).

You can search online but the end story is that Joe, who I know, got sideways with various WA county tax collectors who collective turned on him. Joe, being Joe, decided to play his cards like he could beat the state AG. He sent volleys of personal attacks on the AG and failed to get consumer sympathy from his sellers. 

The play was to solicit owners of tax defaulted properties prior to sale, buy for a big discount, then apply for the surplus funds generated by the sale as the (new) owner of record.

I doubt if there are any statutes concerning buying real property from record owner prior to tax sale if the new buyer cures the default. 

Check out Rick Dawson's Deed Grabber program and Jack Bosch's, as well.

@Rick H.  Thanks for the clarification.  Although I was really hoping for your professional advice on the question at hand....probates.  I just signed up for your website as some other members have suggested you know your stuff.

@Josh Norris   Your "key" word is Probates and Notice to Creditors - your question would have been answered but you jumped to a different topic. Rick knows his "stuff" as he's passionate about probate's and he's the go to guy in CA as well as N-CA.

Great article from Bob Bruss (R.I.P.) in his Nov. 1998 newsletter regarding Rick.

You may have purchased a probate property through a tax foreclosure and didn't even know it. 

"Notice to Creditors" is the responsibility of the PR (subject to court approval being named) who has a fiduciary duty to the estate and is filed after Notice of Petition to Administer Estate is filed..

Check out an actual notice. In my current state the notice to creditors also shows who has been appointed the personal representative for the estate. Maybe yours is the same.

@Mark Pedroza  Thank you  Mark, I actually have purchased multiple tax foreclosure properties that were inherited just none still in the probate process still.  A lot of the tax sale properties are actually inherited and just lost due to the taxes not being paid.  That is a big reason I want to get I to probate marketing because I know how many people really don't want to deal with the property that was left to them.  I am just trying to figure out if there is a way to get the leads besides going to the court house.  The notice to creditors is one way but I know that I will be missing out on leads if I only use this option because it is not law in Washington state.

@Brian P.  You are correct, the PR is posted along with the actual notice but it does not give any contact info for them.  I know that I could do a records search in the county for their contact info but what if they live in a different county or state, how would I find their mailing info?

Thanks guys

  • Josh  my state gives the address of the PR  almost all the time. I suggest you look up the obit it will often lead to the PR.  google  John Jones obituary. Some states give the probate file number and you can look it up at the courthouse.  by number or name.

@Brian P.  How are you finding the PR's contact information or at least mailing address once you find their name?


The probate file usually has the info because the petitioner usually ends up as the PR. However even when the petitioner is attempting to stay out of view and directs everything to an attorney their name is still there and these are people who generally are not trying to avoid bill collectors and can be found on Zabasearch or other similar site you can use for skip tracing. Also check the post office for address forwarding for the deceased. Most people in charge of an estate do not want the mail going to the old address.

OK my question to you is why are you waiting until the NTC to start working a probate?

@Brian P.  Thanks for the clarification and that answers my question.  I wanted to find out the time frame from the time the probate petition was filed to the time the NTC was filed.  I did a little research and found out.  Sounds like it all depends on how long the PR takes to file the NTC.  I am really trying to find out a more streamlined way of gathering the information other than having to go to the court house.   I can believe that the probate petitions aren't filed online somewhere.  I have searched the county records online and can't seem to find anything.  I could search the obits but that would take forever to find out who owned what and even then I wouldn't be able to find the PR info.

Do you know if the probate petitions are filed online?

The daily journal of commerce files the NTC's which is helpful but if I wait until then I will be way behind in the marketing game, correct?


My question goes along with what you've already been discussing.  My state also has the NTC posted online with the PR name and address.  How do you know that the deceased estate contains real property?  It my understanding that the only way to determine this would be to do a individual property lookup for  the address of the deceased to see if it is owned.  is this correct or does anyone know a more streamlined way to go about it?

@Barima Opong-Owusu  You can do a records search for you county online or at the court house and search by the deceased name.  This will allow you to search for any property records.  Then you can do a parcel search via the county and find out if they still own the property.  This is how I go about finding this information.  Some states/counties do not provide the information for owners so you will have to see if yours does.

The problem with going off of NTC is that you are late to the game.  My research has led me to believe you have to get the information once the original petition for probate is filed.

There are some very knowledgable probate investors on here, hopefully some of them will chime in.


@Josh Norris  thanks for the info, that helps alot.  One thing I was trying to avoid is having to spend so much time at the courthouse.  Since I still have a full time job its not always easy getting down to the court house during their limited hours.  I appreciate your help.

Your right it would be nice if some of the others doing a lot of probate deals would chime in on their strategies or what's been helpful for them.

@Brian P. whats the best way to use zabat, do you pay for each address of the person you look up?


OK some general tips, I don't know about your state or county. To me probate is a relationship game. While most probate chasers like quick and simple, just do mail outs, make a phone call now and then, which I also preferred in the beginning, I found taking more time and making more effort led to many more deals and overall a much better return on my time and money.

So contrary to most who wait for a probate to be filed and then gather the info from the probate file, I like to make contact before that, the old time first in time, first in line sales approach. Now others that have tried that have found out that they often will get blasted as an ambulance chaser. Even offering your condolences can result in a blasting, you didn't know my mother, brother or whatever, your up to something, don't contact us again, ever. 

Of course you will hit a case now and then where it is like that scene from Zorba the Creek where the vultures are just waiting for him to die so they can come in an grab what they can. The vultures are eager to hear about quick possible cash and if they can get it before the deceased is even put in the ground even better.

Now I can only gather and make contact with a select few before the probate is filed but I have a 40% chance of getting a deal from those leads. I still hit all the new probate filings to go after more business, and I make contact as quick as I can. My goal is to get a deal on 10% of those leads. When you get your system working don't hesitate to hire an assistant, it will be a big money and time saver.

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