Skip trace, people search? Need to find owner and tax records NFG

8 Replies

Looking to contact an owner (or heirs) of a vacant lot. No taxes paid since 2000, it's nearly $12k in arrears (way to go Philadelphia!) and tax records show a different mailing address than the vacant lot. Looked up the owner of the mailing address, call them, and they have no clue who this person is. I've tried a paid website called and it's pretty inaccurate. Lists phone numbers and addresses but they're all horribly out of date. 

Are there websites with better info out there? I'm thoroughly disgusted with so far. I've tried it out for a half dozen properties and the results are all very outdated. I'm willing to pay for good info, any recommendations? 

We're also consulting with a friend who is a genealogist. I'd hire a private investigator if need be. Looking forward to hearing your suggestions! 

Keep us posted @Troy S. I would also like to know of an accurate reliable skip trace site.  I have been trying to find a podcast I heard a few weeks ago that mentioned one but can't remember which one it was.

Start with the person's name and Town  See what you can find on these locate people  sites.  You might pick up a relative  

See if you can find 2000 telephone books on line an see who is at this addess that you have.

Call people in the houses on the same block that they were listed at.  i m sure a neighbor will have some information

Originally posted by @Troy S. :

I have had some luck with a free service called pipl (  It's free so it's not 100% accurate all the time, but it's worth a shot!

i'd try, theyre usually pretty accurate. If necessary I'd visit he listed relatives and tell them youre trying to get in touch with "_____" and keep digging from there.

Look up the last census report and see how many relatives you can locate.  Also look up the phone books in that town and call everyone that could be related

Hey Troy,

Lots are the trickiest. Generally I'd suggest going downtown to the Municipal Bldg and stand in the line to pay water bills then ask the rep there. I've done that a few times, though its been a while. Is there a house next door? Often the neighboring house owns or knows who owns that property. Knock on a few neighbor doors, make a friend, why don't you. :-) The nosey neighbor can come in handy at times. You might even secure a new lead or two...



The challenge is sometimes the last record on the deed is 10 or even 30 years ago. I am curious how big an issue this is because I know dealing with the city to try and buy properties can be a dead end. For example, I recently tried to buy a couple vacant lots. They said it was transferred to PHA, and then PHA said they couldn't do anything because the Council President had their eye on it for improvements to the neighborhood. So I walked down to the Council President's office and they gave me a hard time saying the home prices were rising too quickly for the people who live there now to afford to buy new homes and stay in the area. I am not sure why they think having vacant lots is a better idea or how that helps anyone, but if there is a way to track down private lots for owners that are back on taxes or that passed through one or a few estates I'd be interested to hear more.

If there isn't, contact me in a couple weeks because it's a business I'll be starting!

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