My business partner and I trying to do RE wholesaling in the Spokane area. We called the county courthouse to get a tax delinquent list, and the clerk said that the list doesn't not have address, costs a lot, and you must sign a promise stating that you will not use the info as a mailing list. My question is, doesn't that make the county records useless in looking for leads? Is the law simply that you can't directly import county records into a mailing list, but can make a smaller list from it? How can you make a mailing list if there are no addresses?
I know it's kind of a silly question, we're just beginners. Would appreciate any help. I'm pretty confused by it. Thanks
" So I can use public records to *create* a mailing list, but I can't us it *as* the mailing list, right? I don't want to get in legal trouble, and I also want to run my business ethically. Do I have it right?"
I'd love to tell you, but that specific of a question should be asked of a lawyer familiar with that particular Idaho Statute. I can tell you that I personally would not be even a little bit troubled by using information from Idaho public records in a R.E. wholesaling business. Nor would I have any ethical problem, doing so. But I would be circumspect about how I requested the records (need them for personal research project), how the information appeared when disseminated (all indications that it came from the State would be removed), and how I phrased my interactions with property owner's who were identified through use of public records (I'd never mention that the owner's identity or address was obtained from the State or County, only that obtained the information legally at considerable cost).
The potential for "legal trouble" is simply cost of doing business. Of course, we seek to limit and mitigate potential legal troubles and costs. So, if you are concerned about the law, Idaho Code §74-120, then I highly recommend checking to see whether there has ever been anyone prosecuted for violating that law (doubtful). If there has, obtain a copy of the court's case file(s) on the matter and read it. You will quickly find out just how that court interpreted the law and what the court believed was permitted and prohibited. I wouldn't spend near as much time worrying about that law, as I would spend looking for a good deal. However, I also generally find law suits against me to be more amusing than stressful.