Web Site Helps Search Through Public Records

By Daily Herald
April 2007

Seeking some information on that person you've been dating?

Want to check first before hiring that new baby-sitter?

Or are you just interested in ensuring your latest real estate transaction is posted correctly?

There are plenty of sources to go to, including public documents at court houses, county clerk offices and even detective agencies.

Or you could go to Check Illinois: https://consumer.public-record.com.

Kaneville-based Record Information Services launched this Web site so the public could check on myriad documents, including bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, divorces, real estate transactions, mortgages DUIs and criminal records.

"We're loading new data every week," said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Metcalf, an Elburn resident. "Right now, we reach eight counties, but eventually we'd like to go statewide."

Some records reach as many as 15 counties and date back to around 1999. While a search is free, it brings up a list of likely documents under a particular name. A copy of a document costs $4.95. After you purchase it on the secured site, it's e-mailed to you as an encrypted PDF file, he said.

Record Information Services was founded by Metcalf in 1993. The company also has www.publicofficials.org, used by elected officials to reach new homeowners moving into their district.

The company has about 35 workers. About half of those people are in the field every day, gathering data from various places to update Check Illinois.

"Sure, you could run down to the county building and spend two hours searching for a record, or you could go to this site and get it quickly," he said.

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