I posted this on my Yahoo Group a while back and thought you may want to read this on my blog.
Many of you are wondering why certain public records are not free via the internet.
The answer is simple: Anything that is not considered a "Public
Record" is not usually free. For example, some of you want to find out
who a cell number is registered to - "for free." If the Subject's
cell phone is not listed in a public directory, then it's
considered "quasi" confidential. There are companies out there that
will "break" the cell phone number (for a legitimate purpose) for a mere $25
or so. I personally think that is extremely reasonable.
Regarding locating people: The free databases mostly have old
information gathered from "public records", ie.. telephone book. If
the Subject is not found through any of the "pay" online companies
that charge $29 or so, then the only way you are going to find that
person is by hiring an investigator. An investigator will only take
a case if there is a legitimate reason to find that person. For
example, wanting to find your high school sweetheart is NOT a
legitimate reason. Most PI's will tell the client that they will
locate her and let her know you are trying to contact her/him and
give that person your contact information. That way their privacy
Regarding getting all of this information free: The confidential
databases are not free. Investigators, government officials,
insurance carriers, etc.. all have access to this database. The
database mostly consists of "credit headers." A credit header lists
all the names, addresses and birth dates used by a Subject when they
apply for credit or fill out a rental application. 9 out of 10 times
a person is found using this information. A credit header will not
list creditors or any debt information. Again, it is only used
for "legitimate purposes." The cost for these agencies to obtain
this information is minimal. However, you are paying for their
expertise. The cost to the public to locate someone using these
methods usually range from $75 to $250 depending on what information
All in all, I suggest that you continue to use the free public
records searches first and then you may have to pay for the services
that are not free online.
I hope this helps.