Unclaimed Assets are on the Rise 

By: Ava K., Assistancefinder
Published Mar 20, 2020 8:07:31 AM

Did you know that there are many people all across the United States who have lost money that is owed to them? The amount of money that is misplaced and that can be claimed by citizens is staggering. California is said to have 9 billion dollars in unclaimed property and New York is said to have over 14.5 billion dollars in unclaimed funds. These monies are assets that have been misplaced through a number of sources and that the owner is entitled to reclaim if he or she can present the proper documentation.

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Dormant Bank Accounts

One of the biggest sources of unclaimed money comes from dormant bank accounts as well as safety deposit boxes. Many times when a person relocates they may forget to completely close out their old bank account and end up leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the bank. It is also not uncommon for someone to close out a bank account but forget about their safety deposit box, which could contain valuable coins, jewelry, and other precious items of great worth. After an account is dormant for a specified period of time, usually three to seven years, then the money is transferred to a banking authority. This money is then held by the state office for unclaimed funds. You must be as quick as possible about submitting your claim to a state agency for unclaimed funds because is some jurisdictions the money reverts back to the state after a certain period of time.

Some Sources of Missing Money

Some other sources of misplaced funds that are due to you can include utility bill refunds, old paychecks, stock dividends, tax refunds, and even life insurance proceeds. This is why it's important to keep good records about, for example, your past employment history so that when the time comes to claim that old paycheck that didn't get delivered when you quit your job you can prove to the state office that you are the legitimate owner of the funds. Any money you receive from a 401(k) may also need to be claimed if it wasn't transferred from your old job to your new one. This happens frequently. The stocks that you own would then produce dividends so it may be that you would be owed the stocks as well as the money that the dividends produced while the stocks were missing.

Large Funds

You may be one of the lucky few who has hundreds of thousands in unclaimed funds waiting for approval in order to be dispersed. While it is not common, it is also not unheard of either. There was a South Carolina man who received $763,000 as part of an unclaimed inheritance. In his case, he had to send in proof of identification as well as proof that he was the rightful heir to the money and the money was his. Again, most people have smaller amounts of money that are owed to them from various sources but it pays to be on the lookout with the state agencies in places where you have lived so that you don't miss out on a missing big payday that is owed to you.

Challenges to Claiming What's Yours

The memory may work against us as we get older and be one of the stumbling blocks put in our way when it comes to claiming unclaimed funds. Keeping good financial records of all of your transactions can be a great way to memorize faulty memories and the passage of time. Proof of entitlement must be secured in order for the state agency to deliver the money to you. This means if it is part of an inheritance, you must have proof from the will of the deceased that you are entitled to claim the inheritance. If it is an old paycheck that didn't get delivered, on the other hand, you may need to provide proof of employment in the form of tax statements or a letter from the company specifying when you worked there along with a copy of your ID. Another challenge may be that it simply has been too long since the funds went missing for you to be able to file a claim. Some jurisdictions have time limits so it is important to act promptly so you don't miss out on the money that is rightfully yours.

If you suspect that you have unclaimed property or monies that are owed to you then contact your state agency for unclaimed funds and start seeking the money that is yours today.

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