Finding Unclaimed Property

November 14th, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | 2 Comments »

Slide1 (5)The promise of free money seems to be too good to be true—and Jason Hartman assures that it usually is—but sometimes, money does come more easily than others. While playing the lottery is a risky way to get free money, there are other (even easier) strategies that might just be worth trying out.

The treasurer’s office in your state may have unclaimed property with your name on it—this is true for one in ten Americans, great odds if you ask us. This property amounts to $32.877 billion, and the average per person for returned property is $365. As the holidays approach, free money is even better!

What Does Unclaimed Property Include?

Unclaimed property might include things like stocks, bonds, CDs, expired gift certificates, items left in safe deposit boxes, uncashed checks, items held by police as stolen property, dividend checks, insurance benefits, and utility deposits. Depending on your state, rules vary. Most say that property is abandoned after 3 or so years of inactivity, and at that point it is the state’s property and their job to attempt to locate you.

How Do Things End Up As Unclaimed Property?

When people move and forget to leave forwarding addresses with financial institutions, things can become unclaimed property. Until claimed, this stuff is held in trust. Many states collect interest on such items and use it for social programs.

Timeframes and Prices

Fortunately for you, few states have rules regarding the timeframe in which you must collect your property. In the case of stocks and bonds, the state often sells them and holds proceeds until they are claimed. Items may also be auctioned off and the profits held until they are claimed.

In most cases, it costs little to no money to reclaim your property. If the organization that claims to be holding your property asks for a substantial amount of money, it is likely a scam, so be careful. The only thing required of you should be proof of identity, proof of your tie to the valuables being claimed, and (possibly) a small amount of money to show serious interest and trust.

It’s certainly worth checking—at worst, you end up in the same position in which you began. Best case, you’ve got yourself a bit of extra money to invest in something of your choosing! To find out if you’ve got free money, check out unclaimed.org, missingmoney.com, or contact your state treasurer’s office. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5857473535/)


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