At an average of 40 million pounds, the State of Maine supplies 90 percent of lobster in the USA. Unknown to most residents, the State Treasury stores something more irresistible than spiky red shellfish- Maine unclaimed money.
Each year, residents lose track of an average of $25 million worth of financial assets. Old bank accounts, forgotten gift cards, uncashed checks, etc. The State collects the lost money from establishments each year and tries its best to contact or inform the owners through newspaper publications. Maine unclaimed money whose owners have no known address are used to balance the State budget. At 43% , ME has one of the highest rates of return of State unclaimed property in the US. “In the last couple of years we’ve been doing a massive reorganization of the unclaimed property effort here, and I think it has paid off,” says State Treasurer David Lemoine. One of the things that have helped increase the return of unclaimed money in Maine with its owners is a state policy that lets legislators gain favor by locating residents and reuniting them with their missing money. “There’s nobody in the state who knows how to find somebody better than the local legislators,” says the State Treasurer.
Still, there’s a significant amount of Maine unclaimed money left in the Treasury. The town of Saco alone has 2,600 unclaimed property owners who are missing money. One elderly woman turns out she had a whopping $2,000 ME unclaimed funds coming to her from refunds. In a report by The Times Record, 1,240 Freeport residents have over $345,000 in their name and 157 people in Pownal are owed $24,282 unclaimed funds.
Banks, insurance companies and businesses are required by the National Unclaimed Property Law to report Maine unclaimed property that haven’t been collected after a specified period (usually 3-5 years). World-renowned clothing company LL Bean is the largest reporter of Maine unclaimed property in the form of gift cards. People just stick them somewhere and forget about them. With the country’s financial giants on their knees and cost of living going-up, Americans need all the cash they can get and learning how to do an effective unclaimed money search online can be one the easiest ways of doing this.