Posts Tagged ‘lost money’

Lost Money In America

Posted: January 26, 2009 by unclaimedmoney in Money Databases, Unclaimed Money
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Finding lost money is much easier than one might think. A quick simple search yield thousands of unclaimed dollars you didn’t know existed.

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The Mountain State has a mountain of residents’ lost money sitting in its Treasury Department. During these times of financial chaos when multitudes of Americans are hard-up for extra funds, it’s quite ironic that it’s there. But the $110 million unclaimed money in West Virginia even stands to grow for the same reason it got there in the first place- most West Virginians (and Americans for that matter) are oblivious about their missing money.

Given the recent hurricanes, mortgages, floods and ever-increasing pace in which we live our lives, losing track of our finances is quite normal. When people have to abandon their homes in a hurry or move to ‘greener pastures’, it’s easy to forget about leaving a notice of a change of address, getting that final paycheck, or closing-up a bank account. WV unclaimed property can come from many sources, but interestingly enough, it’s due to oversight. “They may have a paycheck coming to them that they didn’t realize or some stock their grandparents purchased when they were a child and it was forgotten in a safety deposit box,”‘ State Treasurer Russ Perdue says. “There are all kinds of unclaimed property examples where money was forgotten.” This oversight of assets has been happening across the US actually and the collective amount spread-out among the States already exceeds $30 billion.

In a recent report on The Charleston Gazette, an unclaimed money check for almost a million dollars was presented to local coal company from Appalachian Power. Approximately $965,000 was presented to a lawyer representing Direct Coal Sales stemming from a refund based on a business contract. The check was the largest yet for West Virginia unclaimed money says Assistant State Treasurer Paul Hill in the report.

Anybody’s name can turn-up on a list of of owners of lost assets. Doing an online search for state unclaimed money might just hook you up with much needed cash.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in the State of Kentucky have more money than they probably think. The State Treasury is currently holding $150 million Kentucky unclaimed money from financial assets citizens have aren’t aware, or have forgotten about. These can range from abandoned bank accounts, lost or uncashed checks and gift certificates, old stocks and bonds, even odd items like jewelry or mementos left in safe deposit boxes whose owners can’t be located anymore. If owners of lost assets aren’t located after 3 years (usually), they are turned over to the State Treasurer’s office for safekeeping. Right now, the names on the Kentucky unclaimed property list numbers around 200,000 and since public awareness about KY unclaimed money is relatively low, these numbers are certain to grow each passing year.


A large part of the Kentucky unclaimed money pile is made up of unclaimed tax refunds. 11,000 Louisville residents are still owed $3.7 million worth of these. “The people who haven’t claimed these checks are often the people who could use it the most,” says Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Thousands of people could be letting this one-time windfall pass them by, but it’s an easy process to get the money that’s been set aside for them.” The unclaimed tax refunds in Kentucky average $651 and the IRS reports that 279,000 tax refund checks worth $163 million were undelivered because of address issues.


Indeed, more Americans should really be checking for missing money in their name- specially during times like these.


The Kentucky Unclaimed Property program has returned over $100 million to owners of KY unclaimed funds, but there’s still $150 million languishing in State Treasury’s coffers. The lost money would really come to good use in the hands of Kentucky residents feeling the financial crisis plaguing the country right now. Learning how to do a thorough method of doing an unclaimed money search online is the best way of finding lost cash in your name.

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.

Residents of the Garden State pay some of the highest property taxes in the country- as much as twice the amount paid by residents in the other states. Once can’t help but wonder then why a significant number of NJ homeowners have neglected to claim their property tax rebates. Quite puzzling specially during times like these. A WCBS news report says 200,000 Garden State dwellers have NJ unclaimed money from property tax refunds worth a whopping $200 million! You think that’s a lot? That’s only a fraction of the total New Jersey unclaimed money pile in the State Treasury owed to 1.3 million people!

Aside from tax rebates, New Jersey unclaimed money comes from comes from numerous other sources like forgotten bank accounts, uncashed salary checks, insurance benefits, stocks and bonds that have been languishing, unused gift checks, even items from abandoned safe deposit boxes. People, specially if they’ve been working numerous jobs and have had several addresses tend to lose track of mailed checks or notices from banks and financial institutions. Businesses and companies that haven’t located the owners of lost money and property after a ‘dormancy period’ have to hand them over to the State for ‘safekeeping’ as stipulated in the National Unclaimed Property Law. The citizens’ lost money is kept in the State Treasury until the rightful owners come around to file a claim. The State also holds outreach programs to try to let people know about New Jersey unclaimed funds. Last year, the NJ State Treasury unclaimed property advertising campaign reunited some 36,000 residents with $85 million of their missing money.

The economic conditions in the US is a bit gloomy right now and the fact that there is an estimated $33 billion worth of State unclaimed property across the country is quite ludicrous if you think about it. Fact is, not enough people are checking for unclaimed funds because most Americans aren’t even aware they might have state unclaimed property in their name. Doing an online unclaimed money search can do wonders for Americans whose wallets have been yearning for contents during these tough economic times.


The Delaware Division of Revenue collects dormant and abandoned assets throughout the state each spring. Last year, it collected $370 million worth of these, making the Delaware unclaimed money pile even bigger. The DE unclaimed funds come from unspent gift cards, dormant bank accounts, abandoned safe deposit bank contents, stocks, insurance benefits and similar assets.

The National Unclaimed Property Law require businesses and financial institutions to report and hand these ‘lost assets’ to the state after a specified dormancy period of usually 5 years. Delaware, along with South Carolina and Louisiana have shortened this to just 3 years recently however. Bad news for owners of family heirlooms and mementos in forgotten safe deposit boxes, as these are auctioned-off by the State and the proceeds put into the DE unclaimed money fund. With the period of dormancy shortened to 3 years, it’s quite possible for some people to be going about their daily business- thinking their savings accounts and valuables are safely tucked-away, when in reality it’s been handed over the the Division of Revenue as Delaware unclaimed property.

There’s even more bad news- something that might make residents search for Delaware unclaimed money and property ASAP. A news report released early this year tells of a New Jersey woman that pleaded guilty to being part of a Delaware escheat theft ring that stole over a million dollars from the Delaware unclaimed property fund in the Department of Revenue! Chandrea Sanassie, a New Jersey native, was part of a 5-person team of swindlers led by Anthony Lofink (a state official’s son) that swindled unclaimed stocks from the government. Sanassie used her share of the money to pay for cosmetic surgery, expensive clothes and jewelry, luxury cars and and started-up capital for a tanning salon. What would you do with extra cash? Do an unclaimed money search now and see if you’ve lost money you don’t know about.

Millions of dollars worth of Tennessee unclaimed property are turned into the State’s Treasury Department every year. The TN unclaimed funds belong to citizens residing in and sometimes even outside of The Big Bend State who have somehow lost track of their finances due to oversight, change of address, or errors in the mailing of financial documents. Like those of other States’ Tennessee businesses and financial institutions are required by law to turn over people’s missing money and property after being unclaimed after 3-5 years.

The $370 MILLION Tennessee unclaimed money pile gets bigger each year because the amount of TN unclaimed property the Treasury collects from banks, insurance companies and businesses is way bigger than the amount given back to owners of lost money. Reason for this is mainly lack of awareness among residents and lack of manpower in the TN Unclaimed Property Division.

Everyone should check if they have TN unclaimed money in their name- it’s quite surprising whose names appear on the State’s list of unclaimed property owners. Knoxville Commissioner Richard Briggs turned-out to have $250 from an old insurance policy. “When I got the call, I thought it must be some kind of mistake,” said the Commissioner. “When people say the word ‘property,’ I initially thought it meant land or buildings instead of money.”

A former UPS employee found out he had almost of $500 coming to him after a friend saw his name on a list of people owed Tennessee unclaimed money. Turns out he was missing money from his last paycheck at UPS. Funny thing is he had already been receiving pension checks for two years. Surprisingly, even State agencies of Tennessee are owed unclaimed money. A collective of total of $10,000 are owed to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, Department of Safety, Department of Transportation, Tenncare, Department of Revenue and the University of Tennessee! “It’s interesting, funny, that one state agency can’t find another state agency to give them their money,” says House of Representatives candidate Ron Hickman who decided to check if the State itself has unclaimed money. Assistant Treasury Commissioner Steve Curry in Nashville’s WSMV-TV News says (with sarcasm, I’m sure) “We can find the University of Tennessee, and we will return the property to the University of Tennessee and the other departments”

Think about it. If State agencies themselves can be owed unclaimed property money, what more the average Joe at his office or at the corner fast-food joint flippin’ burgers? Do an easy online unclaimed money search now– you just might have an uncashed check or lost loot out there somewhere.