Each State has their own unclaimed property rules on what is classified as unclaimed money, when it actually becomes unclaimed and what must be done with these assets by the holders of them. Once the unclaimed assets are handed over the State Comptroller offices they now become custodian of this abandoned property and they are responsible to safe guard the unclaimed property until its rightful owner(s) comes forward. This new found money is used by each state to help pay their ongoing operating expenses, which helps in keeping tax increases to a minimum.
The various state offices seem to changing the rules constantly on when abandoned cash, assets, property and other items must be handed over to them. These types of laws have added millions to each Stateâ€˜s General Operating FundsÃ¢â‚¬, say Edward Palonek, founder of Foundmoney.com who has been helping individuals and companies locate such unclaimed property since 1995.
Some interesting statistics about unclaimed money can be found at the state offices and a few of these are:
Iowa in 2010, they reported over $20 million in unclaimed property, returned over $12 million and have a reserve of over $13 million in unclaimed property.
Oklahoma issued more than 12,000 checks in 2011 to the owners of unclaimed property. The largest amount issued to an owner, that came forward, was for slightly more than $1 million.
California in 2110/2011 $240 million was returned to individuals and a further $276.3 million to businesses.
Texas - The unclaimed property office in Texas has more than $2.5 billion in cash and other valuables they are holding as of 2011 and have returned more than $165 million to its owners in that year.
In Canada, the Bank of Canada had approximately 1.3 million unclaimed balances, worth some $465 million as of 2011 and paid out $15.8 million of that to account holders. The oldest balance dates back to 1900.
Police departments are also cashing in on unclaimed property, literally. They have set up auction websites to sell off items that have become unclaimed. For example, Baltimore County Police Department utilizes the outside auction websites to auction off all of their abandoned, stolen, lawfully seized, or unclaimed property of every kind and description, remaining unclaimed for 30 days or more. This is an ongoing auction available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and some of the items being auctioned include electronics, jewelry, clothing, bicycles, tools, sporting equipment.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Itâ€˜s never too late to make a claim, and State offices are committed to ensuring that hardworking Americans donâ€˜t lose a penny. They are holding unto the unclaimed funds until the rightful owners make a claim to this new found money of theirsÃ¢â‚¬, says Palonek
Foundmoney at www.foundmoney.com
Edward Palonek at www.edwardpalonek.org