How great would it be to spend a lazy Sunday morning reviewing unclaimed property listings in the hope that you might find your name or the name of a family member or friend that was owed some money that they had somehow become separated from? By money we mean any form of financial asset like an Unclaimed Bank account, or Insurance proceeds, or deposits or Unpaid Wages/Commissions or Shares, Dividends, Bonds, or pension funds, or a Tax refund, or even the contents of safety deposit boxes etc. The list is long in terms of the type of asset which makes the list of names become bigger each year.
The Office of the Massachusetts Treasurer publishes at least once a year, the names of all those who appear on the Unclaimed Property files maintained by the State. Well, It’s actually a supplement to the Sunday Paper given the fact that the list now exceeds 58 pages.
Yes 58 Pages worth some $2.4 Billion.
The State of Massachusetts estimates that 1 out of every 10 people have unclaimed property.
Like all US States, Massachusetts has had unclaimed property legislation in place for many years for financial assets in order to:
- Protect the property rights of owners and reunite them with their funds
- To promote a central point of contact for owners to claim unclaimed funds
- To ensure that any organization that holds a financial asset transfers it to the State
The newspaper supplement is just one of the methods that the State Treasurer uses to return unclaimed property to rightful owners. They also send notices to the last known address of course by they also participate in Outreach programs like attending local fairs, malls, baseball games and nursing homes in order to connect and hopefully reunite owners with their unclaimed property. They also attend groups meetings upon request.
Helping folks find missing money …would be a great job.
In any case, the efforts of the State treasury seem to be paying off.. Last year the Treasurer returned some $102 Million to 43,000 individuals
Have you ever been to Massachusetts ? Have a friend or Relative there? Check the online database for yourself or someone you know and make it a Sunny Sunday..
Sadly and so surprisingly for a Country as great as Canada , we are years behind the US in making searching and reclaiming unclaimed financial assets so civilized. Only 2 Provinces – Alberta and Quebec have any sort of comprehensive Unclaimed Property Legislation. The Province of BC does have some legislation but it is not comprehensive nor is it mandatory in all respects. The US has always considered Unclaimed Property Legislation as an important part of Consumer Protection Legislation. The current total is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $58 Billion for the US. For Canada, it’s anyone’s guess but most guesses are somewhere between $4 Billion and $6 Billion. The Bank of Canada accounts for approximately $1 Billion alone.
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