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How To Reclaim Your Unclaimed Property

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Life throws people curveballs they are never expecting. No matter how much foresight you put into ensuring you retain ownership of your assets, there’s always the chance something will force them out of your life. When you lose things like a large bank account or a few cars, it may fall into unclaimed property.

But does unclaimed property work and how can you get yours back? You will have to go to the office of the comptroller, the official agency in charge of handling unclaimed property. Some pertinent information you’ll have to have on hand is: first and last name, business name, ZIP code, and city associated with said property.

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Dormancy Period

Property designated as unclaimed by the government only happens once the dormancy period has passed. The dormancy period, according to Investopedia, “is the amount of time between when a financial institution reports an account or asset as unclaimed and when the government deems that account or asset to be abandoned.”

The standard dormancy period before being turned over to the government is about five years. The comptroller’s office, of course, does everything they can until they find rightful owners, using methods such as “mailing notifications” and the last listed address for the unclaimed property.

To avoid suffering as a result of the dormancy period, ensure that the proper channels are aware of your address change or move to another city.

Types of Unclaimed Property

They type of things that become “unclaimed” vary. It can include estate proceeds, court funds, dividends, checking and savings accounts, payroll check and inactive stocks. After the dormancy period, property is turned over to the state.

Failing to register an address after moving is one of the most common reason for unclaimed property, as is simply forgetting accounts exist.

Back in 2013, the state of New York collected revenue from unclaimed property to the tune of $700 million. But nationwide numbers put unclaimed property revenue at over $59 billion for accounts and assets that were “misplaced.” The data gathered for those numbers has put a few account at worth less than even $100.

The following year in 2014, the lone-star state of Texas had returned over $150 million to citizens who sought out their unclaimed property. For the southern state, claims averaged to about $1,000. Statistics and data gathered put many claims above that threshold.

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If you’re worried about fees, there’s no need to sweat. Assuming you do have unclaimed properties you’d like to take possession of, there are no taxes incurred as long as it is “unclaimed.”

Anyone looking to reclaim a lost 401(k) or IRA can get their monies back, free of any taxes.

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor for You

When a person comes into a lot of money or happens to acquire substantial assets, it becomes hard to manage on your own. One of the best ways to reign in your finances is with the help of a financial advisor.

Use SmartAsset.com to find the right advisory for you. They are bound by legal standards, and the tool can help find the right fiduciary financial advisor in your immediate area.

Fraud Alert

In California, there have been question submitted to the State Controller’s office regarding questionable postcard asking recipients to call. On their website, sco.ca.gov, they have stated that the office is “not connected with the mailing of these postcards and notifications and cautions the public from calling a number from an unknown source.”

Others have received what could be mistaken for official government e-mails regarding retaining an attorney to obtain their unclaimed properties. It also mentions private citizens having to pay up front fees, something the Controller’s Office never charges.

It is a violation of California law and can result in a felony conviction if either an individual or company misrepresents themselves as someone working in the government. Whether you’ve received correspondence in an e-mail, official looking letters, or postcards, forward these items to the State Controller’s Office. They will take the appropriate legal actions.

If you are a California resident looking to take back your unclaimed property, click here to get started. For anyone else in the States looking to sniff out what they’ve either forgotten or lost track of, go to https://www.unclaimed.org/ to search by specific state.

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Are you ready to get back that 401(k), IRA, or maybe a boat or car you forgot was in your name? Hurry and reclaim your property before it is distributed and sold to the general public.

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