Long Lost Money by Etm
           
Q. How does property become unclaimed in the first place?
A. The most common reason is that owners forget to contact financial institutions or other companies who may be holding their assets when they move to a new location. If you only notify the United State Postal Service of your change of address, they will only forward your mail for one year and may not be able to forward certain sensitive financial documents. Another way property can go unclaimed is if the company goes out of business. They may not take the time to locate all of the owners of assets. Simple name misspelling can be another way that property goes unclaimed. Insurance companies that convert from mutually owned by policy holders to publicly traded often cannot find the owners to provide them with their compensation. There are web sites you can visit to find this type of property, but they charge a fee. If you think you may be owed compensation from your insurance company, contact the insurance company directly.
Q. What types of properties go unclaimed?
A. Many types of property go unclaimed. Some of the most common types are dividend checks, rent and utility deposits, life insurance policies, safe deposit box contents, insurance settlements, and payroll checks.
Q. How can I prevent my property from going unclaimed in the future?
A. If you move, make sure to notify all financial institutions and insurance companies who are holding assets that belong to you. Do not rely on the standard USPS address forwarding alone as the USPS will only forward mail for one year. Also make sure to notify these same companies if you have a name change due to marriage or divorce. Make sure to cash dividend checks as soon as you receive them. Notify family members of all safe deposit boxes and life insurance policies. Write a will to make sure your assets go to your rightful heirs upon your death. If you have a federal tax refund due to you, use the direct deposit option to prevent the check from getting lost in the mail.
Q. The name fields in the search results only show the first and last letters. Why is this and how can I be sure the property is mine?
A. The holder of the property has masked the name fields to protect owners from trace finders, companies who find unclaimed property for owners and charge a fee to recover the property on behalf of the owner. Since owners of unclaimed property have a legal right to recover their property free of charge, the names are masked to prevent the trace finders from building mailing lists using the information on our web site.
Q. The street address listed in the search results is not complete. Why is this?
A. Street addresses are always masked to protect the owner’s privacy. We show the numbers in the address, the first 4 digits of the street name, and the full City, State, and Zip. If you have ever lived at an address that matches the partial street address shown in the City and State listed, it is likely the property belongs to you.
Q. How do I file a claim?
A. If the search results return your name and an address where you have lived in the past, click on your name in the list. This will take you to a screen that will begin the claim process. You may be prompted to answer one or more questions to further confirm your identity and ownership of the property. You will then be shown the property holder's claim process and claim contact information. Follow the instructions shown to initiate your claim. The company will then check their records and the proof of identification you have provided them to ensure you are the rightful owner.
Q. How can I get a claim form?
A. If you believe you are the rightful owner of property listed in the Search Results, click your name to begin the claim process. Claim forms are commonly part of the claim process and each property holder determines the nature of their form and how it will be made available to you. If presented with a claim form, follow the instructions shown to initiate your claim.
Q. Can I file a claim for someone who is deceased?
A. Yes. If you believe you are the rightful heir and provide adequate proof of this to the company holding the property. Make sure to provide all of the information requested in the claim form.
Q. How long does it take to process my claim?
A. The company holding your property has a duty to verify you are the rightful owner of the property before they can pay you. If you are careful to provide all of the information requested, the company will be able to finish the research phase faster. Please allow from 2 to 8 weeks on average.
Q. How do I find out about the status of my claim?
A. If the company has not responded to you within 8 weeks, use the contact information listed to contact the company.
Q. Is there any limit to the amount of times I can search for property?
A. No. You may search as often as you like. We are always adding new records to the database so, even if you don’t find property on your first visit, this does not mean you shouldn’t try again.
Q. What if I don’t find any property? Should I give up?
A. Absolutely not. Check our Links area to find other web sites where you might find property, and visit us often as we are always updating the database.
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