That “unclaimed property” that you hear advertised on the radio, could some of it be yours? Have you ever wondered how and why an individual’s or company’s assets become unclaimed? How can that happen?
It does — and often enough in the State of Massachusetts to add up to over 2.4 billion dollars in unclaimed property as of 2017. Even more shocking, 1 in 10 people in Massachusetts has unclaimed financial assets, according to the mass.gov website. It’s easier to lose track of money than you may think.
It’s not just a forgotten safety deposit box and its contents – unclaimed property includes: forgotten savings or checking accounts, unpaid wages, customer deposits or overpayments, credit balances, uncashed refunds, money orders, paid up life insurance policies, and benefits checks in which there has been no activity in the past three years. Unclaimed property does NOT include real estate, but can include valuables, such as jewelry and old coins, for example.
How does all this unclaimed property add up? Well, if you are not keeping track of your financial accounts, for example, it’s easy to let money lie inactive in a checking or savings account that you never officially close. Or, you may have some old savings bonds squirreled away in a safety deposit box in which you’ve had no activity, and failed to pay the annual rental fee for the box. If so, your assets can become unclaimed.
Other more common resources: You may have received a refund from a medical procedure, for example, that you let expire and never cashed. Unused PayPal account balances are commonly the source of unclaimed funds. All these sources of money add up, and the Unclaimed Property Division holds the funds until they are claimed by either the original owner or his/her heirs.
If you live in Massachusetts, here’s how you can easily find out if you have any unclaimed property: go online to: https://www.findmassmoney.com/, the website for the Unclaimed Property Division. You can type in your first and last name, and narrow your search with address information. If you find you have unclaimed assets, you can fill out an online form to receive your unclaimed property. It’s easy, free, and worth the few minutes of time to search for—and perhaps find—unclaimed property under your name.
If you live outside of Massachusetts, check online to find contact information for your state’s Unclaimed Property Division.
You may be surprised at what you find — and get back in unclaimed property.
To keep track of all of your financial assets in one place, Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers My Money Manager. This is a flexible tool that is part of our Online Access platform. Learn more about My Money Manager in this short video.