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$58 billion unclaimed: Is some of it yours?

Journalist Melanie Hicken does an indepth report on on CNNMoney about some of the many places that you may have missing money. Read the article and find out where to search.

The information about foreclosures is especially useful.



$3 billion in unclaimed property available for NY's hardest hit areas

NY has nearly $3 billion in unclaimed property available for residents and businesses in Staten Island, Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens. People just need to know about it and then look. If you used to live in any of these areas, some of the money might belong to you. It's free to search and free to claim. You can check any state you've ever lived in by going to www.unclaimed.org.



Kenya is the first country in Africa with unclaimed property program

So it's off to a slow start. Big deal. At least it's a start. It's leading the way. It takes time to get it up and running. The great thing is people will be able to get their money back that they forgot about. 
I'm certain that other countries in Africa will eventually follow. 



Jamaica makes unclaimed funds available

Slowly but surely, the world is giving money back to the people it belongs to. Jamaica is the latest country to make the forgotten bank accounts available to the owners. The only downside is they are listed by account number. But at least it's a start. It's more than they had before.


CT sets new national record for largest single listing returned

The Connecticut state treasurer has a new national record. The largest single payout of unclaimed property in US history now stands at $32.8 million for 1.3 million shares of stock. This surpasses the previous high last year of $6.1 million, also from stocks, to a woman in Missouri. Prior to that, it was $4 million in New York from stocks.

There's a definite pattern.

The State of Washington enacted legislation in 2011 that allows it to sell your stocks as soon as they cross the door. It doesn't matter what the market is doing at the moment. After all, states can't use shares of stock, but they can utilize the cash until you claim it.

States are decreasing the dormancy period, that period of time where there has been no owner-initiated activity, from five years down to three for most forms of unclaimed property. In addition, the trend is changing the abandoned definition regarding securities from returned mail to owner-initiated inactivity. 

The key words here are owner-initiated activity. The stocks earning money, the money going directly to your bank account, none of these are signs that the owner is even still alive, let alone that they remember they have the account. Owner-initiated activity is just as the name implies. You vote your proxy. You add to the account or make a withdrawal. You update your beneficiary information, confirm your address, call, write or log-in to the account. There is some form of activity that comes from you.

It's far better to prevent your money from going to the state than having to file a claim to get it back. 

To see if you have unclaimed property go to www.unclaimed.org. Click on every state you've ever lived in and enter your name. You may have lost a fortune and not even know it.