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Government is Seeking Owners of Lost Property

Almost all states have enacted unclaimed property laws, which states that any property, money or assets will be considered “abandoned” after three to five years, provided that the owner remains inactive during that period. In case the property is deemed abandoned, the law requires that landlords, banks, utilities, hospitals, brokerage firms, mutual funds, insurance companies, and other organizations return the property to their respective owners.

Unclaimed property may include items such as forgotten bank accounts, uncashed pay checks, unclaimed security deposits, unredeemed gift certificates or cards, stocks, mutual funds, safe deposit boxes, utility deposits, uncashed death benefit checks and life insurance proceeds. The respective State Treasurer’s Office, wherein the property is located, acts as custodian to safeguard the assets until the owner or heirs claim it.

Searching for owners becomes difficult after such a long period, especially when owners have changed their residence and even their states. In that case, the property is turned over to the state’s abandoned property or unclaimed property office. The state authorities then again try to locate the owner or relatives of the owners. For this, the states even list the current owner’s name in the database containing names and other details about lost property and unclaimed money, so that respective owner can search and reclaimed the property.

Although the government have doubled their efforts to search rightful owners of lost property through regular publication of unclaimed property lists, awareness fairs and advertisements, the number of people making claims is still not satisfactory.

With the lost property value rising to billions of dollars, the government is still searching for their respective owners. Seeing the increasing amount of unclaimed property and fewer claims from the owners, the government is still in search of owners of lost property. According to the latest reports, the amount of unclaimed money is reaching $50 billion, which is creating problems for the state authorities as keeping track of unclaimed assets is become difficult day by day.

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