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Why Utility Deposits End Up As Missing Funds

Have you ever rented an apartment that required a security deposit? It is likely that you had to pay one for a to set up an account for utility service as well. Maybe you needed a new electrical service provider or maybe you had to turn the gas back on. Renters are charged by utility companies with deposits to cover and pad their services until they can trust you better or until you have an established account. This is so the utility company can use the deposit if needed to cover your usage and bill is for any reason you can not afford a payment before your account is closed out. It also helps you build a reputation with the utility companies showing them that you are and have always been a responsible customer, more or less.

If you are the renter of an apartment then the security deposit will go towards any damages that were caused over the course of your residency with the apartment complex. It will also go towards covering any new carpet that is needed if you lived there for less then two years as well as new paint and cleaning. If you happen to be a good renter and have taken very good care of the apartment while living there then most of the deposit will be returned to you once the final walk through of your cleaned out apartment has taken place.

Unfortunately, not every returned deposit makes it back to the rightful owner. This is usually due to rare cases like an abrupt relocation and quick move or even a falling out with an apartment manager. Usually the remaining deposit refund is handed directly to you when you hand over the keys after the final walk through but due to conflicting schedules or last minute repairs and or changes you might not be able to physically be there when all of these things are wrapped up and the final repair and refund figures are all figured out. Or if you relocated and are no longer local then it is solely up to you to notify your now-former landlord of your new address, otherwise the landlord has little way of knowing how to send you the money that is owed to you.

If any part of the above scenario applies to you at all and then this is the case, all of the missing checks will go to the state for safe keeping and sit in government coffers. That means right now there are millions of dollars in missing funds all in the form of utility deposits that never made it home. Thinking about this money that was supposed to be refunded but was never given to it’s sole owner, still leaves me wondering how does this really happen?

As I learn more and more about this growing missing funds problem across the United State I am always surprised to find out and discover even more ways to go about finding missing funds just like this. I hadn’t really put to much thought into it but it makes perfect sense that non-forwarded mail is also a major contributing factor that comes into play and adds to this missing funds problem. In fact, most of the time the landlord will either send it to the address you listed on your lease or maybe even an emergency contact address. Or he/she might even try and send it to your old apartment address, hoping that the post office will forward the check to the right post office box that you should have given them. So this means any time you cut any type of check for a security or utility deposit, make sure they can always get a hold of you.

Now do you see how easy it is for un returned utility and rental deposits to turn into missing funds? Once those missing funds go missing, they usually sit there for years due to it being caught up in tracking and maintenance before they can even begin to try and track down the actual owner. Something about these types of situations that are really good to know is that if you don’t claim these missing funds with in a certain time frame, some states have the right to consider the money abandoned. This means you need to act fast to track down and claim any missing funds under your name before it goes to the state and becomes fair game. So if you even have the slightest inkling that you may have missing funds in the form of rental or utility deposits, or any other source, use the Cash Unclaimed database and find that money before it becomes abandoned forever.

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