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Dirty Truth about New York’s Unclaimed Property

New York has the unenviable reputation of having the fastest rising pile of unclaimed money out of all the states in the country. The unclaimed property list continues to grow at an alarming rate in New York. Almost $25 million inactive bank, business, and government accounts all contribute towards this million dollar unclaimed property amount. While the state treasury is taking all the relevant steps to locate the owners of unclaimed funds, the success rate has still not reached a satisfactory level.

In some cases, owners are coming forward to claim their lost funds but the absence of adequate documentation makes it impossible for the state to release the funds. The launching of a new unclaimed property website couple with joint exercises with NAUPA has yielded better results, but the volume of unclaimed funds is increasing in size with every passing day.

New York State Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF) is also collaborating with the state treasury to return the unclaimed funds to its actual owners. This aggressive reclaim awareness program has shown very successful results and has been received very enthusiastically by the citizens of New York. A boost in the number of claims across the state has also been witnessed by the aggressive program. The outreach program effectively conveys the message across the state of New York by participating in a variety of public events. The New York State Comptroller’s Web Site can be accessed at www.osc.state.ny.us.

In the middle of all these constructive efforts to reunite the owners of the unclaimed funds with their rightful money, there are some notices of government apathy. Many of the citizens of New York are concerned that the state is doling our money to welfare programs run by the state without informing the citizens to whom this money belongs. A lot of voices in the state have displayed their concern over this and this has been rightly conveyed to the decision makers. Many of the New York citizens feel that the use of unclaimed property towards state run programs is solely done for political reasons.

New York is one of the most employable and ethnically diverse states in the country, not to mention about its cosmopolitan culture, which translates into a large number of migrant workers. The workforce migrations are also very regular and make a great impact on the volume of unaccounted funds and financial accounts. The state of New York also publishes an “Abandoned Property Supplement” of the New York State Register, which contains a list of abandoned property. This supplement is published by New York State Department of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231

This is not to undermine the efforts of New York as one of the most successful states as far as reuniting the owners with their lost money is concerned. The outreach program of the state, along with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), has created a good impact and the awareness levels regarding the unclaimed property has increased substantially in the last couple of years. With unclaimed funds sprinting rapidly towards the $15 billion mark, the state authorities are leaving no stone unturned in locating the owners of these lost funds.

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