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State Government Searches for the Owners of Unclaimed Money

The unclaimed money amount is major cause of concern for the state treasuries. With the number of inquiries for the lost funds not very encouraging, state governments across the nation are leaving no stone unturned to locate the rightful owners of the lost funds. Every state is facing the similar dilemma of increasing pile of unclaimed funds and very few reclaim inquiries in contrast.

Some of the larger states have reported unbelievably large numbers of unclaimed funds; California reporting almost $6 billion, and New York reporting almost $10 billion. These funds are a logistical issue for both the state and federal government. It is not surprising that so much emphasis has been given to the awareness programs towards the unclaimed funds. In normal circumstances, the addition of funds is a great advantage, but with respect to the unclaimed funds, it’s a real issue of managing the unknown.

In addition to the rising volume of state and federal governments’ unclaimed money, private and state owned financial institutions, like banks and insurance companies, are also getting the heat from the rising unclaimed funds. They are also assisting the state government in the search for the owners of unclaimed funds. These institutions have to transfer these funds to the escheatment funds of the state after a certain buffer period.

State authorities are trying to locate the owners of almost $40 billion of unclaimed funds and they are getting a lot of help from agencies like NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators). It is a herculean task to locate the work transfers, residence changes, and migrations across states for millions of state residents. These movements give rise to unaccounted utility bills, bank accounts, Tax refunds, pension funds, and other kinds of personal assets.

The problem of unclaimed funds have risen to a catastrophic level, so much that a survey was conducted through the U.S. and it was discovered that almost 8 out of 9 families in the U.S. have some sort of abandoned funds lying somewhere. As the U.S. population gets more migratory and the volume of foreign and inter-state workers increase, the volume of unclaimed funds is expected to rise further and it won’t be a surprise if it touches a $100 billion figure very soon.

Various types of awareness programs have been initiated by the state and federal governments. Every possible media format has been leveraged to reach out to the farthest corners of America. Online media has been tapped to a great extent and this includes the launch of individual websites of states which are dedicated to the search and recovery of unclaimed funds. These information-laden websites are also associated with an unclaimed search database which includes the most current information regarding the owners of unclaimed funds and the amount of funds which is waiting to be claimed.

Print media and outdoor media are also used in conjunction with the online media. Newspapers and periodicals regularly publish the events organized towards the inquiry and awareness of the unclaimed funds. State organized fairs are also organized regularly to enable the walk-in inquiry about unclaimed funds and any other related inquiry to the claim process.

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