Grossman Announces Fall Release Of Unclaimed Property Listings For Massachusetts
$61.3 million in newly identified property is owed to thousands of individuals and businesses
"Every year, thousands of people are surprised to find out that they have a claim to funds that have been misplaced or simply forgotten," said Treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the Unclaimed Property Division. "It's not the state's money - it belongs to the citizens of the Commonwealth. We want to take every step possible to get unclaimed property back into the hands of its rightful owners."
Unclaimed Property includes forgotten savings and checking accounts, un-cashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and contents of unattended safe deposit boxes. Most accounts are considered "abandoned" and turned over to the Treasury after three years with no activity. Over the last six months alone, $61.3 million in new unclaimed property has been turned over to the state, adding to a total of $2 billion that the Commonwealth is holding in trust until rightful owners can be identified.
The newly released list includes four accounts over $100,000, nineteen accounts between $50,000 and $100,000, and over 3,700 accounts in excess of $1,000. In addition to bank accounts, the new accounts include 1,180 owners of safe deposit boxes, 546 owners of mutual funds, and 9,062 owners of stock. It is estimated that one in ten people in Massachusetts has unclaimed property in their name.
Past individuals with claims to Massachusetts unclaimed property include Tom Brady, Steven Tyler, Chelsea Clinton, Governor Deval Patrick, and Senator Scott Brown. Last month, while presenting a check for over $36,000 in 2011 unclaimed property proceeds to the Jimmy Fund on WEEI Radio's "The Big Show," Treasurer Grossman also surprised hosts Glenn Ordway, Michael Holley, and Mike Adams on live radio with the news that they each had sizable unclaimed property accounts.
In 2010, over $62 million and over 659,000 shares of stock and mutual funds were returned to Massachusetts citizens, figures that Grossman said will increase in 2011. The Treasury has also utilized eBay to hold online auctions of unclaimed jewelry, coins, and other items from safe deposit boxes, garnering over $1 million for the Commonwealth. Over the past four years, the Unclaimed Property Division has returned over $230 million and over 3.8 million shares of stock and mutual funds to their rightful owners.
The names of over 50,000 individuals added to the unclaimed property list in the last six months owed amounts more than $100 will be published in the Boston Globe on Sunday, September 18 th and in the Boston Herald on Sunday, September 25 th. The list of names will also be published in 31 regional newspapers in early October.
The Treasury releases an updated list of unclaimed assets every six months as new accounts are turned over to the Commonwealth. There is no time limit to claim this property and, in many cases, claimants will receive interest. To determine if they have unclaimed property, citizens can call 888-344-MASS or visit www.findmassmoney.com.