Grossman Announces Spring Release of Unclaimed Property Listings for Massachusetts
$80 million in newly identified property owed to hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses
While Kendrick Perkins and Richard Seymour are both notable sports figures who departed Massachusetts franchises for other professional destinations, they also have something else in common. They both could soon be collecting money from the Massachusetts Treasury, which has identified hundreds of thousands of new individuals, charities and businesses over the last six months alone that are entitled to over $80 million in unclaimed property. As part of an effort to return this money, the Treasury will be publishing in newspapers a list of names identified over the past six months owed more than $100.
“This new list is the tip of the iceberg. While it contains approximately 52,000 names, these are only a small portion of the individuals, businesses and charities that we have on record,” said Treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the Unclaimed Property Division. “This is 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 “unclaimed” and turned over to the Treasury for safekeeping after three years with no activity. In addition to the $80 million that the Treasury identified over the last six months, the Commonwealth is holding over $2 billion in trust until rightful owners can be identified.
The newly released list will include 15 accounts over $100,000, 49 accounts between $50,000 and $100,000, and 6,404 accounts in excess of $1,000. The list will not include individuals identified in the last six months who are owed less than $100 or those whose claims are being processed. Grossman urged citizens to check the more comprehensive list at www.findmassmoney.com, noting 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. In his term in office, Grossman has prioritized efforts to reunite people with their rightfully owned property by bolstering awareness about the program, cross-referencing names on the unclaimed property list with other databases, and dramatically enhancing outreach at various public forums.
In Fiscal Year 2011, nearly $76 million in unclaimed property was returned to Massachusetts citizens, businesses and charities, a 28 percent increase over the prior fiscal year. The Treasury has also utilized eBay to hold online auctions of unclaimed jewelry, coins, and other items from safe deposit boxes, garnering over $434,000 million for the Commonwealth last year. Over the past four years, the Unclaimed Property Division has returned over $240 million and over 3.3 million shares of stock and mutual funds to their rightful owners.
The new unclaimed property list will be published in the Boston Globe on Sunday March 4th and in the Boston Herald on Sunday March 11th. The list of names will also be published in 37 regional newspapers between Wednesday, March 21st and Friday, March 23rd.
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.