Grossman to Promote Unclaimed Property at Red Sox Centennial
Uses 100th Anniversary of First Game at Fenway to Urge Fans to “Hit Your Own Home Run”
Treasurer Steven Grossman and a dozen of his colleagues from the Unclaimed Property Division will be at Fenway Park tomorrow prior to the Red Sox-Yankees game to pass out literature and urge fans to “Hit Your Own Home Run” by searching www.findmassmoney.com to see if they have any unclaimed property in their name. The effort will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first professional baseball game ever played at Fenway Park, when the Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders, the predecessors of the Yankees, 7-6.
“Using a high-profile event like the centennial of the first professional game at Fenway Park is one more way to reach as many people as possible who may have a claim to money we are holding in trust,” said Grossman. “This is not the state’s money – it belongs to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Six hundred thousand people – one in every ten – have unclaimed property, and we want to take every step possible to get it 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 the most recent six-month reporting period alone, the Treasury identified $80 million in new properties owed to citizens. This amount adds to the more-than $2 billion that is already being held in trust until rightful owners can be identified.
In addition to tomorrow’s Fenway event, the Treasury has conducted 53 similar outreach events over the last year. 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 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.
Grossman said that 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.
A copy of the literature to be handed out at Fenway Park is attached.