TREASURY RETURNS $84 MILLION IN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY IN FY12
Record-Breaking Tally Generated Through Enhanced and Innovative Outreach Efforts
Treasurer Steven Grossman today announced that his office’s Unclaimed Property Division returned nearly $84 million in Fiscal Year 2012, a more than10 percent increase over the prior Fiscal Year’s amount of $76 million, and a 42 percent increase from the $59 million returned when he took office in Fiscal Year 2010. The Treasurer attributed the increase to ramped-up outreach efforts his office has undertaken and other innovative measures aimed at reuniting more people with their rightfully owned property.
“We’ve taken an aggressive and creative approach toward business at the Unclaimed Property Division – and it’s paid off,” said Grossman. “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 “abandoned” and turned over to the Treasury after three years with no activity. The Commonwealth is presently holding approximately $2 billion in trust until rightful owners can be identified.
In his term in office, Grossman and Assistant Treasurer for Unclaimed Property Mark Bracken have prioritized efforts to reunite more people with their rightfully owned property by bolstering awareness about the program, cross-referencing names on the unclaimed property list with other databases such as the Veterans Bonus list, fostering awareness through social media, and dramatically enhancing outreach at various public forums. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Unclaimed Property Division travelled to 62 public forums such as fairs and sporting events to encourage and help attendees to search for unclaimed property, an increase from the 19 forums attended in Fiscal Year 2010.
In addition to the enhanced outreach, the Treasury releases an updated list every six months of new unclaimed property accounts over $100 that have been turned over to the Commonwealth. Grossman urged citizens to check the complete list of all properties held by the Treasury by visiting www.findmassmoney.com or by calling 888-344-MASS (6277), noting that one in ten people in Massachusetts has unclaimed property in their name.
There is no time limit to claim any of this property and, in many cases, claimants will receive interest.