Grossman Announces Fall Release of Unclaimed Property Listings for Massachusetts
Over $75 Million in Newly Identified Property is Owed to Individuals and Businesses
Treasurer Steven Grossman today announced the release of the latest tally of names that have been added during the last six months to the state’s list of unclaimed property owners. Over 51,000 new properties in excess of $75 million combined are owed to individuals and businesses in the Commonwealth.
“These 51,000 names only represent the people we have identified over the past six months, putting the magnitude of the overall unclaimed property list in perspective,” said Grossman. “When people check online, chances are that they or someone they know has a claim to the over $2.4 billion we are holding on behalf of citizens. And it’s our goal to return as much of it as possible – it’s their money.”
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 new list encompasses only individuals and businesses with shares of stock or mutual funds or unclaimed property over $100 and does not include any owners identified before March of 2013. Grossman urged citizens to check the 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 President Obama, Tom Brady, Chelsea Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Governor Deval Patrick.
The new list also includes over $40 million owed to thousands of beneficiaries of unclaimed insurance policies that were uncovered in a Treasury-initiated audit of multiple life insurance companies. Because of the audit, these life insurance companies have agreed to change their practices to better identify beneficiaries upon the passing of the policy holder.
Since the beginning of 2011, the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division has dramatically increased its outreach activities, both directly to individual owners of unclaimed property and to the general public by setting up booths at fairs, sporting events, and other events. Because of this ramped-up outreach, the Division was able to return over $103 million in property, setting a new record and firmly establishing Massachusetts as a state with one of the highest per-capita rates of returning unclaimed property.
The full list of names of the new individuals and businesses added to the unclaimed property list in the last six months and owed amounts of more than $100 will be published in the Boston Globe on Sunday, September 8th and in the Boston Herald on Sunday, September 15th. In addition to these two newspapers, the full list of names will also be published in 20 other regional papers and a partial geographically-segregated listing of names will be published in 25 local papers.
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.