Grossman Announces Latest Release of Unclaimed Property Listings for Massachusetts
Over $100 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 45,000 new properties in excess of $100 million combined are owed to individuals and businesses in the Commonwealth.
“While this list is extensive, it only represents properties collected by Treasury in the last six months,” said Grossman. “There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are not on this list but who can lay rightful claim to the over $2.4 billion that we have on hand. Checking to see if you have unclaimed property with Treasury only takes minutes, and an estimated one in ten people will be pleasantly surprised.”
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 newly released 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 September of 2013. Grossman urged citizens to check the comprehensive list at www.findmassmoney.com or to call 888-344-MASS (6277), 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 $20 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 last year alone, setting a new record and firmly establishing Massachusetts as the state with 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, March 2nd and in the Boston Herald on Sunday, March 9th. In addition to these two newspapers, the full list of names will also be published in 30 other regional papers and a partial geographically-segregated listing of names will be published in 19 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.