“The joint study by consulting firm Deloitte and NASACT cited the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Office, which won a state award in June for an innovative social media campaign that used Facebook to target people who might have unclaimed property, such as forgotten bank accounts, mineral royalties and insurance premiums. The campaign generated more than $5 million in claims owed to Texans since December 2013.”
We applaud the Texas Comptroller for these innovative solutions to reach the public in a very productive way!
For immediate release:
Bettendorf, Iowa – April 13, 2015 – Discovered Money, a non-profit organization, is pleased to host a “treasure hunt” for unclaimed property on Monday, April 20th from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Bettendorf Public Library. The goal is to educate the general public about the entire unclaimed property process from search to claim and collection. During the open house, Chad Raeside, a volunteer CPA from the charity, will be on-site to demonstrate new and innovative search tools developed exclusively by the charity. This event is free and open to the public.
The State of Iowa currently safeguards over $120 Million in unclaimed property for Iowans in the form of cash, shares of corporate stock and other property obtained from safe deposit boxes. A brief 20-minute presentation will begin at 2 p.m. Visitors to this open house will search state databases for their lost money and learn important money tips, including how to prevent your bank accounts from reverting to state custody. Google street maps of the Iowa Quad-Cities will also be on display to showcase the sheer volume of unclaimed property currently available for claim. This search tool is free for public use and may be previewed before the event at discoveredmoney.org.
This event is held in conjunction with Money Smart Week, April 18th through April 25th, 2015. During this week, financial literacy events will be held across the nation promoting a wide variety of educational topics such as budgeting, savings and retirement strategies and money saving tips.
ABOUT DISCOVERED MONEY – Discovered Money is a non-profit organization that volunteers to help non-profits, schools, individuals and businesses reclaim their unclaimed property. Our organization has volunteered for various organizations including the Red Cross, March of Dimes, Easter Seals, Big Brother Big Sisters and various school districts located across the country.
ABOUT MONEY SMART WEEK – Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance. Partnering Organizations will host their events April 18 – 25, 2015. For more information, visit moneysmartweek.org.
This month, California state controller, John Chiang added new search functionality to make it easier to search for unclaimed life insurance proceeds and/or premiums. Here is an explanation of the recent litigation settlements as reported here:
State Controller John Chiang’s audits of national insurance company practices, which started in 2008, revealed an industry-wide practice of companies failing to pay death benefits to beneficiaries. Often, companies would draw down the cash value of the life insurance policy to continue paying premiums, even when they knew or should have known the policyholder had died and the beneficiaries should be paid. The policies then would be canceled — without notifying the policyholder or their family members.
To protect life insurance policyholders and their beneficiaries, the Controller has led the national effort to end this practice. To date, Controller Chiang has reached global settlements with 19 life insurance companies to restore the full value of impacted accounts dating back to 1995 and to abide by the State’s unclaimed property laws to return these accounts to the owners or, in many cases, the owners’ heirs. These 19 life insurance companies have agreed to restore an estimated $266.7 million in unpaid benefits to Californians, and an estimated $2.4 billion nationally.
Through July 2014, 15 of the 19 life insurance companies have transferred $190.3 million to the Controller for safekeeping until their beneficiaries can be found. During very early efforts, nearly $60 million has already been returned to the rightful owners. In July 2014, the Controller successfully petitioned the Legislature for additional budget resources to expand his office’s ability to locate the beneficiaries of these recovered insurance policies. To continue his push to find the beneficiary of every one of these recently-restored policies, Controller Chiang launched a new online search at www.claimyourpolicy.sco.ca.gov
Editor’s note: Although this is a great new tool for specialized and in-depth searches, Discovered Money recommends you search the entire state database, including the life insurance proceeds and premiums at their main search website at claimit.ca.gov.
Discovered Money is pleased to announce the release of two new unclaimed property maps for Irvine and Lake Forest, California. These amazing and exclusive maps allows site visitors to scroll Google maps in search of unclaimed property treasure. Click on the map’s markers to learn more about the unclaimed property previously lost at that address. These map tools are free for public use. Visit them here:
All California Maps – http://discoveredmoney.org/outreach/map-the-cash/california-maps/ or short link – http://goo.gl/ZNGvy
From CNET press release on October 30, 2013:
Amazon buyers who want to give a little something to charity can now do their shopping via the retailer’s AmazonSmile site.
Launched on Wednesday, AmazonSmile will dole out 0.5 percent of your total purchase to any one of a million eligible charities. To use the program, just browse to the AmazonSmile Web site. The first time you visit the site, you can choose one of the charities spotlighted by Amazon or pick your own by typing its name in the search field.
Then you just shop as you normally would. Shopping through AmazonSmile is just like shopping through Amazon’s regular Web site. You’ll find the same products and experience, according to Amazon. The only difference is that buying an item through AmazonSmile ensures that your favorite charity benefits.
The Web site remembers the charity you initially chose. Should you wish to change the charity, just click on its name at the top of the AmazonSmile site, and you can then pick a different one.
Editor’s note: You may select Discovered Money as your AmazonSmile charity.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. –
More than $1.14 million in property tax overpayments that went unclaimed by hundreds of individuals and businesses in Riverside County was deposited into the county’s general fund today by the Board of Supervisors, several of whom expressed regret that the money couldn’t be returned to taxpayers.
“I can’t help but wonder what we’re not doing to contact these taxpayers,” said Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. “We have committees, commissions and everything else under the sun to collect fees. Maybe it’s time we appoint somebody to contact these folks so we can get them their money.”
In a 5-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors authorized county Treasurer-Tax Collector Don Kent to take the unclaimed money and place into an active account for the county’s discretionary use.’
However, Jeffries, Supervisors John Benoit, Jeff Stone and John Tavaglione all wondered why the roughly 1,800 prospective claimants to the funds didn’t make an effort to get the money rightfully owed them.
Discovered Money captured the list of people and businesses owed money by Riverside County as of May 1st, 2013. You can review the list here. (Some of the parties on this list have already claimed their property.)
Military Medal Return Bill allows Treasurer Clint Zweifel to share list of owners with public
Treasurer Zweifel releases names of owners to the public and asks for help
JEFFERSON CITY – On August 28, 2013, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel released the names of the owners of more than 120 military medals and insignia he safeguards in Unclaimed Property with the goal of returning these medals to the veterans who earned them. Thanks to the Military Medal Return Bill, Treasurer Zweifel can now share information about these medals, such as the name and last known address of the safe deposit box owner and photographs of the items, with the public.
Residents of Solano County, California have until May 31, 2013 to provide proof of identity to the county’s treasurer in an effort to claim the money that is rightfully theirs. The treasurer maintains the listing and the county’s laws indicate that the entire fund will be swept into the general fund on May 31st. Residents may review the listing for themselves and any small businesses that they might own and operate.
To view the treasurer’s website, including claim instructions, visit http://www.co.solano.ca.us/depts/ttcc/treasurer/unclaimed_money.asp
To review the entire listing in PDF format, download our file for free at: http://ge.tt/1UpiyVf
Citizens of Sacramento, California have until June 26th, 2013 to review the unclaimed property listing at their treasurer’s website.
The unclaimed property list consists of 10,419 unclaimed items, primarily uncashed checks and utility account credits that result when customers overpay on their account and don’t request a refund. The sum of all outstanding claims is $1.77 million, which makes the average claim worth about $170.
To claim your money or review the Treasurer’s website, visit http://goo.gl/isxD6
To view the entire listing, download the PDF at http://ge.tt/1jVZvVf/
According to a press release by Arkansas State Auditor Charlie Daniels, the state will now allow Arkansans to file for unclaimed properties under the faster electronic method. This will be a significant cost savings for both the State of Arkansas and the claimants themselves. It will certainly eliminate one of the reasons many people do not file for smaller amounts of missing money – the cost of postage. It will also reduce wait times.
The entire volunteer team at Discovered Money applauds Mr. Daniels for his efforts in making e-filing a reality in Arkansas. This is a monumental step forward for the public and we hope other states follow suit in the coming years.