Although locating and claiming these goodies will often require a bit of investigation and detective work, it is always exciting to see your clients benefit from adding these lost items to their net worth.
Where to start:
There are several places online that allow you to search for unclaimed assets. Some of them are more geared towards tangible assets, such as vehicles, real estate, or another real estate, while others have records of unclaimed pensions or financial assets. A list of websites that you can use to locate lost assets includes:
- www. unclaimed. org – This is the official website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Managers. It focuses more on tangible real estate than financial assets, but some of them are listed here as well.
- www. missingmoney. com – This site is designed for those seeking financial assets at the federal or state level. Most states participate in this site, and links to each of their databases are included here. Data for all states and provinces is updated weekly, so you’ll always get the most up-to-date information.
- www. irs. gov – While this may be a bit elementary, it doesn’t hurt to visit here to make sure your customers don’t have any outstanding refunds due to them (or they owe something they don’t know either).
- Failed Financial Institutions – If you have a client that had assets in a bank, credit union, or brokerage firm that became insolvent, then you will be able to claim at least the amount of money you had there up to the limits of insurability, such as $ 250,000 for banks. Visit www. fdic. gov, www. yepc. gov, Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse (stanford securities. edu) or The National Credit Union Administration (www.ncua.gov/Recursos/AM/Pages/ UnclaimedDeposits.aspx) to locate assets in this category.
- www. HUD. gov / offices / hsg / comp / refunds / index. cfm - go here for customers who may be eligible to receive a HUD refund on their FHA mortgage.
- www. gov / scavenger hunt – This will include all savings bonds that have stopped earning interest.
- www. fiscal. treasury. gov / fsservices / gov / pmt / unpdforclaims / unpdforclaims_home. htm – go here to help clients reclaim assets owed to them by foreign governments.
Be on the lookout for scams
Of course, there are a number of shady teams sending unsolicited emails claiming to have found some lost treasure that belongs to you or your clients. You can spot these scams easily because of no federal or state entity contacts anyone about this directly, except perhaps in response to a specific prior inquiry.
Show proof of ownership
The bottom line
Finding unclaimed money or other property for clients can be a very useful additional service that can help you add value and grow your business. Although finding something of substantial value is probably a fairly rare occurrence, running this search for all new customers, and perhaps your existing customer base from time to time, can ensure that you have left no stone in the asset management process.
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