Provided by the Massachusetts Unclaimed Property Division:
Treasurer Steven Grossman announced that the state has added in the last six months more than 45,000 unclaimed properties in excess of $100 million combined that are owed to people and businesses.
“While this list is extensive, it only represents properties collected by Treasury in the last six months,” Grossman said in a news release.
“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 people and businesses with shares of stock or mutual funds or unclaimed property that's more than $100 and doesn't include any owners identified before September 2013.
Grossman urged citizens to check the comprehensive list at www.findmassmoney.com or to call 888-344-MASS (6277), noting that one in 10 people in Massachusetts has unclaimed property in their name.
Past individuals with claims to Massachusetts unclaimed property include President Obama, Tom Brady, Chelsea Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Deval Patrick.
The new list also includes more than $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 more than $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 was published in the Boston Globe on Sunday, March 2, and in the Boston Herald on Sunday, March 9. 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.