Thursday, July 8, 2010

Escheatment Is Not an Expletive!

Normally, when I write a post on this blog it is in response to another blog that I have read and commented on. But today I would like to talk to you about that other social media tool, FACEBOOK. Do you have a Facebook account? Do you use it for business or pleasure or a combination of both?  Quite honestly, my Facebook account started out as a personal account, but it has evolved over time. Now I find it to be a pretty good way of staying in contact with clients, as well as friends.  But all this aside, this post deals with escheatment and how my FACEBOOK "friend" helped me find some very lost money! Do I have your attention yet?  Just remember, escheatment is a strange word, but it is not an expletive!

Let me introduce you to Nicole. Nicole and I have known each other for about 10 years. She and I worked together in the IT department of Mercury Insurance Services. The photo you see here was taken at our holiday party in December 2002. Nicole is the sane looking one! But let's get back to escheatment.

On May 14, 2010, Nicole posted the following status on her Facebook page:
"Reminding everyone to search their names on the unclaimed property sites to see if the State is holding funds in your name. Reclaiming is easy and free. Good luck!"
Here is the link she provided: Missing Money Free Search for Unclaimed Property - Officially endorsed By The States and Provinces

I couldn't resist. I checked the site and found my husband's name listed as having funds being held by the State of New Hampshire, we moved from NH in October 1997. I sent a message to Nicole:
"This was fun. I am thinking you are still part of the Escheatment Project! Anyway, it seems Dennis left some money behind in NH. I will keep you posted."
Nicole messaged back to me:
"It is a curse Judy. Everyone I train to take over the darn thing leaves the co or the dept. I saw this topic trending on Yahoo last night and thought I would post the reminder. I see infomercials are trying to sell this as a secret to wealth (you contact owners and charge them a finder's fee). Best of luck to you guys on the journey of reclaiming!"
Here is the bottom line, as you might be able to discern nobody really wants to be assigned to a company's Escheatment Project. It is complex law and each state has their own way of having a company interface with the state's treasury department to account for the abandoned property and to transfer the property from the company to the state. This is a Quality Assurance manager's testing nightmare!

But now many states are participating in this Missing Money site and you can search the database and follow the simple instructions. You never know...Dennis was pleasantly surprised.

Thanks to Nicole and FACEBOOK.

Let me know if you find any lost money and be sure to tell your friends to read this post about ESCHEATMENT! (Who comes up with these words?)
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Nicole Rasbach said...

Well Judy, this made my day. Escheatment! What a mixed bag that word is. A complete nightmare to maintain, but such a unexpected blessing to some on the receiving end.
Is there a place where all of these lost or forgotten checks have gone to?
I keep holding out hope that one day I will find my own name on a list.
Thanks so much for posting this!

Judy Helfand said...

The famous Escheatment Project...if you could have seen Dennis' face when the lady in New Hampshire's Unclaimed Property Department told him how much money they were holding. It was very funny. What made it even more funny is that the company had been acquired, so we had to think back who the original payor would have been. Look, it won't buy a new car, but it is not a kick in the pants either.

I also think that the fact that the USPS does not forward mail for more than six months, also adds to the amount of unclaimed property.

It is such a strange word:"the reverting of property to the state or some agency of the state, or, as in England, to the lord of the fee or to the crown, when there is a failure of persons legally qualified to inherit or to claim."

Or, just plain "confiscate". Yikes!

Thanks for writing. I hope you will stop by here more often.

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