As more N. Carolina unclaimed money flows in to to the state, than is returned to its rightful owners, the state’s missing funds pile has swelled to the record amount of $700 million! These unclaimed funds technically already belong to residents of the state whose only obstacle is learning how to properly track down all possible claims.
According to the N. Carolina Treasury Department, there are more than 100 kinds of property that may become “unclaimed” after lying dormant for 1 to 5 years (depending on the kind of asset). Of the 100 types, N. Carolina lists bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds, and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned as some of the most common types.
As with unclaimed funds across the country, the biggest roadblock in discovering N. Carolina unclaimed funds, is generally the peoples’ searching capabilities. To begin with, very few people are even aware of these abandoned funds (or they would obviously have never forgotten them in the first place), and those that are aware, simply haven’t learned the right way to search.
With almost 1.5 million accounts currently being held by the state, the chances of being owed money have never been better. Every N. Carolinian out there ought to rush out and begin their search. But those who aren’t educated on tracking down unclaimed monies might be in for a lot of frustration and wasted time, unless they first get educated on how NOT to search.
The majority of people hoping to take back their abandoned assets believe that if they can find a web site to input their name and click a “search” button, they’ve done everything they can. This could not be more wrong. To begin with, many databases aren’t legitimate, and those that are are only as good as the people who update them.
Suppose a resident checks their name on Friday, but a state employee hasn’t actually placed the data in the system for that resident’s name until Saturday. This search would obviously not be successful, even though the person was due a claim. Unclaimed money listings aren’t updated in real time, so checking records frequently is one of the best methods to put in play if you want to be confident in your search results.
Records that are out of date aren’t always the fault of the state. If the asset just hasn’t been abandoned long enough to be technically considered unclaimed, then it won’t have been handed over to the state. Strict laws dictate how found money is dealt with in each state, so you won’t run in to issues like a bank turning over a bank account after only 6 months, just because you had not accessed it. So again, not finding a record does not mean that you aren’t owed money, and you should check back often.
As has been mentioned, there are varying “dormancy periods” for each type of asset, but they commonly range from 1 to 5 years. This means that after periods of inactivity exceed those dormancy periods, the companies who hold these properties are required to hand them over to the treasury dept. if they are unable to find the rightful owner on their own. At that point, the state will act as a custodian, essentially a “holder” until you claim your money.
There are countless problems, in addition to the examples of search issues mentioned above that often plague new searchers, which is why it is all the more important that N. Carolina residents allow an unclaimed funds expert to help them with a step-by-step guide for navigating the lost cash maze.
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