According to Sarah Steelman, Missouri unclaimed money recently grew to the huge sum of $400 million. This mountain of cash is likely to grow, because as with most states, MO takes in more unclaimed money each year than is returned to the citizens. Among the number of reasons why these funds continue to go unclaimed, is the fact that most people aren’t aware of unclaimed money, and the few that are don’t know the correct way to search.
As we see MO unclaimed money numbers approaching a half of $1 billion, the “Show Me State” ought to change its name to the “Show Me The Money State”. So where does all that money come from? There are quite a number of different sources for unclaimed money, a few of the most common are safe deposit boxes, certificates of deposit, abandoned bank accounts, life insurance policies, forgotten stocks, and checks that have not been cashed.
Despite the fact that there isn’t a time limit on claiming forgotten funds, MO only guarantees that they will hold items from safe deposit boxes for 1 year (though they do occassionally hold on to them for longer). According to the MO State Treasury web site, this is how they handle these assets: “Although State Treasurer Steelman would like to keep the contents of safe deposit boxes until an owner or heir is identified, the unclaimed property vault used to store non-monetary items of value (jewelry, coins, etc.) reaches capacity every couple of years. When the vault is full, the Unclaimed Property Division hosts an auction, and the proceeds generated from the sale of items from safe deposit boxes is recorded in the name of the safe deposit box owner. If owners or heirs are identified, they receive the entire proceeds from the sale of the items.”
It’s clear that for those citizens who use (or have used) a safe deposit box, it is very important to get started on your search quickly if the items have a sentimental value to you, but worst case scenario is that you will get the proceeds if your items sell. Luckily for the rest of us, most of the money doesn’t come from unclaimed property auctions.
Whether you are a former or current MO resident, or even in some cases, haven’t ever resided in MO at all, the odds that lost money is owed to you, are in your favor. Of course the awesome part about money derived from unclaimed money is that the assets already rightfully belongs to people. This means there are no games or gambling involved. The only thing keeping missing cash from turning in to found cash, for most people, is the knowledge about how to search, and where to search.
A number of myths exist about unclaimed money. The most common is the idea that performing just one internet search on any old web site constitutes a full search. The problem is most of these “official” searches, are anything but, and their info is quite often not current if not completely wrong, and only serves as a sales hook. One of the other most common myths is the idea that the state’s databases are up to date and accurate.
There is not a single law that dictates when each state, including MO, has to update their unclaimed money databases. Because of this, one of the best things people can do is search regularly. If your money has only been determined to be “unclaimed” recently, it likely wouldn’t appear in MO’s system until it is first been handed over by the account holder, and then whenever the state treasury office adds the record.
To learn more about these unclaimed money search obstacles, and a number of others, and it is important to seek out expert assistance in your quest for forgotten funds, to ensure that you reclaim all possible cash owed to you.
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