Massachusetts hosts in person unclaimed money events. Last fall, at the Big E in West Springfield they returned over half a million dollars to fairgoers who checked their names in the state database.
Half a million dollars might sound like a huge sum for a single event, but considering Mass. Has $3.4 BILLION in Unclaimed Money that is just a drop in the bucket. The Massachusetts Treasury returned over $174 million to people just last year.
With such a huge amount to return, the state designates an office to just this effort: The Office of Unclaimed Property Division. Reginald Steele is the lead investigator with the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Division. His job is to track people down to give them money.
“In my past experiences at other positions, my investigations ended with someone being arrested or someone losing their job,” said Steele. “Here at the end of investigation, I’m handing someone a check.”
And he has plenty of work to do because Massachusetts has $3.4 billion worth of unclaimed property, like forgotten bank accounts, unpaid wages, and uncashed dividends and checks.
“The big money is life insurance policies, shares of stock, matured CDs, checking accounts,” said Christina Lambert, director of publication and external relations at the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division. “Anyone can have unclaimed money. The older you are, the more likely you are to have unclaimed property.”
To check, just go to Findmassmoney.com, type in your name and search.
Remember, this is a democracy run by our elected officials. If you are unhappy with how your state is addressing unclaimed money and property let them know. Contact your state legislators and/or treasury department to ask them to consider hosting live events or creating unclaimed property investigation bureaus.