What Is Unclaimed Property?


What Is Unclaimed Property … and why should business executives be concerned about it?

Unclaimed property consists of accounts and other financial assets that have been inactive for a certain period of time. Types of unclaimed property include: checking and savings accounts, uncashed payroll checks, uncashed stock dividends, insurance payments, inactive stock brokerage accounts, utility deposits, refund checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, mineral proceeds, and life insurance proceeds.

Each state and U.S. jurisdiction has an unclaimed property law that governs the length of time before a specific type of asset must be turned over to the state for safekeeping. Companies or Holders of potential unclaimed property are required by state laws to re-establish contact with the owner of the property. If attempts to contact the owner are unsuccessful, the property is transferred to the custody of the state for safekeeping and eventual return to the rightful owner.

Several years ago, I wrote: “I continue to be amazed at the amount of leakage in America’s corporate finances. By leakage, I mean money that goes unclaimed by corporations that is eventually escheated to state unclaimed property agencies.” When I wrote that in 2016, the states collectively owed about $50 billion to unclaimed property owners. Today that number has increased to $70 billion. There is no available data as to how much of that $70 billion is owed to U.S. corporations, but my estimate is that over half of the $70 billion is owed to American businesses. At some dollar amount, corporate management could be charged with neglect of corporate assets. A robust asset recovery program certainly would negate that risk and Poulson Law can assist you in establishing an asset recovery program.

Right now, billions of dollars in unclaimed business and corporate assets are being held in state trusts across the country waiting for their rightful owners to claim them. The asset recovery lawyers at Poulson Law have recovered millions of dollars from those trusts for their corporate clients. In fact, they recently recovered a single unclaimed asset valued at $1.4 million for a client. An asset that had been unclaimed for 30 years.

If you think your company may have unclaimed assets, and most do, let Poulson Law assist you in identifying and recovering those missing assets. The corporate asset recovery lawyers at Poulson Law have experience reclaiming unclaimed assets from all over the world. Our attorneys understand the complexities that can arise from recovering money and property across state and national jurisdictions, and have the experience to help you recover assets no matter where they may be held.

Call or email us for a free assessment of your company’s unclaimed assets. (607) 547- 1195 or rjp@poulsonlaw.com

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