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Cheated by Escheat?

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Cheated by Escheat?

Post by Intercasa on Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:16 pm

By the way, here’s something people should know about if they have bank accounts in the US. What happened to me is that I had some money in a US checking account that I hadn’t used for a few years. They blocked the account and called it dormant. I was recently contacted by a treasure hunter saying, “You may have some uncollected funds the US. Hire us, and we’ll see that you get it before the government does.” What they’re referring to is a law called “escheat,” which means that funds whose owner can’t be found revert to the state government after a period of time. When I called, they asked me for my secret code, which I had forgotten by that time. I almost had to fly back to California (where the account was) and show them my ID to get my money back. Luckily, I finally remembered my code, and they’re sending me a check now. So, people should be sure they deposit something, or have someone in the US do it on their behalf such as every year on their birthday deposit $5 to avoid the account going dormant and their funds being taken by the state. The average time for an account to be deemed dormant and revert to the state is 5 years but some states are getting greedy and shortening that time.
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Re: Cheated by Escheat?

Post by manymoonsago on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:07 pm

The treasure hunters are usually limited by state law as to the percentage they take for their efforts. If you are contacted by a treasure hunter and respond to them, you are pretty much obligated to pay them the "finders fee." Your other option, if you have the time, patience and know-how, is to not contact them and instead check your state's "abandoned property" program (the most common depository) and if that is the source, do the paperwork yourself.

If nothing turns up on the state abandoned property site, it could be something more difficult to locate: treasure hunters also check court filings for missing heirs and county treasurer records for odd things like excess proceeds from tax sales or a missing heir's share of an estate distribution. In State abandoned property sites, inactive bank accounts and uncashed dividend checks are most common, but there are also odd things like insurance refunds from a canceled policy, health insurance reimbursement checks, mortgage refunds after escrow closes, and contents of a forgotten safe deposit box.

Happens a lot when folks move and the mail forwarding notice has expired by the time the check or notification letters are mailed to the "of record" address.
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Re: Cheated by Escheat?

Post by Playaboy on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:57 pm

Here is an article in the LA Times about treasure hunters.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20140701-column.html

The article has a link to the CA State unclaimed property database.  I found money my late Father had unclaimed which Mom had fun with.

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Re: Cheated by Escheat?

Post by Rosa Venus on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:35 pm

Thanks for the heads up Intercasa. I left some cash in a US bank 6 years ago, just to have a second account in case I ended up needing it, and haven't interacted with the since.

Ugh. One more thing to check in on.
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Re: Cheated by Escheat?

Post by solajijic on Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:34 pm

If you inform, with your new address, the Secretary of State in every state in which you have lived they cannot take your funds because their reasonable effort to locate you would be within their own files first.

We did this for ourselves and all our immediate family before we left the US. We have recovered several sums, one of which was a class action settlement.

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Re: Cheated by Escheat?

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