Stop Companies and Governments from Grabbing Your Unclaimed Assets
- Author: Johnnie Padberg
- Posted: 2023-05-17
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have lost money, jobs, and opportunities that could cost them in the long run. Of course, that means that it's critical for everyone to safeguard what they already have. Many of us assume that we already know about the assets we need to safeguard.
There have always been unclaimed property websites and services that have been available to Americans in every state. However, now Americans who have outstanding unclaimed property face a novel risk - debt collectors who ruthlessly go after their assets.
Due to COVID-19, many debt collection agencies began to lose sources of cash. Since most operate on a wage garnishment basis and were not able to grab unemployment money or stimulus money, they're out to grab anything to appease their clients.
Is this practice legal? That depends on the state; in most cases, there's a set amount of time that the state has to keep one's property before either claiming it for the state or allowing it to be collected as collateral on debt. However, in many cases, debt collectors will use a fraudulent pretense to gain access to information regarding your unclaimed assets.
How Do I Know If I'm Being Targeted?
Certain states have laws stating that you must be served a legal notice that debt collectors are going after your assets. In other cases, people are completely caught off-guard and are unable to claim significant amounts because of these unscrupulous companies.
Even if you have no debt, you could still be getting targeted! Unfortunately, some debt companies are more aggressive than others and are willing to lie about your debt to collections agencies simply to reclaim lost revenue. Of course, this practice is unlawful and you'd likely be entitled to compensation. As we all know, there's always a difference between what the law is and what you'll be able to claim in practice.
In short, you cannot know if you're being targeted by these companies, as selected ones do not play by the rules. That's why it's important to be proactive about your assets. Read on to learn how to protect what's already yours before it's stolen by thieves!
Claiming Your Own Property
During COVID-19, many people have more downtime, even if they'd prefer to be working and earning money. However, this can work to your advantage in providing you with the time to ascertain what unclaimed property could be under your name and go about claiming it.
In some states, it's as simple as answering a few questions and indicating how you'd like it delivered. In others, it's a lengthier process, requiring you to fill out forms, send and receive faxes, and other tasks.
Thankfully, there are some universal resources for unclaimed property. Keep in mind that every unclaimed property search engine is essentially a database of "scraped" data from state websites, just combined into one site. Never limit your search for unclaimed property to one website! Always do your own research on the matter, as laws surrounding it and threats to it are constantly changing!
To see if you have unclaimed property, just visit MissingMoney.com and enter your details in. The site is safe and secure.
What If I Don't Think I Have Unclaimed Assets?
You'd be surprised at the staggering amount of money states get every year because people make the assumption they have no unclaimed assets. Many people are beneficiaries of class-action lawsuits against various companies they've patronized and are unaware of a settlement amount payable to them.
Individually, these could be very small sums. However, it's not uncommon to have an individual person have hundreds of entries from various states. The best part is that you can collect all of what's owed to you in one sitting, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that the property goes to its rightful owner during these stressful times.
You should not assume that you don't have unclaimed property! There's often not a legal requirement to notify you, and, in some circumstances, the entity that owes you the money can also reclaim it, so you're essentially racing against time. Not searching at least a few times a year just does you a disservice. All it takes is an Internet connection, a few minutes, and some patience to stop your unclaimed property from going into the hands of criminals and instead being delivered right to you.