At Choice Plus, LLC, we hear a lot about people’s misperceptions regarding what will be required of them by unclaimed property administrators in order to prove their entitlement to recover their property. The biggest misperception is that anyone can recover their property without paying for help. While many unclaimed property owners in Florida and California have no trouble claiming their property on their own, many others find that their property remain just beyond their reach.
1. Is It Better to Work With the State or a Private Unclaimed Property Reclamation Company?
The general attitude is “Why pay somebody when you can claim the money from the state for free?” But is that always true?
Many large corporations outsource location and recovery of their unclaimed property to private reclamations companies because they realize that it will cost them money to recover their unclaimed property if hire internal staff or if they outsource the work. If fact, they have figured out that is cheaper – much cheaper, to outsource recovery of their unclaimed property instead of maintaining a full time in-house staff.
What unclaimed property owners do not realize is that the ‘free’ assistance provided by state unclaimed property administrators, is limited to general advice which may fall short of what is actually required in order to retrieve their unclaimed money.
Most states have very limited operating budgets for locating unclaimed property owners. In fact, most states only locate about one-third of the people who have unclaimed property. This means that the majority of owners are never contacted by the state where their unclaimed property is held.
Without adequate access to private service providers and the resource they offer, many people will never recover their unclaimed money.
A simple unclaimed property cases involves an living owner who had a bank, or securities account that became inactive and was turned of the the state. Cases become more complex when the original owner has died and their estate requires administration in order to claim their unclaimed property accounts.
Unfortunately, the state does not have the manpower nor the budget to provide assistance for these more complex cases.
Individuals with unclaimed property in Florida and California who chose to work with an unclaimed property reclamation service, such as ours here, will have access to resources the state cannot provide and they will increase the likelihood that they will recover their property.
Unclaimed property services, such as Choice Plus, LLC, front all costs, including attorneys fees, court filing fee, document location, retrieval, and translations and other related costs on your behalf. The state does not do this.
We also work on a contingency-basis. This means that if we are unable to recover your unclaimed property, our fees are waived. This protects our clients.
We have worked with many clients, and in so doing, helped to set new precedents for unclaimed property cases in Florida and California. If you’d like to learn more about how we are changing things for the better, read our recent article about our work with Ms. O’Connor.
2. Hiring a Reclamation Company Puts You at Risk of Fraud
Many Florida and California residents mistakenly believe that there is considerable fraud in relation to unclaimed property reclamation service providers. In actuality, the risk of fraud when dealing with an established company like ours is very, very low.
Contrary to this commonly held belief, the majority of all unclaimed property fraud happens when people fraudulently represent themselves to be the owner of unclaimed property that is not theirs. These claimants are attempting to pass themselves off as the owners while in full knowledge of the fact that the property is not theirs.
The most frightening thing about these unclaimed property thieves is that states often do not have the resources to prosecute them. Instead, the thieves get away. The result is that the real unclaimed property owner almost never recovers their property.
Reclamation service providers often discover this fraudulent activity and report it to the state.
Service providers protect their clients from fraudulent actions of others. We catch fraudulent claims and provide the public a valuable of watchdog services that often go unnoticed.
3. Claiming Unclaimed Property is Free
Claiming unclaimed property is not always free. Many people will incur costs along the way.
Whether it is an investment of your time or money, recovering your unclaimed property will cost you something. How much will depend upon your specific circumstances.
People pay for services every day. Unclaimed property reclamation services are no different and no more risky than any other type of service provider you may chose to hire. By doing your research you can be assured that you will receive quality service and a positive outcome. You can avoid the pitfalls that service providers have already experienced and avoid the costly mistakes services providers have paid for while learning their trade. With us, you only pay for results – we pay for failure.