Choice Plus has commanding knowledge of unclaimed property laws. It has a reputation as an industry leader in successfully resolving complex cases and circumstances. Our network of attorneys and researchers are ready to help you enforce your rights so that your unclaimed assets and funds are returned to you.
Services include but are not limited to advancing capital, documenting ownership, resolving holder reporting errors and omissions, facilitating estate administration and civil actions, overturning adverse claim determinations made by unclaimed property administrators. Fees include all costs to prove entitlement, legal fees and related expenses.
Payment is contingent upon you receiving your unclaimed property. Choice Plus guarantees that you pay nothing if your unclaimed property is not returned to you.
Our services are provided on a “Success or No Cost Basis” and there are no upfront fees.
Choice Plus is a convenient alternative to filing a claim on your own and a staunch advocate for your rights. Our company has gained the respect of its peers and has developed valuable relationships with unclaimed property administrators, attorneys, and other professionals. The experience we have gained through overcoming numerous challenges and facilitating the return of over $50 million dollars provides you a valuable advantage and peace of mind.
Learn More About Unclaimed Property
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators(NAUPA) estimates that States are holding unclaimed property worth approximately $41.7 billion, and that perhaps $100 billion dollars has yet to be turned over.
Choice Plus LLC participated in an independent public records request from all 50 states and Washington, DC in 2014. Information included the amount of unclaimed property the states received and the amount they returned each year for as far back as each state had records available. 3 states failed to fully comply with the request. According the state data that was received, states are holding approximately $56 billion.
Approximately 50 million Americans own unclaimed property (1 in 6 people). Millions of these Americans are either unwilling or unable to get these unclaimed property funds due to the complexity and the lack of financial resources necessary to prove their ownership of the unclaimed property.
State unclaimed property administrators provide valuable free services to the public to locate and recover their unclaimed property usually at no cost. However, there are limitations to the free support administrators can provide. They cannot and will not pay for legal advices, court filings fees, translators, certified records, genealogical research, lost instrument bonds, etc. Lastly, free services have limited incentive to apply the extra on your behalf.
This is where our reclamation and support services are able to help you. Our team is highly experienced in the field of reclaimed, abandoned, or unclaimed property and assets. We advance all the financial resources necessary to probate estates, petition the court for determination of entitlement, translations, locating missing or hard to find ownership records and records connecting you to the unclaimed property account. We have developed domestic and global resources ready to assist with your reclamation effort.
Choice Plus has one of the highest recovery rates in the nation. In fiscal year 2012-2013 we recovered 97.5% of the $12 Million in unclaimed property claimed on behalf of our clients.
What is unclaimed property?
The definition of unclaimed property can refer to a broad spectrum of assets.
Property becomes defined as unclaimed or abandoned property after there has been no activity or contact with the owner over an extended period of time. Each state has their own regulations regarding the length of these time periods and refers to them as the dormancy period. These regulations may also vary according to the type of unclaimed property in question, such as an unclaimed inheritance, uncashed dividends, or the contents of a safety deposit box.
Examples of Unclaimed Property
While unclaimed property can refer to any type of unclaimed assets,funds, or properties, some examples of unclaimed properties would be as follows;
- Contents of a safety deposit box
- Inheritance (monetary or in properties)
- Securities and Mutual Funds
- Unclaimed inherited items, such as valuable collections and heirlooms
Examples of Unclaimed Money or Unclaimed Funds
Unclaimed money is the most common form of unclaimed property. These unclaimed funds can be a variety of items, whether actual cash or not. Here are some examples of unclaimed money that we regularly retrieve for people;
- Savings or checking accounts
- Uncashed dividends or payroll checks,
- Traveler’s checks
- Insurance payments or refunds
- Certificates of deposit
- Customer overpayments
- Utility security deposits
- Mineral royalty payments
While this is a sizable list of the various forms that unclaimed money can take, there are still many other types of unclaimed funds thatcan be retrieved from federal custodians.
Examples of Unclaimed Assets
The term “unclaimed assets” is frequently used synonymously with unclaimed property. In actuality, unclaimed assets, while it can refer to a broad spectrum of abandoned or unclaimed property or funds, generally refers to unclaimed items that have a cash value, but not actual money. Some examples of unclaimed assets are as follows;
- Life insurance policies
- Trust distributions
- Unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (only some statesqualify these)
Unclaimed Property Reclamation:
Why are there unclaimed properties?
The reasons for unclaimed money or unclaimed assets vary. Individuals may lose track of assets if;
- There has been a change of residence or a business relocation occurs, and an address change was not completed or provided.
- A check is received but accidentally discarded, misplaced, destroyed, or forgotten.
- An owner dies without a will or without leaving information about all assets, leaving relatives unaware of a bank account, safety deposit box, or stocks owned by the deceased.
- A clerical error alters the address or name of a recipient causing mail to be returned as undeliverable.
- Owner forgets about money or asset
- Parents establishing accounts in the name(s) of minor children, but forget about the accounts. The children are generally unaware until they receive some form of public or private notification of the existence of the asset.
- Business acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies, and dissolution
- Customer overpays on an account, or sends remittances with no indication as to which account the payment should be applied
Who can claim unclaimed assets?
A person who has a legal or equitable interest in property or the person’s legal representative. The term “owner” includes a depositor in the case of a deposit, a beneficiary in the case of a trust other than a deposit in trust, and a creditor, claimant, or payee in the case of other property.
Why Regaining Possession of Unclaimed Property Fails
Millions of owners make claims every year; approximately two-thirds of those claims fail.
Claims fail for lack of evidence, resources, holder reporting errors and omissions, insufficient understanding of requirementsnecessary to enforce your rights, and failure of government claim analysts to apply rules and laws correctly. The laws governing unclaimed property are very complex.
Overcoming claim challenges requires a thorough understanding of statutes, codes, and rules governing a broad range of laws that regulate unclaimed property administration, administrative appeals, probate, property ownership rights, business organizations, rules of evidence, marriage and divorce, adoption, international embargoes, rules of civil procedures, bankruptcy, constitutional issues, etc.
However, when you partner with a professional unclaimed property reclamation service, like that of Choice Plus LLC, many of these possible roadblocks are no longer an issue and may be overcome. Our experience in this field, and our commanding knowledge of the laws governing unclaimed property give us the edge necessary to help our clients win their cases.
Partner with success. Contact Choice Plus now!