With larger states like California and New York reporting a combined unclaimed asset of almost $16 billion, the drive to locate the owners of unclaimed funds has been sped up in the last couple of years. In normal circumstances, any addition of funds is a positive thing for the State government, but with respect to the unclaimed funds, its a real issue of managing the unknown.
Its not only the states who are looking for the owners of lost money. Private and state owned financial institutions, like banks and insurance companies, are also hunting for the real owners of lost funds. Since these institutions have to transfer these unclaimed funds to the escheatment funds of the state after a certain buffer period, they want to avoid the bureaucratic steps involved in this when the funds are not unclaimed for a long period of time.
State authorities are trying to locate the owners of almost $40 billion of unclaimed funds and they are getting a lot of help from agencies like NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators). Every official involved in this task of hunting the owners of unclaimed funds realizes the enormity of the situation. The situation is even more complex with work transfers, residence changes, and migrations across states. For millions of state residents, this is happening on a consistent basis. These movements give rise to unaccounted utility bills, bank accounts, Tax refunds, pension funds, and other kinds of personal assets.
The problem of unclaimed funds have increased to an epidemic level as far as the State and Federal agencies are concerned. In a recent survey that was conducted throughout US, it was discovered that almost 8 out of 9 families in the U.S. have some sort of abandoned funds lying somewhere , waiting to be claimed. With the majority of the U.S. residents traveling to other states and countries for jobs and residences, and the volume of foreign and inter-state workers increasing rapidly, the volume of unclaimed funds is expected to rise further and it wont be a surprise if it touches a $100 billion figure very soon.
In order to alleviate the problem of burgeoning unclaimed funds, awareness programs in different media have been initiated by the state and federal governments with the sole intention of creating a greater visibility about the unclaimed funds in the U.S. Every possible media format has been leveraged to reach out to the farthest corners of America. In recent times, online media has been tapped to a great extent because of the larger and faster reach of internet in even the remote areas of the U.S. As a part of this measure, individual websites of states have been launched and these sites are dedicated to the search and recovery of unclaimed funds.
Most of these websites are targeted towards people who have very little time and who want the maximum amount of information in the shortest span of time. Most of these state sponsored sites are also associated with an unclaimed search database which includes the most current information regarding the owners of unclaimed funds and the amount of funds which is waiting to be claimed.