7 On Your Side
Do you have unclaimed money?
NEW YORK (WABC) -- It just may be the cure for the recession blues. Unclaimed money, that could be waiting for you with your state's treasury. It could be dormant bank accounts, leftover insurance money, stock dividends, hundreds or even thousands all just sitting there just waiting for you to pick it up. But the best news, it takes just seconds to find out if you are owed.
It might be news that leave you gasping.Or clapping and and jumping for joy. It's like winning the lottery, only not having to pay taxes on the prize.
It's unclaimed assets. Your money that has been turned over to the state.
SCROLL DOWN FOR LINKS TO FIND YOUR UNCLAIMED MONEY!
"It might be stocks, it might be something that might have been in your family for awhile that you didn't know about." Vanessa Lockel of the New York State Comptrollers Office says the state coffers are stuffed with everything from dormant bank accounts to bonds to even un-cashed gift cards.
The state of New Jersey has $3 billion in unclaimed funds. Connecticut has $545 million. In the Empire state...
"It's massive, $10.5 billion in unclaimed funds. It's money that nobody's aware of."
The chance the some of the money is yours is better than any lottery odds, 20 percent of New Yorkers have lost loot with the state.
We went back to two families who came to 7 on your side for help.
Last fall we tried to help Chris and Teresa Mellin. Brooklyn store owners who were paid thousands for a fridge, but got nothing. We tried, but couldn't help then. But this time? We researched and found both were owed some money from New York state.
Vanessa Lockel from the NY State Comptrollers Office called with the good news, "Based on the information you have given us, we have about $427 in unclaimed funds for you." The news made Teresa clap and jump for joy.
Next, we looked on the list for the forgotten funds of a retired NYPD sergeant from Staten Island. Last year we fixed their Christmas lights.
Two months later, we found Christmas came twice. We found their names on the unclaimed funds list. They had several items listed, one an insurance policy that then-rookie Patrolman Bill West took out when he was just 32.
They got the good news on speaker phone, "I have a wonderful surprise for you. I have about $1,572 in unclaimed funds.
This is how it's easy it is. Start by logging on to your state's website, click on unclaimed funds and type in your last name. Leave the first name blank to see the most results which may pertain to you.
I did some research on my own name, and found an account I didn't recognize at first, a whopping $4,186.
That was an old retirement account I opened when I turned 30. I forgot about and its been inactive for ten years.
Remember the search is free, remember don't pay online predators offering to do it for a cut. And also play around with your first and last name, your name could be spelled wrong so keep looking for any place you or an ancestor may have lived.
A mother of two experienced a moment she never dreamed would happen to her.
"I was watching it, and I said, 'I have to go and find anything under my name I didnt know of'," Alexandra Ducayette said.
Alexandra had just watched Eyewitness News at 11 o'clock and shared the the joy of seeing families find out they'd soon be reunited with their unclaimed funds.
And now it's happened for her! Alexandra is getting more than $1,300 back!
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