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Unclaimed Money in Maryland Reaches 580 Million Dollars

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According to MD State Comptroller Peter Franchot, Maryland unclaimed money has surpassed half of a billion dollars and is rapidly approaching $600 million. As of May of 2007, the total stood at $580 million, and with new unclaimed money being reported far outpacing the amount returned to the citizens, $600 million is just around the corner.

Once certain types of funds have been dormant for 3 years or more (depending on the type), they are considered "unclaimed property", and the financial institution, corporation, or insurance company holding them must turn them over to the State Comptroller's Office. There are dozens of types of accounts that may potentially become unclaimed funds, but according to the Comptroller's website, the most common in Maryland are: "bank accounts, contents of safe deposit boxes, wages, insurance benefits, security deposits, stock dividends".

The citizens of Maryland should consider themselves lucky, because they live in what is known as a "custodial state", which means there is absolutely no time limit for them to claim their lost cash, and after a person dies the rightful heirs may still claim it. However residents must act quickly on safe deposit boxes, because their contents will be auctioned off. The rightful owner can still at any time step forward and claim the proceeds, but if the item is of sentimental value, it may be gone forever.

Maryland missing money isn't just for current residents, though. American citizens who used to live in Maryland might be owed a claim, and even people who've never even set foot in the state, in some cases. When corporations that have businesses in multiple states across the country, they are supposed to turn over lost assets to the state in which the corporation is incorporated. So if a person has ever worked for a corporation that calls Maryland it's home, they may be due a claim, even if a search of their own state's records turned up nothing.

For the same reasons stated above, Maryland residents ought to search the records of any other states where they may have lived or had any employment or business dealings, even if they didn't know it. Each state maintains it's own records, so searching the records of one state doesn't come close to being a complete search.

In addition to searching multiple states, you should search them often. Why? Because you don't know when they last updated the listings. For starters, the varying dormancy periods are ending for thousands of accounts all of the time, but until they've expired, the state isn't even aware of the cash. Even after they've received the accounts the states often take their sweet time adding the record to their system. It takes manpower - someone physically adding the record - and we all know how efficient government can be, right? Searching frequently is the name of the game.

There are quite a number of tips to help locate lost money that most beginners aren't aware of, but a seasoned expert can teach people the "ins and outs" of locating funds owed to them to save them time and frustration, which often frustrates people in their quest.

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