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Old 09-03-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,196 posts, read 6,517,045 times
Reputation: 9878
Default Apparently I have "unclaimed" $1,117 in an escrow account.

My BS detector is set very low but I think this is actually legit. If I am wrong, hopefully someone here will tell me before I proceed!

I got a letter from a firm called Joseph Richards & Associates stating that a certain bank was unsuccessful in getting hold of me and that they had monies that were owed me, so they put it in a third-party escrow account. The bank name was unfamiliar to me but I looked them up online and, under a previous name, they were a mortgage lender and I did indeed have a mortgage with them about 15 years ago. I sold that house in 2001. I have no clue why I would have any money coming back to me after so long, though.

So I assume the company that contacted me by mail somehow acquires unclaimed monies, tracks down the putative recipient, then gets the money for them, for a 15 percent fee of course.

Find Your Unclaimed Property - JRFirm.com

I called them and was told:
You fill out the forms we sent, or fill them out online.
We get the money released to you and send it to you.
Once you've received the money, we then bill you for 15 percent and you mail us a check.
The phone rep stressed that they do not get any payment until after receipt of the money.

None of their forms ask for anything suspicious. Just contact info and a signature.

Can anyone shed any more light on this? I'm going to call the bank/mortgage lender in question tomorrow and see what they say.

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:21 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
5,474 posts, read 9,919,411 times
Reputation: 2577
Doesn't the bank have to turn that unclaimed money into the state after 7 years? Hmmm...thinking scam here! Check your states "found money" site direct or go to missingmoney.com. My bet is with your signature they get the money and don't turn it over to you!
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,196 posts, read 6,517,045 times
Reputation: 9878
Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
Doesn't the bank have to turn that unclaimed money into the state after 7 years? Hmmm...thinking scam here! Check your states "found money" site direct or go to missingmoney.com. My bet is with your signature they get the money and don't turn it over to you!
Good thinking I did just check on the missing money site and the state site as well and found a record of "over $100" listed under my name with that bank...but I need to call the state treasury dept apparently to get full details.

Thanks! Maybe my BS detector was actually set too low this time. )
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
5,474 posts, read 9,919,411 times
Reputation: 2577
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Good thinking I did just check on the missing money site and the state site as well and found a record of "over $100" listed under my name with that bank...but I need to call the state treasury dept apparently to get full details.

Thanks! Maybe my BS detector was actually set too low this time. )
You're welcome!

Basically, the firm that contacted you, got the info from the state and tracked you down! They maybe legit but you shouldn't have to pay money to claim what is due you!

I always hope my name will come up with something, but so far nothing! You are lucky some states haven't joined the missingmoney clearinghouse.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,196 posts, read 6,517,045 times
Reputation: 9878
Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
You're welcome!

Basically, the firm that contacted you, got the info from the state and tracked you down! They maybe legit but you shouldn't have to pay money to claim what is due you!

I always hope my name will come up with something, but so far nothing! You are lucky some states haven't joined the missingmoney clearinghouse.
Thanks!

I'm in Michigan now but used to live in Colorado. The missingmoney site led me to a link at colorado.gov where a search on my name an old address showed "unclaimed money" in excess of $100 per the state treasurer. I'm calling them, and the bank in question, tomorrow.

Jeez now I feel like an eedjit for posting the OP because I suppose it was scammier than I thought. I should have searched more diligently first.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
4,822 posts, read 3,481,550 times
Reputation: 4597
Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
Doesn't the bank have to turn that unclaimed money into the state after 7 years? Hmmm...thinking scam here! Check your states "found money" site direct or go to missingmoney.com. My bet is with your signature they get the money and don't turn it over to you!
I was checking out family names on one of the state sites and found both my stepdad's and brother's name as having money owed them. I believe it was over $100 on both. They are both passed away and I was wondering if my brothers sons could claim one or both? I guess I should inform them of this and let them investigate, if they want to. But I have wondered about that.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:03 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
5,474 posts, read 9,919,411 times
Reputation: 2577
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
I was checking out family names on one of the state sites and found both my stepdad's and brother's name as having money owed them. I believe it was over $100 on both. They are both passed away and I was wondering if my brothers sons could claim one or both? I guess I should inform them of this and let them investigate, if they want to. But I have wondered about that.
I would imagine that a good portion of "found" money was due people that have since passed away. In this case, the estate should be able to request the money be returned according to any will or probate order.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:42 AM
 
4,048 posts, read 1,606,277 times
Reputation: 3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Jeez now I feel like an eedjit for posting the OP because I suppose it was scammier than I thought. I should have searched more diligently first.
No way, it's always the right (and smartest) thing to do to check!

There are so many fishing attempts out there it's hard to know what's legit.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
4,822 posts, read 3,481,550 times
Reputation: 4597
Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
I would imagine that a good portion of "found" money was due people that have since passed away. In this case, the estate should be able to request the money be returned according to any will or probate order.
Thanks! I'll tell my nephews about this and they can do what they want about it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:50 AM
 
316 posts, read 200,156 times
Reputation: 338
Always remember nobody ever calls you to give you money unless somebody died and left you money. Banks are happy to let it sit in their accounts forever because that means they get to use it.

There are, however, sometimes non-profit groups that search the records and contact people about these accounts but they never ask for information, they just tell you to contact whoever is holding your money. This is actually how my Dad found out he has a couple thousand dollars of unclaimed money that originated from a school award back in the 60s (they used to give students cash awards in the form of a college fund).
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