Article Spotlights Difficulty of Claiming Unclaimed Property
A recent article by Bob Dyer on Ohio.com recounts the difficulty that at least one resident of the Buckeye state had in trying to collect unclaimed property. In the example recounted in the article, the claimant was originally unable to demonstrate that the address reported (an old business address at a building no longer in existence) was his former place of business. In this instance, the story has a happy ending. With the assistance of Mr. Dyer and the Ohio Department of Commerce, the owner was eventually able to get his money.
The underlying irony, however, is a familiar one to those in this field: an individual is often stymied in his or her efforts to reclaim the property for the very same reasons that the property was unclaimed in the first place. It could be that there is a typo in the holder’s record of the owner’s name. This, of course, leads to difficulty when someone with a different name (the correct one) tries to reclaim it. So too with mistaken addresses: the wrong zip code or street address on a dividend payment not only misdirects the owner’s funds, but makes it hard for that person to prove to the state that he or she is the proper claimant.
There is little that an owner can do to prevent such problems, other than regularly reviewing their contact information and notifying the holder quickly regarding any errors. But those who are excited to find their name on the state’s unclaimed property list would be well advised to remember that is the beginning, not the end, of the claim process.