As many Minnesotans know, sometimes money can go missing due to a change of address, a death in the family, or a number of other reasons. Fortunately, that’s when the Minnesota Department of Commerce steps in to help Minnesota consumers find and claim what is rightfully theirs. This year alone the Commerce Department reunited 7,200 Minnesotans with $19 million in missing bank accounts, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, unclaimed paychecks, and other real property and financial assets – a 13 percent improvement over 2011.
“Since 2005, the Department has helped more than 84,000 Minnesotans find $163 million that may otherwise have gone missing indefinitely,” said Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose Department oversees the state’s Unclaimed Property Program. “We estimate that one out of every twenty Minnesotans has at least $100 currently being held by the State of Minnesota. Our message to Minnesota consumers is simple: this could be your money, come and claim it.”
Lakeville resident Rick Masloski represents one of the thousands of Minnesotans who benefitted from the state’s unclaimed property program this year. Masloski’s father passed away 19 years ago, and left him with more than $1,300 in unclaimed stock shares that Rick searched for but for years was unable to find. With the assistance of Commerce Department staff, Masloski was able to find, claim, and cash out the shares, which were duly his.
“I would encourage anyone to take a few moments, check the website, and ask for assistance. I found the people at the Commerce Department to be extremely helpful and very pleasant to work with,” said Masloski.
[Watch Rick’s story here]
Additionally, looking for unclaimed property in Minnesota just got a little easier. The Commerce Department has dramatically improved its website so that Minnesota consumers can more easily understand the program and quickly search for their names as well as the names of their loved ones to determine if they have any unclaimed property being held by the State of Minnesota.
The Department announced this week the rollout of a “FastTrack” system that will expedite the process for consumers with smaller claims. Minnesota’s online look-up functions on MissingMoney.com have been enhanced to include behind-the-scene validation tools for certain claims which will substantially reduce the time it takes to return unclaimed property to Minnesota consumers.
“Minnesota is one of ten states in the nation that is taking advantage of this time-saving, efficient technology,” said Commissioner Rothman. “ We expect that a large number of claims may be resolved more quickly by using this new software enhancement – and the time we save on these smaller claims will help our staff more efficiently meet the needs of other Minnesota consumers.”
Be sure to check out the Department of Commerce’s website for some more basic facts regarding unclaimed property and how you can search for what’s rightfully yours.