Unclaimed funds may include tax refunds, utility deposits, loan refunds, paid-up life insurance policies, dormant checking or savings accounts, unpaid wages or even unused gift certificates. The State enters the picture when whoever owes you the money has lost track of you (usually after three years). At that point, the State takes possession of the property and the Treasurer publishes it on its annual Great Colorado Payback list.
Often consumers are sent an official-looking letter, post card, or email stating that they may be recipients of unclaimed funds being held by a government agency. However, these notifications are not from a government agency. Instead they may be from locators who learn of your property from public records. These locators do not have to be licensed by the state. After sending in money to claim their funds, consumers may receive lists of agencies which may help with information only. Or, the locator may offer to sell the information about the unclaimed fund to the consumer for a percentage of the value of the funds. You should be aware, that, by law, they may not charge more than a 10 percent commission, based upon the value of the property and they must notify the Office of the State Treasurer. Their contract with you must make full disclosure about your property, what type of property it is, where it is, and what its value is. In addition, consumers should be suspicious if the company or individual asks for money BEFORE funds are collected.
The do-it-yourself procedure is a free, easy way for you to find out if you have money coming and claim it. You can simply contact the Office of the State Treasurer at https://www.colorado.gov/apps/treasury/ucp/claims/or call 800-825-2111 or 303-866-6070. Going this route saves you from the unecessary process of paying a third-party and sharing protected information with them.
All states maintain an office for unclaimed funds. To locate an unclaimed funds office in another state you can go to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators' website at www.unclaimed.org.
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