Federal and State governments are still sitting on a pile of unclaimed cash which has been rising steadily with each passing month. Nearly all the states continue to report huge additions to this unclaimed cash vault, but the biggest recipients of unaccounted cash have been the three major states: New York, California, and Texas. California is reporting unclaimed money to the tune of $5.7 Billion and New York’s pile of unclaimed money has swelled up to $9.9 billion.
According to a recent estimate by National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), almost $40 billion in unclaimed cash and property is sitting in state treasuries and other agencies just waiting to be claimed, and the figures are going up every year. Most of the new additions to the government’s unclaimed cash vault is because of unclosed bank accounts, returned tax refund, unremitted pension funds, and other types of personal assets that have not been accounted as of yet. As soon as these funds reach the upper statutory limit for the abandoned money and property, it is transferred to the federal or state government where it is flagged of as unclaimed or abandoned.
Most of the economists and financial experts are estimating that the volume of unclaimed cash might reach the dreaded $100 billion mark. By a very conservative estimate, 8 out of 9 families in the U.S. have somebody who has failed to reclaim their lost funds or properties. The outreach program of the states along with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), a nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Association of State Treasurers has managed to spread widespread awareness about the state government’s unclaimed funds initiative.
These joint efforts have surely been able to spread the awareness about the unclaimed funds, even in the remotest of areas. The larger states like California and New York are weighing options to make laws regarding the usage of unclaimed funds for the social welfare projects. There is a chance that some new collaborative programs might be launched jointly by the state and Federal government, considering the current economic situation where there is cash crunch in all the state departments.