States Begin to Auction Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed property has been a logistic and bureaucratic nightmare for most of the state treasuries. This has resulted in a lot of financial strain for the state government in order to maintain and safeguard the unclaimed funds.

In today’s economy, the majority of the states have a budget deficit. These overhead resources, unclaimed property, and money is a burden which is unavoidable for the moment. The center on Budget and Policy Priorities has been questioning states regarding the budget deficit and what are the plans to minimize it. It estimates that the combined state budget deficit over the next two and a half years is likely to be about $350 billion. This will account for about 20% of the state budget.

The states are forced to adopt unorthodox measures in order to bridge the gap and are willing to tap unusual source of funds which includes the unclaimed property vault. States like California and Delaware have taken the first proactive steps and have proposed the utilization of unclaimed funds effectively to fill in the budgetary deficits.

To generate funds for the welfare and development programs in the state, the decision makers are actively supporting the idea of unclaimed property auction. This idea is getting a lot of support in addition to implicit acknowledgment that unclaimed property should be rightfully handed over to the owners.

A survey of the unclaimed property lying with the various states has revealed that almost 70% of the unclaimed property is still waiting to be claimed. In all probability, these unclaimed properties will remain dormant for long before individuals and business owners come forward to claim them. Most of the state economic advisors are in consensus that the dormant funds and properties can be utilized with a great economic planning by the cash starved states.

Delaware has benefited greatly by the unclaimed property pile and this has helped to fill state revenues by 10%. In 2008, the state’s unclaimed property added over $325 million to the state coffers and estimates that unclaimed funds will provide approximately $374 million in revenues for the fiscal 2010. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alabama’s democratic candidate for Treasurer Jeremy Sherer has offered to tap unclaimed funds until the economy of the states improves.

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