Everything You Need To Know To Be A Money Finder
Did you know that billions of dollars in assets go dormant every year and that millions of people across the country don’t know that they have money coming their way? If you have never explored the world of unclaimed property, you owe it to yourself to check it out, not only as an individual but as a business opportunity to be a state money finder.
State governments and financial experts refer to unclaimed property by many names, including unclaimed assets and unclaimed funds, but no matter what it is called, helping people find it could be an amazing opportunity, and that is what the job of a money finder is all about. Here is everything you need to know about how to become a money finder, helping reunite hard-working men and women with their long-lost dollars.
The Definition of Unclaimed Property
Every state keeps its own registry of unclaimed property, but the state only steps in when the assets in question are considered to be abandoned. The time frame for this abandonment designation varies from state to state, but it typically ranges from three to five years.
During that three- to five-year window, the banks, brokerage firms, and other businesses that hold the funds will continue their outreach efforts, trying to contact the rightful owners of that money. Only when their efforts are unsuccessful will the property in question be deemed abandoned and turned over to the respective states.
Three months after that final contact attempt the property can begin the process that will end in it being added to the database of unclaimed property. When that happens the assets will go to the states in which the funds were incorporated.
The Role of the Money Finder
Every state maintains a database of things like savings accounts, uncashed checks, deposits for utility and telephone service, unclaimed paychecks, insurance benefits, old insurance policies, and more. Residents of those states are free to browse and search those databases, yet only a small percentage take advantage of the opportunity.
That is where the role of the money finder comes in, and this could be a unique business opportunity – and a win/win proposition for everyone involved. By working as a money finder you will be reuniting state residents with their long-lost funds, and you will get a payday in the process.
Money finders, also known as fee finders or refund tracers, are enterprising men and women who track down the owners of all that unclaimed property, billions of dollars in all. In exchange for their services, these money finders charge a fee, one that the rightful owners of these funds are typically happy to pay.
So how do you become a money finder? How do you get started and begin your very own fee-finding business? Here are the key steps you need to take to take advantage of this exciting business opportunity.
Key Steps To Becoming A State Money Finder
- Decide whether you will focus on a single state or branch out to a number of different states. Many new money finders choose to focus on a single state, often the state they live in. As they become more comfortable they may branch out to neighboring states – or even take their fee-finding services nationwide.
- Research the rules governing money finders in your chosen state. Some states have stricter rules regarding who can call themselves a fee finder or refund tracer, and it is important to understand the regulations before you start offering your services.
- Find out when and where the state you have chosen posts its unclaimed property records. Many states periodically publish entire lists of unclaimed property over a certain threshold, often around $100. These published lists can be a great starting point for enterprising money finders, providing them with the leads that will later turn into fees when the claims are filed and finalized.
- Review the list of unclaimed properties and prepare the outreach letters. You will need to seek out current addresses for the individuals on the list, a process that can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Even so, there are tools and techniques that can make outreach easier, and you will learn to use them over time.
- You can also reach out through a phone call, assuming you are able to find a valid phone number. Keep in mind, however, that the people you contact may be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, and many money finders find that an official letter is a better form of first contact.
- Prepare the claim forms your company will use to reunite clients with their missing money. This is a legal form you will present to clients who need your services, and it is important to have it reviewed by an attorney before sending it out.
- Present the claim form to clients who respond to your money finder outreach. It is important to present the claim form and receive a signed form back before you move forward with your efforts.
- Request identification to verify the claim and get the process started. Every state will require positive identification before they will release the unclaimed property, so find out what forms of ID are permissible and request it from the claimant.
- Submit the identification and signed claim form to the state. This will begin the process and allow you to earn the fee you are charging for your services.
- Check the status of the claim on the state unclaimed property website. The claim verification process can take some time, so you will need to check in from time to time to get the status and keep your clients updated.
- Verify that your client has received their unclaimed property. At this point, you may want to ask for referrals and reviews, all things that can enhance your professional image and build awareness of the services you are offering.
From unclaimed insurance proceeds to uncashed paychecks, billions of dollars are waiting in unclaimed property databases from coast to coast. If you are looking for an exciting business opportunity that creates a win for everyone involved, setting up shop as a money finder can be a smart move. Now that you know everything you need to know about working as a money finder, you can get started with your lucrative new business.