Unclaimed Property

What is Unclaimed Property?

If money is owed to you and a company is unable to locate you, your funds are turned over to the government as unclaimed property. Currently, the government holds unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $1 billion, mostly from old accounts or CD’s in financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, securities and trust holdings, forgotten shares of stocks and unclaimed dividends, etc.

Why should I use you to recover my unclaimed property?

Charles E. Scarlett, Esq has over 30 years of experience as a trusted FL attorney. He has worked in the Office of the Comptroller for the Department of Financial Services in Tallahassee providing legal services for the Florida Department of Financial Services. Our firm is unique in the sense that we have the hands-on knowledge and experience with the administrators at the Department of Financial Services. We can get your claim issues resolved and promise you an easy and expedient recovery of your unclaimed funds.

The process of retrieving your lost or missing assets from the Government can be a time consuming, confusing, and burdensome process. Our firm’s specialty is to work directly with the State of Florida and recover those assets on your behalf. We are honest, trustworthy, up-front and caring when it comes to your unclaimed matters.

Why did I receive a letter from you? What do I do?

If you received a letter from us, it is because, according to our research, funds could be owed to you, your business, or a relative. In order for us to represent you, the state requires you to sign and date our contract and provide a photocopy of your current driver’s license or government issued ID card (unless the funds are for an active business, in which we only need the executed contract)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know this is not a scam?

Many people think that this is too good to be true. We can assure you that the funds we wrote to you about are really there, being held by the State of Florida, until a valid claim is received. The State of Florida will only release the funds to the rightful owner(s). We encourage you to research us and check out the credentials of our attorneys. Click on the links below to see our ‘good standing’ with the Florida Bar:
Charles Scarlett
Scott Hirsch

What is unclaimed property?

Unclaimed property is actually lost funds that are currently being held by the State of Florida Department of Financial Services. They hold the funds from checks that were returned due to an old address or the death of the recipient. In addition, they are holding unclaimed life insurance policies, stocks, dividends, investments, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, etc.

What if I am not the owner of the funds nor am I related to the owner of the funds?

We use an array of programs to locate the current address of the correct claimants. If the owner of the funds is deceased, the programs lists potential relatives of the decedent. Sometimes the programs we use to locate individuals is not 100% accurate. We first reach out to one potential member of the family in order to access the correct beneficiaries of the estate. If you believe you are the incorrect claimant, please contact our office so we can take you off our list and will not send you repetitive letters.

What do I need to send in order to make my claim?

Simply follow the directions provided in the letter we sent you. Sometimes all that is required is a signature. Most times we need the Limited Power of Attorney retuned to us with a copy of your current picture identification (driver’s license, passport, or a state-issued ID card). If the owner is deceased, please see our forms on this webpage to print out an Estate Affidavit. Otherwise, once we receive your documents we will either send you anything additional you need to complete or we will submit your claim.

What if I do not want to send a copy of my personal identification?

If you are not comfortable sending a copy of your current picture identification (driver’s license, passport, or a state-issued ID card), you may instead have a form notarized; called a Notarized Sworn Statement. You may access this form on our webpage or you can call and we will send it to you.

What if I do not want to include my social security number on the Limited Power of Attorney?

The state requires us to provide for the written social security number on the form. If you do not want to provide this, simply leave it blank or write in your last 4 numbers. It may delay your claim, but it should not prohibit you from collecting rightful funds.

When will I receive my check?

Once we submit your claim, you should receive payment directly from the State of Florida within 30-90 days.

What are the fees to claim my unclaimed funds?

You will not be asked to pay any upfront fees at any time throughout this process. The fees are a percentage of the unclaimed funds and they are paid out of the total amount only upon completion of a successful claim. If, for some reason, the claim is not successful, we do not get paid and you do not owe for any expenses.

What if the owner of the funds is deceased?

Please find the forms on this webpage and fill out an Estate Affidavit and submit that to us along with the Limited Power of Attorney and copy of your current driver’s license. If the amount of the funds is over $5,000.00 (and your relative did not leave a Trust with a pour-over Will), the State requires certified probate documentation before they will release any funds. If your relative’s estate was already probated, we will order all the necessary certified documents to complete the claim.

If the Estate was not probated, we will contact you about helping you probate your relative’s estate. There are additional costs involved in the probate process; the filing fee with the clerk of court and the attorney fees for drafting the legal documents. The additional fees as well as the locator fee will come out of the total amount, so you will not owe anything out of pocket. We try to make the process as easy and expedient as possible for you.

There are different types of accounts:

Individual Accounts – If you received a letter stating that there are funds owed to YOU, then please sign and date the contract and make a photocopy of your current driver’s license or state/government issued ID card.

Business Accounts – If you received a letter regarding your current or previously owned company, your funds are listed as a Business Account. In order to process a business account, the contract must be signed by an officer listed on the most recent annual report.

If your company is no longer in business, you must provide a photocopy of your current driver’s license or state issued ID card.

Deceased Accounts – If you received a letter regarding a deceased relative, we may need additional information regarding your family and your family member’s estate. If the amount is under $5,000, please sign and fill out an “Estate Affidavit” (found in our Forms section). The State requires all the heirs of an estate to sign and claim the funds. If the amount is over $5,000, the state requires a probate done on the estate of the decedent. Please contact our office. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you through this process.

Forms

Notarized Sworn Statement

Notarized-Sworn-Statement

Estate Affidavit

Estate-Affidavit-1