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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: frugalnacho on July 23, 2014, 01:31:54 PM

Title: Unclaimed property
Post by: frugalnacho on July 23, 2014, 01:31:54 PM
I was just reading this thread

Which led to me clicking on usmarine1975's link to check for unclaimed money.

A search for me turns up nothing, but a search for my father turns up an unclaimed property that was transferred from BAC HOME LOANS SERVICING LP   

My father stopped paying the mortgage on this house about 5 years ago (he took out huge equity loans when the market was upswinging and ended up owing several times what the shitty property was worth, then his ARM predictably adjusted and he could no longer afford it - nor would he want to pay it if he could afford it [it really was a dilapidated POS]).  So he just stopped paying and lived there for a couple years.  They repeatedly threatened to foreclose, so he found another place to live and just abandoned the house.  They never bothered with the foreclosure though, and I think it's because it's in a shitty area with shitty housing prices, the house is small and not very well taken care of - honestly I don't think the bank wants to deal with it.  They can't rent it without significant upgrades, and they probably can't sell it for much.   I would guess maybe $10-15k they could get for it.

I guess my question is - what does this mean?  Does this mean the bank just gave up on the $70k mortgage and transferred the property over to my father?  Can he just go claim it and have it mortgage free?

Who is responsible for the taxes that have not been paid in 4+ years?

Title: Re: Unclaimed property
Post by: shotgunwilly on July 23, 2014, 01:49:23 PM
Title: Re: Unclaimed property
Post by: Trudie on July 23, 2014, 02:17:43 PM
Each state has unclaimed property rules by which businesses must abide, and each state is getting more aggressive in enforcement (penalties for non-compliance).  What this means is that after properties have reached the appropriate lapse period (1-3 years in most cases).  The business needs to make a "due diligence" attempt in writing to contact the owner of the property, then if they can't located them they turn the property over to the state treasurer as unclaimed.  If a person's name shows up on this list then they are to contact the Secretary of State in their state and claim it.  If the person on this list is deceased, then the executor of the estate can do it on their behalf.

There are all kinds of unclaimed property -- safe deposit boxes, uncashed checks, deposits and gift certificates, real estate, stock certificates...

I would check with the Secretary of State in your state to make sure the claim is legit.
Title: Re: Unclaimed property
Post by: frugalnacho on July 23, 2014, 02:52:04 PM
The website I linked to forwards you to the appropriate state website when you click on your state.  So the claim is listed directly on the michigan department of treasury website.

I immediately made the link in my mind that property meant physical land, but I see what it means now.  It may not be related to the house at all.  I'll have to have my dad check into it and see what it is.