Saying he's moving to be more aggressive in reuniting people with the money they have left unclaimed in forgotten accounts and safe deposit boxes, the state's new treasurer announced today he would circulate to government and other groups lists of those who are owed the money.
Treasurer Steven Grossman said the various groups each have their own constituencies and the new program will be "their constituents' chance to get their money back."
"My goal is to reunite the people of Massachusetts with the money that is owed to them and this partnership program is just one of the innovative ways we will be going about doing that," he said in a statement.
In the first of the programs, Grossman's office will provide a CD to all members of the Legislature containing the contact information of all constituents in their districts who have cash accounts of more than $500 or stock accounts holding more than 50 shares that have been turned over to the treasury's Unclaimed Property Division within the past five years.
Unclaimed property includes uncashed checks, savings, and checking accounts, stocks, dividends, insurance policy proceeds, and contents of safe deposit boxes. After several years without activity, the assets are swept into the treasury.
Up until now, the main forms of outreach to those who may have forgotten their assets were lists of people published by the treasurer's office in various newspapers and a website, findmassmoney.com, where people can look up whether they are owed anything.
"People ... read newspapers less than ever before, which has historically been the main form of outreach,"Grossman said. "As a result I am creating Unclaimed Property Partnership Programs with government agencies, non-profits and other groups that have identifiable constituencies with which we can circulate lists of unclaimed property owners."
The latest list of 40,000 unclaimed property owners was published in the Globe on Sunday. Those who were owed money included Patriots star Tom Brady, Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, and former governor Mitt Romney's son Tag. All of them were owed small amounts.
The new list included 19 accounts valued at more than $100,000, 42 accounts between $50,000 and $100,000, and more than 1,200 accounts over $5,000.
Last year, more than $62 million and 659,000 shares of stock and mutual funds were reclaimed, the treasurer's office said.
Globe correspondent Jenna Duncan contributed to this report.
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