Unclaimed Funds and NY Debt Collection

lit up dollar signUnclaimed funds, have you consider them to satisfy your NY debt collection claim?

So voluntary payment is not happening and you want your money. In the first place, to get your money, you must obtain a judgment. The next step is to locate assets to satisfy the judgment. One way of satisfying a judgment is through unclaimed funds.

“Lost or unclaimed money gets turned over by organizations required to report dormant accounts to the New York State Office of the State Comptroller. This money includes things like forgotten savings accounts, lost paychecks, and stocks or bonds.”

Notably, the Office of the New York State Comptroller (OSC) has funds valued in 2017 at $15.5 billion. The OSC has money deposited with it for various reasons. It may be as a result of a legal requirement of certain companies. They must report and turn in money unclaimed by individuals or businesses.  

According to the New York OSC’s annual report, most claims are voluntarily reported by the organizations. That said, a significant amount is collected as a result of State audits. In 2017-2018 alone, the office of unclaimed funds collected $866 million from utilities, broker-dealers, court funds, insurance companies, banks, corporations and more.

How do you search for unclaimed funds?

The OSC’s site includes a database easily searchable for unclaimed funds. You can search by individual name or company name. Anyone can search the database and should. Not only can you find monies owed to a delinquent customer, but you may find monies that belong to you.  

The name of your delinquent client must match that on the account.

  • Is your judgment against an individual? Then you will need the individual’s social security number to pick up the funds.
  • Do the funds belong to a corporate customer? Then the name on the account must match the name of the delinquent customer – exactly as it appears on the judgment.
  • If the names do not match, you will not be able to restrain the funds.  

How can unclaimed funds help you to satisfy your NY Debt Collection claim?

If claiming money for yourself or someone else, you can file a claim online or you can a mail a claim.   

If you find unclaimed funds belonging to your judgment debtor, your attorney can send a restraining notice to the state comptroller’s office to restrain the transfer of those monies to the judgment debtor for a period of one year. Your attorney need not restrain the funds. That said, to insure that the delinquent customer does not have access to them, we recommend doing so.  However, the state will not mail the debtor’s unclaimed funds to you. You must send a property execution to the city marshal or to the sheriff to levy on the state.

Even so, restraining the unclaimed funds does not necessarily mean the unclaimed funds will be available to satisfy your NY debt collection claim. What if another judgment creditor issues a property execution to the sheriff or marshal to levy on the restrained funds before you do? If that happens, the state will turn them over to the party that levied on the funds first.

So, as soon as there is identification of the funds, your debt collection attorney must move quickly. With this in mind, he or she must take the necessary steps to levy on the funds. This insures capture of the funds. More importantly, it makes them available to you to satisfy your New York debt collection claim.

We do nothing but assist clients with debt collection issues, even before the debt occurs by using preventative strategies. We’re here to help! Call (212) 686-0100 or drop us an email.

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