Archive for February, 2012

Angelina Jolie and Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani are owed money!

Angelina Jolie, Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel have money coming to them. Not how you may think though. These famous individuals all have unclaimed property held by their home state Treasury Department.

At a time when states are criticizing insurance companies for not doing enough to find beneficiaries for unclaimed life-insurance policies, it appears the states are not always doing a terrific job of uniting funds with their owners, either. Somehow, over the course of several years, it has been too difficult for the state of California to locate Ms Jolie, despite the fact how famous she is.

That does not provide much hope for the thousands of other people with common names like John Smith or Frank Robinson, who have unclaimed property held by the states where they lived at one time or another.

Insurers and other companies that fail to find the owners of dormant accounts or un-cashed paychecks eventually turn those funds over to the state with the last known address for the person, usually after two to five years. But unclaimed-property laws vary from state to state, as does their success rates in reuniting owners with their money.

So are states any better than companies at reuniting people with their lost property? The answer is a resounding; “NO!”

However, the major difference between companies and states is the ability for consumers to find their lost accounts, says Brendan Bridgeland, of the non-profit group Center for Insurance Research. Mr Bridgeland goes on to suggest that it is easier to locate money through searchable websites once it is turned over to the state. Missing-Money.com, a centralized website, allows consumers to run searches across many states.

By the time unclaimed property finds its way to the state level, the original holder- be it a bank or utility company- has often tried to find the owners and has struck out. States are not eager to spend tax dollars hunting down individuals and tend to rely on mass outreach tactics such as state-fair booths or staged media events to raise awareness of their online claims sites.

States such as New York, California, Illinois and Colorado have special events to inform residents of the possibility of state held cash. So check your state or other websites; you never know you might have several hundred dollars waiting on you!

 

Lynn Cowan – WSJ.com

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Electrical Fire Safety Awareness

Littleton First Rescue in Littleton, Colorado has responded to multiple house fires in recent months. The fires were caused by electrical arcing at the main electrical service panel on the home’s exterior.

Electrical arcing is an electric current, often strong, brief, and luminous, in which electrons jump across a gap. Electric arcs across specially designed electrodes can produce very high heats and bright light. Unwanted arcs in electrical circuits can cause fires.

The arcing that caused these house fires was a result of the main electrical service line being pulled loose from the breaker panel due to the ground settling around the home’s foundation. This hazard is found where the main electrical lines are run underground onto the property, not where the lines are run overhead from power poles.

In a typical situation, the main electrical lines are run underground to the home foundation and then up to the breaker panel. When the ground around the foundation settles over time, a condition may occur where the conduit, and the main electrical line within it, is pulled down from the breaker panel. This stress can loosen the connection of the main electrical line to the breaker panel and the cause electricity to attempt to arc across the gap. This arcing eventually ignites the exterior of the house. Because the fire starts on the exterior; an interior smoke alarm system will not activate until the fire spreads to the interior of the home.

Homeowners with underground electrical service should have their breaker panel inspected regularly. If a gap is found or the conduit connection is broken, call your local electrical utility department and ask for inspection and repair.

For more information on electrical fire safety click:

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/electrical.shtm

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Co-Founder Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson graduated from Boise State University with a degree in Business Administration, emphasis in Human Resources. He also has a Master of Arts in Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. Frank played professional football for the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars for 3 years. Learn More...

Co-Founder Stewart Gallagher

Stewart Gallagher graduated from Colorado State University with a Major in Political Science and minors in both Economics and Philosophy.  Over the past 12 years Stewart has worked for 3 major financial intuitions holding various positions from teller to Assistant Vice President-Branch Manager. Learn More...