Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive from beneficiaries and rightful owners of unclaimed property. Click on any question or scroll down to view the answer:
- Why did you contact me? How did you get my name and address?
- What do you mean by 'dormant, unclaimed assets?'
- Why do you think I'm unaware of these assets?
- Why am I hearing from Greenwich Research Inc. now instead of directly from the holder of these assets?
- Why couldn't the holder locate me?
- How then was Greenwich Research Inc. able to find me?
- Why can't you tell me now what the assets are?
- What will this cost me?
- Why doesn't your client pay your fee?
- What's the rush to claim the assets if they've remained dormant all this time?
- How long will it take before I get the assets?
- Will I need an attorney?
- What if I have other questions?
Why did you contact me? How did you get my name and address?
From our research we determined that you are the rightful owner (or one of several rightful owners) entitled to certain valuable dormant unclaimed assets.
Either one of our clients gave us the assignment to identify you and find your present whereabouts, or we found out about these unclaimed assets on our own, during the normal course of our business.
Our clients include banks, insurance companies, corporations, attorneys, trustees and estate representatives.
What do you mean by 'dormant, unclaimed assets?'
Various types of property, upon which action that normally would be expected has not taken place for a long time. For example:
- Inactive or forgotten bank or savings accounts
- Unpaid bankruptcy claims
- Uncollected estate inheritances
- Unclaimed insurance benefits
- Uncashed royalty checks
- Unexchanged or unredeemed stock or bond certificates, uncashed dividend or interest checks
- Uncashed tax refunds or other government checks
Why do you think I'm unaware of these assets?
These assets have remained unclaimed for a number of years. Had you known of them, it's presumed you would have taken steps to claim them. (But if, unknown to us, you've already taken steps to claim them, please let us know so we can close our file.)
Why am I hearing from Greenwich Research Inc. now instead of directly from the holder of these assets?
In situations where despite their best efforts, holders of unclaimed assets either can't locate the owner or never get a reply from mailings to the owner's last-known address, they ask Greenwich Research to help. Aside from the fact that it makes good business sense to keep in touch with customers and clients, most holders would rather see unclaimed funds restored to their rightful owners rather than be turned over to the Government as abandoned property.
Why couldn't the holder locate me?
You may have moved and not notified the holder of your new address, or your forwarding address at the post office expired. Or you may have overlooked answering the holder's various communications until they finally decided they could not reach you. Or you may be an heir of the original owner of the assets, and your identity and current whereabouts were unknown. This is a surprisingly frequent occurrence.
How then was Greenwich Research Inc. able to find me?
We have excellent resources and long experience specializing in locating rightful owners and helping them recover all types of unclaimed assets.
These resources include:
- A staff of highly trained research and genealogical experts
- An extensive library of directories and other reference materials as well as online access to private and public electronic databases
- Worldwide access, through special correspondents and field researchers, to important libraries, archives and government records
- Arrangements in major cities with experts in genealogical research and inheritance matters
As a result, we have the capability of locating people where others have tried and failed.
Why can't you tell me now what the assets are?
Since we're not paid by the holders of these unclaimed assets, our fees must come from the rightful owners we locate, and for whom we provide recovery services. We are happy to disclose full information about the assets after we reach an agreement with you concerning fees and other important terms of our services. This policy helps protect our firm's investment in researching and locating rightful owners. We're sure you can understand why we cannot divulge specific details before that time, since we are not paid anything by clients who refer assignments to us.
What will this cost me?
You will owe us absolutely nothing unless and until the unclaimed assets are restored to you and in your hands. Only upon completion of the recovery will we be due the percentage fee we both agree upon. All expenses required for the recovery are borne by us, without recourse to you. There are no advance payments or hidden charges of any kind.
Why doesn't your client pay your fee?
The actual dollar benefits resulting from Greenwich Research's services accrue only to you-not to the holder of the assets. Custodians prefer that you, the rightful owner, receive your assets before they are required to turn them over to the Government as abandoned property.
Please remember that if our client had not asked us to locate you, it is very likely that you would never have learned of your entitlement to these assets. And you could have been completely deprived of your rightful benefits.
What's the rush to claim the assets if they've remained dormant all this time?
We think you'd prefer to have the assets now, rather than risk losing them to the Government under abandoned property laws, which are being more strictly enforced these days. Also, fluctuating economic conditions could have an adverse effect on the assets you're presently entitled to claim. Additionally, in some cases dormant funds do not earn interest until the account is reactivated. Finally, some assets may be bar-dated. In those situations, claims have to be presented before the bar date or else the assets become forfeited and lost forever.
How long will it take before I get the assets?
This depends largely on the particular situation. Many recoveries are completed in as little as 60 to 90 days. Sometimes, especially when estates are involved, the recovery process can take six to nine months or longer. But please keep in mind that we have every incentive to wind things up as quickly as possible since we're not paid until your case is successfully completed.
Will I need an attorney?
No, but if you wish to consult a lawyer, we encourage you to do so. (You would, of course, be responsible for his or her fee.) In recoveries where professional legal services are required (for example, when a decedent's estate has to be administered) we select and retain qualified attorneys as needed.
What if I have other questions?
Just contact us and we'll do our best to clarify any aspect of Greenwich Research's services that may not be clear to you. Should you wish references as to our company's credentials or reputation, we'll gladly furnish these upon request.