The Postman delivers good news

The Postman delivers good news – sad that no one is home!!!

Every year a vast number of letters from financial organisations drop through letterboxes reporting on savings and investments often worth vast sums.

Sadly for the people to whom the correspondence is addressed fail to receive the good news due to a variety of circumstances;

1. They have moved away and forgotten about the investment or to advise the bank, building society or investment company of their new address.

2. They died and there is no record of the investment, and thus money fails to be traced by the next of kin, or executor to their estate.

3. They become ill and go into  care or nursing homes, and again knowledge of the investment is lost.

New Owners or tenants of the asset owners former home will often receive mail addressed to the former occupier unless a change of address has been lodged with the Post Office which, due to cost is often ignored.

A recent confidential survey conducted by the Heir Hunters Association (HHA) asked people what they would do when receiving mail addressed to former occupants.

75% said they simply threw it away unopened.

20% claimed to just put it back in the post marked “gone away”, yet many report mail continues to be received.

3% would take the mail to the Post office and advise them the recipient has “gone away” which should in theory at least stop future mail, but rarely does.

2% say they opened mail, most of which is clearly “junk” catalogues and sales letters, and a few have seen letters referring to vast sums mentioned in bank and savings account statements.

One respondent forwarded a bank statement to the HHA they had received showing £32,000 in an account where the owner had died 10 years previously.

Another involved a sum of £12,000 where the owner was proved to be alive and living elsewhere and had simply “forgotten” about the sum.

So common is the problem the HHA with over 400 independent researcher members has set up a separate division Asset Research to deal with the growing demand. Often they are able to share a “finders” fee to homeowners who can provide them leads and links to unclaimed assets, known to number millions worth billions of pounds.

With no legal obligation on financial institutions to trace lost customers and investors it’s good news for them to help build cash reserves, and very bad news for those who are legally entitled to valuable financial assets, but lack the knowledge of what, where and how much.

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