Karen Trammell of Strunk doesn’t remember exactly how she first discovered the unclaimed property Internet site-probably through a newspaper article or the Internet-but she’s been scrutinizing the KY unclaimed property site since the 1990s. Since then, she has helped lots of family and friends discover and collect property and money that might otherwise have remained unclaimed.
Karen’s first discovery of unclaimed money was for her father. After discovering a listing for her dad with an address used by the family when they had previously lived in Northern Kentucky, Karen went to work.
“The unclaimed money came from a place in Cincinnati,” Karen said with a grin. “First, we had to prove Dad was really Dad. We found an old letter with Dad’s name and that previous address on it. We sent them a copy of that, and Dad got his unclaimed money. I always told him I should have gotten a finder’s fee!”
After finding unclaimed money for her father, Karen’s husband, Anthony, told his friends about his wife’s success. The friends asked Karen to look for their deceased father’s name. Karen soon found the father’s name and gave the information needed to file a claim. The unclaimed property was personal property, including the gentleman’s pocket knife he had carried for years, held by the nursing home where the father was residing when he passed away.
“The son was tickled to death to get his dad’s pocket knife,” Karen noted. “That meant more to him than any amount of money.”
Karen shared details about one very successful weekend when she found $3,000 for an individual.
“It was a cold nasty weekend, so I decided to play on the unclaimed site,” Karen explained. “I was still working then, so I just started typing in my customer’s last names. I found several and wrote the names down so I could tell them about their listings on the site. I found one person’s name in my search who had passed away several years earlier. I gave his wife the information, and her grandson checked it for her. Several weeks later, she came in and told me the unclaimed property was more than $3,000.”
Karen notes some of the claims may not be worth taking the time to file.
“However, some may end up being worth a lot,” Karen shared. “If something is there that is yours, it’s better off being with you than just sitting there or going someplace else.”
Karen advises individuals to use only the free sites, the State sites.
“There are some sites out there that try to charge you,” Karen warned. “I would stay away from those. I’m not sure if all states have an unclaimed property/money link on their state websites. If someone wants to check for other states, I recommend going to MissingMoney.com. “
Karen uses the KY State Treasury page: Unclaimed Property-Allison Ball (ky.gov). If that link doesn’t work, try: http://treasury.ky.gov/unclaimedproperty . On that page, individuals can scroll down, click on search for unclaimed property and then type in the name. The site can be narrowed down to cities. In her searches, Karen often types in a last name and then a city.
Karen also uses MissingMoney.com.
“On that site, you can type in a person’s name and search all states for unclaimed property/money,” Karen shared. “I have found people I know and family listed in different states.”
Karen’s unusual hobby is very fulfilling, and she enjoys sharing information with others who may profit from finding unclaimed money and property.
“Some people may think I’m nosey, but I find it interesting to look for unclaimed property/money,” Karen said with a grin. “My mom (Lorella Wood) looks for people/genealogy/deceased relatives, and I look for unclaimed property/money!”