What about the 50 who never showed up to claim their funds? Are they better off, too?
The information I requested last week from county treasurers under the Public Records Act is beginning to trickle in.
So far, with less than a quarter of the counties reporting, we’re up to about 50 overages that went unclaimed and were irrevocably transferred to county treasurers.
A little low
That’s about where I’d guessed we’d be, maybe a little low (but close enough at this stage). A lot of the bigger counties have yet to provide any information, so perhaps they will bump it up a bit.
Now, I’m wondering if it’s beginning to sink in?
To date, 50 instances of counties receiving windfalls, essentially free money, simply because the rightful owners of those funds failed to claim them.
Your office alleges that the people with whom I did do business would have been better off had I never contacted them . . .
. . . their real intent was to let the property go to auction and take any excess proceeds from the sale – money that would have gone to the property owner if the defendants hadn’t ‘helped’ them.— AG Robert M. McKenna
March 14th, 2007 AG press release
What about the 50 who never showed up to claim their funds? Are they better off, too, with me not having “helped?”
When I work an overage play with someone who’s long since walked away, he’s guaranteed a profit.
To make that happen, I had to find him. Had I not, there’s a real possibility he’s now #51 on my list of folks who never knew their overage funds existed and never showed up to claim them.
Instead, his funds are forever lost to the county.
Questions and more questions
So, my questions . . .
How can you possibly know who’s going to show up and who isn’t?
And in light of that, my follow-up questions . . .
How can you say folks who sold me their properties would have been better off had they not?
Or is your office willing to (1) guarantee an overage will be created and if so, will you also (2) guarantee county treasurers will do whatever it takes to find them to (3) guarnantee they’ll let them know their funds are waiting to be picked up?
My PRA request info would seem to indicate, no, no, and no, respectively.
Which brings us to my last questions . . .
Rob, of the 50 folks whose funds went unclaimed, do you suppose selling their properties to me would have been a better solution than the $0.00 they ultimately received when the overage clock ran out?
Or, was the alternative (not selling to me) simply a better solution for the county?
Windfall profits land in the laps of counties when rightful owners of overage funds don’t know they exist and fail to claim them. So far, my list is up to 50.
Since I track down these kinds of owners and buy their properties, unclaimed overage funds in their situations can’t happen, making it more and more difficult to grow that list to 51 folks who didn’t get their funds.
And more to the point, 51 instances where the county, did.
This is a turf war.