What You Should Know About Fee Finders
Fee finders or heir finders are people who have, through public information laws, obtained a list of owner names (individuals and businesses) who have unclaimed property being held by the State of Alaska. There are no special requirements or licenses needed in the State of Alaska. (Some states require bonding or an investigator license.)
If you have been contacted by a fee finder you should attempt to locate your property on your own before signing a contract.
Suggestions for locating unclaimed property:
- 1. Search the “only legitimate” free website for unclaimed property www.missingmoney.com (You are at the wrong website if you are asked to pay a fee to search for unclaimed property.)
- 2. You should contact unclaimed property offices in the states where you have lived.
- 3. Call, email, or write to our office:
- a. Email: email@example.com
- b. Phone: (907) 465-3726
- c. State of Alaska, Unclaimed Property
PO Box 110405
Juneau, AK 99801
- 4. Review old tax records, and personal files for accounts you may forgotten about.
- 5. Stocks, mutual funds, and other long-term investments are often reported as unclaimed property.
A fee finder is not needed to claim your property. Claiming your property is easy and very straight forward. The Department of Revenue works directly with YOU, the unclaimed property owner, to process claims. An owner of unclaimed property may be asked to provide documentation or information such as current, and former addresses, phone number, birth date, etc. These are needed to verify we are returning property to the rightful owner.
There is no fee to claim your property or to use the website www.missingmoney.com
Fee Finder Agreements
The State of Alaska's Unclaimed Property Act has a provision that addresses fee finders' contract conditions and allowable fees. A contract must be in writing, not exceed six months, specify fees to be charged, state the nature and value of property and the value of the owner's share after the fee is deducted. The fee or compensation must not exceed the limitations below.
A contract that does not meet the statutory guidelines is unenforceable.
Fee Finder Limitations
The fee or compensation must not exceed the following:
A contract that exceeds the above limits is unenforceable.
- Property equal to or greater than $500 can not be charged a fee in excess of 10%
- Property less than $500 can not be charged a fee in excess of 20%
Any collection and payment disputes are limited to the contractual parties.
List for Fee Finders
Periodically, the State of Alaska compiles a list of unclaimed property with a value of $100 or more. The list is available at no charge. To download the list you'll need two files: the README.DOC and the EXE file (2012 Fee Finders List). If you have any problems, questions and/or comments about downloading, installing or using this software please refer to the README.DOC.
Fee Finder Claims
The Department of Revenue works directly with the owner to process their claim. The Department will not disclose nor discuss a claim with a fee finder. Misrepresenting, or impersonating an owner will not be tolerated.
Sec. 11.56.210. Unsworn falsification.
- (a) A person commits the crime of unsworn falsification if, with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of a duty, the person submits a false written or recorded statement which the person does not believe to be true
- (1) in an application for a benefit; or
- (2) on a form bearing notice, authorized by law, that false statements made in it are punishable.
- (b) Unsworn falsification is a class A misdemeanor.