ED Magedson – Founder
State of North Carolina20301 mail service center raleigh, North Carolina United States of America
The State of North Carolina is ripping off its citizens to pay for its sins.
Every day, thousands of unclaimed monies pour into County and State coffers. The public is most aware of two main sources for this money unclaimed bank accounts and unclaimed refund checks.
What is not known is that there is far more money coming into the County and State accounts. Monies that they can not find on the States unclaimed money web site. Monies they will probably never know about. And the State is taking steps to make sure that their citizens will not know about or have access to these monies. Because the State has spent the money and continues to spend it, faster than it is coming in. Make no mistake the State is spending money that does not even belong to it.
There are two very large sources of unclaimed monies that will probably never be returned to the rightful owner. The first is surplus funds aka excess proceeds. These are generated from foreclosure or tax sale foreclosure sales.
When a property is foreclosed on, the entity foreclosing is attempting to collect the debt that they are owed. More often than you might think, the property actually sells for more than what is needed to pay off the loan, late charges, and even the attorney fees and court costs associated with the foreclosure proceeding.
When this happens, the overage aka surplus funds is sent to the Clerk of the Court for the County in which the foreclosure happened. The Clerk is then charged with attempting to notify whoever may be entitled to these monies. If there was a second mortgage or equity line, or even a judgment against the owner prior to the finalization of the foreclosure, the holders of those instruments can be entitled to all or a portion of the monies. It comes down to the order the judgment, lien or mortgage instrument was filed. First in line gets paid first. Then whoever is second, etc.
The unfortunate problem that comes up is that the court fails in its attempts to contact the rightful owner. In the case of mortgage holders, many mortgage companies that issued 2nd mortgages and/or equity lines are no longer in business. Tracking down the new owner of the mortgage can be difficult at best. Judgment holders are very often small businesses such as electrical companies, or pool installers who were never paid, never gave the court a new notification address, and have gone out of business or changed the address outright.
The worst problem is when the ex-owner might be entitled to the funds. The court often notifies at the last known address. That would be the home that was foreclosed on. Think the owner is still there? Or that the owner thought to put a forwarding address on the mail?
Even if they did forward their mail very rare the letter that comes from the court says that they MAY be entitled to the monies and that they should hire an attorney to find out. Think the folks that just got foreclosed on have the money to gamble on that? The letter is the same for judgment holders, often who are holding on by a thread. They frequently dont respond even if they receive notice.
The second form of monies that most folks dont know about are a result of estates. There are two distinct types of estate monies that are not disbursed to the rightful owners. The first type is monies that are due to minors children not yet eighteen years of age.
The court is actually very good at acting as a custodian for a minor. Great care is taken to followup with the child as they grow older and make sure that they are aware of the money and know when they are entitled to it. Further, Clerks of the Court take great care to keep this information from the public, pulling pay out information from the files to protect the minor. They treat adoptions similarly.
Unfortunately, there is another type of estate monies that rarely make it to the heirs. In this case, the County simply cant locate the folks that are entitled to receive the monies. Often this happens when a family member becomes estranged from the rest of the family and no one knows or cares how to contact them. Another frequent issue is when an administrator named in a will does not respond to court requests to open a will and do a final accounting. In this instance the will can not be read by the general public or even the heirs, until the administrator opens the will. The monies if there are any are simply lost.
At this point you may be asking, So what the heir or surplus funds recipient can simply look on the States web site and find out they have money coming. Right?
The surplus funds may be entitled to a number of different folks. It could be due the ex-owner, a mortgage/equity line holder, or even a judgment holder. So the State doesnt put anyones name on the State web site, as potential rightful owner to these funds. The State could simply put everyones name on the site that might be entitled, but they do not.
In the event that there are monies due to heirs from an estate, the same is true. If there are no heirs names that the court is aware of, there are no names listed. In some instances the deceased person is listed, but not always.
Regardless of the source, these monies flow into the County Court House. Over time, the monies are sent on escheated to the State. The State is charged with holding these monies until the rightful owner comes along and makes a claim to get the monies. The State is also supposed to attempt to notify all potential rightful owners at that point, again.
Now before I go any further, I want to point out that were talking about the State of North Carolina. The State has access to drivers licenses, vehicle registration, voter registration, criminal records, tax id and social security numbers, bank accounts, wedding records, birth records, death records, even through municipalities that provide utilities electric and other utility bills.
That is why the rest of the States actions given that they cant find the individuals (thats a joke) are so egregious.
Once the State has the monies in their coffers, they are allowed to spend it. You read that correctly. The State of North Carolina is allowed, through law, to spend not only the interest on the monies, but also the principle itself. There is a hold back amount based on past percentages of folks claiming the money. Those percentages are based on folks not being able to find the monies that they are due. Also, the State is allowed to pay out claims that go over the hold back amount from incoming monies literally paying Paul from Peter. The State translates the monies of its citizens into political clout, spending monies that they are not entitled to on scholarships, parks, etc.
And the State can invest the monies however they want. Recently, that has been with firms that donate to the ruling partys campaign. Those firms actually lost money on the invested principle.
But, up until recently, an individual could still obtain records at the County court house that would help them find their monies. There were two ways to do this. The first way was to ask the County for their aging report. This report details all monies being held in the County, with names of folks potentially entitled, the amount held, and the case/file number.
The second way to obtain the names of potential rightful owners was through an escheat list. This is a list of all monies that have already been sent to the State by each County, sent annually to the Counties by the State Treasurer. By law, this list was published by the County and made available to the citizens for review.
On July 20th, 2010, Governor Perdue and the State Senate passed Bill 1242. In section 10F, they made two major changes. First, they reclassified the aging report as confidential. The aging report is, by definition, public record. Please see General Statute 132 for the definition of public records in North Carolina. So now you cant see a list of what the County is holding for you, if youre due money.
The second step the State took was to make it impossible to get the most recent escheat list. In fact, you have to ask for at least 2 years old or more.
The reasoning for this? The State will use the following excuses for this new bill
1. They will say that there is potential for abuse. People could mislead the individuals entitled to the monies. The flaw with that argument is that any potential rightful owner has to file a petition and use verified title work to get the monies. In addition, if a finder attempts to collect the monies, there is a cap on their income. And the finder has to have all paperwork required by the State to collect. Finders even have to be licensed private investigators in North Carolina. Also public records information laws do not have a need to know clause. Its public information it can not be denied because the State thinks someone might misuse it.
2. They will say that the information on the reports had confidential information commingled in. The Public Record Statute(132) is clear on this. If there is commingled confidential information, it has to be separated out by the State and still provided.
In reality, the State is trying to cover up its misuse of funds it is supposed to be holding in trust.
Heres the worst of all news. There are groups out there that not only find the monies for the owners, they even offer an upfront buyout for the monies from the owners. They disclose the amount of the monies due and buyout the owners interest, taking all the risk on correct title work and on attorneys fees.
Given the current economic climate, this is huge. Not only are these folks identifying monies left for owners who otherwise wouldnt know they existed, theyre taking all the risks and costs on themselves.
The State doesnt want that to happen either. The State of North Carolina is now denying ALL CLAIMS to these monies, if anyone else is involved. The intent is very clear and straightforward. You will now have to take the State to court at least if you are one of these folks finding the money for them and buying them out. How many folks do you think are going to be willing to sue the State, incurring tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills, in order to make a fraction of that?
The moral of the story? If youre a State government and you spend your citizens money, thats okay. Because you can always just change the law and start denying paying back the monies owed.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/31/2010 05:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/State-of-North-Carolina/raleigh-North-Carolina-27699/State-of-North-Carolina-governor-perdue-beverly-perdue-nc-aoc-nc-treasurer-nc-senate-N-635934. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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