Report: #885121

Complaint Review: Estate Trust Asset Recovery - Gainesville Florida

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  • Reported By: Annoyed — Orlando Florida United States of America
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  • Estate Trust Asset Recovery 4509 N 23rd Avenue, Ste. 17 Gainesville, Florida United States of America

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The State of Florida send me a notice that they have $204 that they believe belongs to me if I could send them a copy of my driver's license, fill out their claim form and mail it back, which I did.  The next day I get this "official" looking letter from this Estate Trust Asset Recovery, saying that for $40 they will recover my money!!  They send it in an envelope with an official looking "seal" on it, claiming to be an official "state agency"....they put they license number right in their address!  All that it is an ordinary business license that any business owner has to have to do business in the State of Florida!  These people are ripping people off for something that anyone can do themselves!  You do not have to pay anyone to recover money or assets that they state has found.  You have to see this envelope.  It reads "this is an official notice from a state licensed agency!  That is so ridiculous!  Do not ever pay these people a nickel for something you can do yourself!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/19/2012 02:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/estate-trust-asset-recovery/gainesville-florida-32606/estate-trust-asset-recovery-phoney-state-agency-after-your-money-gainesville-florida-885121. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Additional info

AUTHOR: Estate Trust Asset Recovery - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I agree that this can seem like a strange process, especially because most people do not receive letters from the government or private agencies (attorneys, accountants, etc.) stating they have money due back to them.  Initially, red flags should and do go up for the consumer.  There are far too many fraudulent companies out there that make it difficult for legitimate onesthats just the world we live in.

Additionally, the State of Florida is one of the few states that actively try to contact individuals, either directly or through one of the licensed agencies registered with them.  The difference, of course, is that a private agency must make a profit of some sort if they want to stay in business.

With that being said, there is a fine line between telling people how to claim the funds themselves, eliminating our services, and offering as much information as possible.  In addition, since there are multiple companies that are licensed by the State of Florida vying for this work, there is always a need to try and stand above the others.  This is the simple aspect of any business.  Not to confuse but to be different.

Our philosophy is that this money rightfully belongs to the consumer and we do not charge outrageous fees, just a fair amount for services rendered.  Furthermore, we never begrudge consumers from being able to complete this process on their own at no charge.  There are thousands of records that are very difficult to claim without the assistance of an experienced licensed agency (e.g. estates), but we offer our services to even the ones that can recover their funds one their own.  It simply gives them a choice.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Asset recovery

AUTHOR: tcgoelz - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thanks for a fair perspective from another side.  I agree that this is far from a scam.  Still, it is strange the way it is handled.  As first writer explained we receive very official looking correspondence that is easily confused with some kind of state sponsored activity.  I submitted mine after receiving a notification from the state that an asset was available for recovery.  I completed the requested form and submitted.  The next thing I get in the mail is a legal looking request for additional documentation and a signature committing payment of a processing fee.  Nothing illegal or unethical but still it is odd and certainly confusing to a consumer.  The state never sends a confirmation of receipt nor a projected completion date.  I had to dig into the website to find that out on my own.  So, not a scam, and admittedly nothing is completely free when the government is involved, but it is definitely an unusual deal.  It would be nice if somehow consumers could be informed of their options.  Normally when I pay accountant or attorney I understand what the choices are, and more clearly understand why I might choose to pay money for assistance.

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Each person has choices

AUTHOR: Estate Trust Asset Recovery - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The above information is correct to search for unclaimed property being held by the State of Florida (www.fltreasurehunt.org).  However, please accept the fact that while the State does not charge a fee, it is NOT free.  There are over 16 million records and 1 billion dollars being held in unclaimed property in Florida alone.  They use government resources to attempt to contact people on a daily basis.  It is up to each person to decide if these resources could be used for better purposes, such as the education fund, which is what
unclaimed funds go to.  

Each person is entitled to have an opinion on whether or not private companies should be allowed to assist with notifying this incredible number of people that the State simply cant by themselves.  Some questions to ask are: Do you file your taxes for free or allow a professional accountant to help you? Do you change the oil in your car or do you take it to a mechanic? Are these industries scams because they charge a fee for services? 

That being said, everyone should do their due diligence when receiving information from government or private agencies and make the best decision for them.  However, to simply call someone a scam, despite being duly licensed by State of Florida statutes and heavily regulated, is unjust and not accurate.  If you feel paying a nominal fee to securely and efficiently assist you in recovering your funds is acceptable, then a private agency (attorney, accountant or other) might be a viable option.  If you prefer the government to bear the burden of the expense so you get more back in your pocket, then do it your self.  It really is as simple as that.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Recovering Assets

AUTHOR: tcgoelz - (United States of America)

POSTED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thanks for info.  Here is the direct webpage that you eventually reach: fltreasurehhunt.org.  It is a legitimate site of State of Florida.  Easy to search for assets and status on claim.  I learned that my claim is still good however not yet processed.  They will take up to 90 days to get to your claim.  Meanwhile you get many (many!) unsolicited offers from attorneys to handle for you.  Interesting leak at the State...  Anyway, I plan to ignore the "official" offers and wait on the State to process my recovery for free.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

How to get unclaimed property in Florida

AUTHOR: Danl - (United States of America)

POSTED: Monday, January 21, 2013

Go to "myflorida.com" the official state website -- CFO web page -- citizen resources -- unclaimed property and you can search there by last name, company, etc. then you fill out the information online and the state of FL will send you a claim form. Now how did this rip off company get my information after I filled out this form? maybe I need to ask the FL Attorney General.

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#2 Consumer Comment

What are the other options?

AUTHOR: tcgoelz - (United States of America)

POSTED: Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Your information is encouraging however it offers no suggestion of how one might file to recover the assets on their own.  Where would one start?

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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

You have options.

AUTHOR: Estate Trust Asset Recovery - (United States of America)

POSTED: Thursday, October 25, 2012

There are currently over 200 companies including Attorneys, CPAs and Private Investigators that are registered and licensed by the State of Florida to assist people in recovering their funds.  While you can claim these funds directly through the State of Florida, sometimes the documents required are difficult to obtain, such as proof to an address you lived at five years ago.  In addition, when funds belong to a deceased person, finding the proper heirs and, in some cases, filing probate documents with the courts is necessary to have these funds paid out.

Furthermore, while there are thousands of records that can be claimed by an individual directly, many people still choose to use the service of a private agency for numerous reasons.  When filing directly with the State of Florida, an individual is required to send a Social Security Number in the mail along with a copy of their i.d. in order to recover their funds.  Many people do not feel comfortable sending this information through the mail, while others simply do not care.

This process is no different than filing your yearly income taxes while you can do it for free on your own, there are many accountants and other private companies that provide this same service for a moderate fee.  But its still your choice.

Finally, it is always wise to check the credentials of any company that contacts you before providing them with personal information.  Call them on the phone, check to see if theyre registered with the Better Business Bureau or take it to your local police station for verification.  Either way, be informed and make the best choice that fits your situation.

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