MORE than 3500 individuals or businesses in the Bendigo region reclaimed a total of $1,769,552.38 in missing money this year.
The paybacks are thanks to an Australian Securities and Investments Commission initiative that seeks to reunite Australians with their lost money.
A Bendigo individual received the largest return, claiming $68,355.34 in unclaimed money.
Two local companies received the next two largest sums, claiming $59,961.84 and $37,334.09 respectively. ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said Australians recovered $56 million in 2011.
This year, ASIC’s database of unclaimed money had risen to a record $677 million, with more than 33,000 additional parcels of money currently awaiting collection, he said. People may have unclaimed money if they: moved without leaving a forwarding address; haven’t made a transaction on their cheque or savings account for more than seven years; stopped making payments on a life insurance policy; have noticed that regular dividend or interest cheques have stopped coming; or were executor of a deceased estate.
“Until you look, you’ll never know if you or your family have unclaimed money,” Mr Kell said.
To track down missing money visit ASIC’s free online database at www.moneysmart.gov.au, follow the link to unclaimed money, and type in your name.
Proof of identification must be provided to prove the money belongs to you or that you are the beneficiary.