If you Google, ‘Unclaimed Asset Wiki’, your first result will be, ‘lost, mislaid and abandoned property’. But, what exactly does that mean? The general idea is: these are all categories for property which has left the possession of the rightful owner:
· I ‘lost’ my Canary Wharf;
· I ‘mislaid’ my Canary Wharf;
· I ‘abandoned’ my Canary Wharf.
(side note: did you know that ‘wharf’ is an anagram for ‘warehouse at river front’…. I know!)
These categories really come into play, when the item passes into the possession of another.
We’ve all heard the adage ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ that sounds like it should work, I’ve lost a few pairs of sunglasses, which is fair-game. However, I’d be mighty annoyed if every morning I woke up and someone had nabbed my car.
There’s another saying, which I hadn’t heard ‘til I got into this game, ‘possession is nine-tenths, the law’. This supports the case for ‘finders, keepers’. It means that, we assume the rightful owner to be the possessor, until someone can prove otherwise. Kind of an innocent ‘til proven guilty sort of job.
The opposite of this is ‘theft by finding’.
Let me give you a scenario:
I’m clumsy, I’ll go to the shop three times to get one thing; first I’ve left my wallet, then I’ve left my card, then I’ve brought my driving licence… I’ve lost my wallet more times than I can bring myself to remember. Thanks to the good people of Norwich, it winds its way back to the police station with all its contents, every time. This is because, although not physically in my possession, people know it’s mine.
The other option is take the wallet and go to the pub.
Now, ask yourself, which would you prefer if you’ve lost your wallet.
Now, ask yourself, which you would prefer if you’ve abandoned your wallet. How does the finder know? I’m not really sure, maybe the only way you can truly find out, is to first try to reunite ownership, if it’s rejected then ownership transfers to the possessor.
My favourite example of re-unification of ownership is from the film Cast Away. (probably because Tom Hanks is my favourite actor). If you’ve seen it, you’ll know the story, SPOILERS IF NOT. Chuck works for Fed-Ex, his plane has crashed, and he’s surviving on a deserted island. There’s this one item, ‘Wilson the Volleyball’ it’s in a Package for Bettina Paterson, Chuck opens it and it becomes his mate, which doesn’t end well…
Aaaanyway… some time later, Chuck drives to Bettina Paterson’s house / absoloute mansion, and gives her an exact replica of Wilson (minus the blood-stained hand print). Owner and item re-united. Chuck realised that, although in his possession, Wilson was never in his ownership.
It is exactly the same when we put our money into banks, pension schemes, or insurance. Although not in our possession, we are still the owner. Furthermore, we put money into these financial institutions with the trust that, wherever it is, it’s still ours. It can be difficult for institutions to keep up to date with where we are (see my blog Money Shouldn’t Sleep) but, because of ownership, the onus lies with the institution to keep in contact with us, not the other-way round.
This is why Monimine is paid for completely by the institutions and not the consumer, (N.B. you shouldn’t accept anyone trying to extract your money for doing so, as they will be being paid twice!) Monimine is there to join your dot, with the institutions dot, and return the money which belongs to: you, your parents, your grand-parents, your great grandparents… you get the picture.
Take a look www.monimine.com
Andy – Monimine