However, like I always say, you don’t have to go crazy charging a high commission, just something that is fair and reasonable.
In fact, New Mexico has a provision in their laws saying that an agreement to locate money is not enforceable if the amount being charged is “unconscionable”.
Just ask yourself, “would I be willing to pay this fee if someone told me I had money waiting for me?”
The laws regarding finding unclaimed money in New Mexico can be found in the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, section 7-8A-25.
They are summarized here:
A. An agreement to locate unclaimed money is unenforceable if it was entered into less than forty-eight months after the date the property was considered abandoned.
B. An agreement to locate unclaimed money is enforceable only if the agreement is in writing, clearly sets forth the nature of the property and the services to be rendered, is signed by the apparent owner and states the value of the property before and after the fee or other compensation has been deducted.
C. An agreement covered by this section which provides for compensation that is unconscionable is unenforceable except by the owner.
D. This section does not preclude an owner from asserting that an agreement covered by this section is invalid on grounds other than unconscionable compensation.
If you want more information, you can read the complete New Mexico Uniform Unclaimed Property Act here.
Besides the agreement you sign with the owner, New Mexico also requires you to submit a New Mexico Locator Form. This is just to keep track of things in their office, but there is a note on the checklist to attach a copy of your agreement with the client, so make sure that has all of the correct information on it.
One of the things that stands out in New Mexico is that you cannot charge a fee to recover money unless it has been held for at least 48 months.
Most states have a provision for 24 months, not 48. So, this money is really abandoned! That should give you added incentive to go after it.
Check out the finder opportunity if you are interested in becoming a New Mexico unclaimed money finder.