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Frequently Asked Questions:

“What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.”

Dr. Jonas Salk

Why did you contact me?

We have discovered assets owed to an individual and have contacted you to inform of your likely entitlement to all, or a portion, of the proceeds.



Why wasn’t I notified about this asset before?

Companies exert little effort and allocate minimal resources to locate lost individuals; especially those that have deceased or relocated to a different address. It’s easier for them to move the proceeds to a depository than it is to research to find you and send a letter like we have.



What are the chances that Pettinato & Associates will recover my assets?

Our success rate on submitted claims exceeds 98%.



How did you locate me?

Pettinato & Associates is licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs as a Private Investigations business. Our licensing and credentials allow us to access a number of proprietary databases in conjunction with publicly available records to help us find owners and heirs.

How much is your fee and when is Pettinato & Associates paid?

There are no up-front fees or retainers to work with our firm.  Our fee is 10% of the value we are able to recover for you. Pettinato & Associates works for free until your funding has taken place; our 10% fee is automatically deducted and paid to us by the holder once they issue your refund to your current address. 



Do I have any costs other than the 10% fee?

If your claim is valued at less than $1,000 and does not involve stock, there are NO additional fees.  Conversely, if our claim is valued greater than $1,000 or involves shares of stock, you will incur a small notary fee paid directly to a notary of your choice.  

Where can I get my signature notarized?

If your claim form requires a notarized signature and you are not near our office, another simple solution can usually be found at the closest branch of your bank.  Otherwise, many of our clients will visit a UPS Store to have their signature notarized as their offices are conveniently located all over the country.  Click on the link to locate the closest UPS Store (simply enter your zip code):

International clients typically locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their area.  Either organization has representatives who are able to notarize your signature on the claim form. 

What is the typical claim process?

Once we receive your signed contract, our firm will respond by providing you with the necessary forms and customized instruction relating to your case. The instructions will detail the least amount of documentation required to trigger your funding. These forms and instruction can be emailed, upon request. Our firm hand delivers your claim supporting documentation to assigned evaluators in Sacramento, CA. This personal touch promotes confidentiality of your information and instills accountability when we need to obtain a claim update. Any retained original claim supporting documentation will be shredded once the claim is paid to you.


How long will the process take?

Depending on the type of claim and which agency is holding the assets, the process can take as little as 2 weeks or as long as 6 months from the date of filing, to complete and fund.  Some cases take considerably longer to process; particularly those involving shares of stock.  We are able to significantly reduce the claim processing time for clients that are experiencing declining health or financial hardship.  Please call us if you feel you may qualify for an expedited claim.



I received a similar notice from another company?

Our efficient and time-tested systems often result in our firm being the first to notify rightful owners/heirs of their entitlement to unclaimed assets.  Consequently, it is normal for our clients to receive notices from other companies after we have started the recovery process.  In most cases, these notices pertain to the same assets we are already claiming on your behalf.  Accordingly, please do not sign any documentation pertaining to the same account from another company as this will delay the funding of your claim.  We do not receive money up-front, refer claims, partner or affiliate with any other company during the process. 


Why am I owed money from National Direct Mortgage Payment Settlement?

Several years ago, federal banking regulators began an Independent Foreclosure Review to pinpoint wrongdoing by mortgage servicers in individual foreclosure cases.  During 2012, the review resulted in settlements with many of the world’s largest banks and their affiliates.  You were allocated money from the settlement fund.


The payment administrator was unable to reach you at the address of last contact ("Reported Address"). This address should be familiar and usually pertains to the address you may have temporarily received mail after the foreclosure event (NOT the foreclosed addressed). When the administrator failed to generate a response from you at the reported address, they canceled your check for security purposes and pursuant to their obligation under State law. The proceeds remain your entitlement; however, there is a claiming process required to recover the assets at this point.  

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