IT’S ONLY MY OPINION: Tis the season for credit card shock

By Stanley P. Gershbein

It’s early January. The holidays have come and gone. Pour the rest of the nauseatingly sweet eggnog down the drain. Take the last few sips of that Korbel California Brut left over from New Years Eve and as soon as you can find the energy go ahead and take down the Christmas lights, pack up the menorah, remove all the decorations and carry the tree out to the trash. Let’s clean up this place and get it in some semblance of order. You did the annual thing and all that’s left is to open the mail and add up the bills. We know we overspent. We do every year. It takes us halfway through May to bail out so we’re not worried. Lemme see that Visa statement. “I spent HOW MUCH? Oh, my God. This year it’ll take me to the end of September to catch up.” Wouldn’t it be nice if some how, somewhere, some way there were some dollars that belong to you that you don’t know about? Well maybe there is. There are laws and rules that say if a long lost rich uncle passes away and leaves you some money in his will and for some reason or other you weren’t contacted that money must be turned over to the state. Also – suppose in 1965 you or your mother opened a few savings accounts at the local banks to get a toaster, a blender or a set of glasses as free gifts for opening those accounts and along the way those accounts went astray, that money must be turned over to the state. Maybe, for some reason, it became necessary for you to put up a one hundred dollar deposit with the New York Telephone Company (that’s what it was called back then) to get phone service. After a few years you moved and forgot all about the C-note. That money must be turned over to the state. Right now the State of New York is holding several Billion, that’s Billion with a capital B, dollars that doesn’t belong to it. This money, known as “Unclaimed Funds” belongs to people like you and me who, for some reason, don’t know about it. If you think I’m kidding, I sat down night with my telephone book a couple of years ago and found money for forty people. Thirty-nine of them said ‘Thank You”. Only one very ungrateful former friend unpleasantly asked, “How much could it be?” “Not very much” I responded. “Sorry I bothered you.” That money is still sitting there. “How much could it be?” is an interesting question. Let’s see if I could answer that. I found many sums for friends and relatives amounting to $50, $100, and even up to $500. I found four thousand dollars for a neighbor across the hall. The jackpot went to my roommate. No kidding. I found fifteen THOUSAND dollars that we didn’t know about. It had something to do with a $150 investment that we made in 1962 and forgot about. I wrote about this very subject several years ago but I’m repeating it for a very good reason. At regular intervals the state receives and posts more lost money. I recently located thirty different sums of money for a cousin and her family….probably stock dividends that went astray. I also received another $225 for Carol and yours truly. Not a helluva lot but worth going after. “OK, Gershbein. Shut up already and tell me how I find out if there is any money due me.” Simple. The custodian for all of those dollars is the State Comptroller. Just go to his website – www.osc.state.ny.us Then click on “Search Unclaimed Funds” on the upper right side of the page. The rest is easy. Please let me know how you make out. Good luck. ******** Ann Hart Coulter says that Jews are not perfect. Hey Ann. You are absolutely correct. Jews make up only one-fifth of one percent of the population on earth. They are the recipients of slightly more than twenty percent of all Nobel Prizes. Can you imagine how many more Jewish winners there would be if they WERE perfect? Shut up, Ann, before I bore you with a long list of all of the major accomplishments my people have shared with humanity. Opening your mouth again on this subject will just make you look foolish. ******** Jessica Ann Simpson is a very talented woman. She can sing up a storm and in spite of her being nominated for a Razzie Award, is really not a bad actress. She is somehow related to Al Gore but I don’t hold that against her. In fact, I have a world of respect for the twenty-seven year old beauty. She traveled to Iraq a few years ago as part of USO tour, and is known for several charitable accomplishments. Early last year she sang, “These bites were made for popping” in a Pizza Hut commercial made for the Super Bowl 2006. Sometime later she told Elle Magazine that she was allergic to wheat….cheese … and tomatoes. So much for being spokesperson for a pizza product. Hey Jess. Do yourself a favor and don’t discuss this again. Talking about it just makes you look foolish. ******** Memo to Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton: STOP GIGGLING!!! I am StanGershbein @Bellsouth .net telling you that everybody knows it is phony and it just makes you look foolish. ******** Your letters and Emails are the property of this newspaper and may be published. For verification purposes all correspondence must contain your real name, address and telephone number.

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