Too Keane to be true?
September 12, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Experience with "KeaneCo" unclaimed-asset-recovery?

I got a letter from a company called Keane, regarding some unclaimed assets that allegedly belong to me, referring specifically to one of my previous addresses (from the time I lived with JonahBlack).
Of course it initially smells like a scam, and I have no idea where this amount of money could have come from in my name, but I've done some googling around and finding mixed results about these people (and none of them are directly "success stories" with the company).

I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't fall for tricks, but I also would be disappointed to find out that they were legit and I passed up this money.

Can anyone give me any stories of specific dealings with Keane?

General comments of "probably a scam" aren't any more helpful than what I've already found.
posted by jozxyqk to Work & Money (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(their legitimate-looking website)
posted by jozxyqk at 11:18 AM on September 12, 2008

Not specifically helpful, but these companies operate using publicly-available information.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on September 12, 2008

One of my oldest friends works for Keane - I can assure you they are legit and their biggest hurdle is getting people to believe that they're not scammers. Memail me if you want/need more info!
posted by rinosaur at 12:08 PM on September 12, 2008

Most of the time these companies are a waste.
Was this in Mass? Check out the state's unclaimed property page. If it was another state, google for "statename unclaimed property", and odds are they have a public page, where you can do the whole process (search, submit claim, etc) for free, typically online (but sometimes requiring you to mail in a form).
posted by inigo2 at 12:10 PM on September 12, 2008

And to clarify, I don't mean Keane is a scam, I just mean you can usually do this on your own, typically quite easily.
posted by inigo2 at 12:11 PM on September 12, 2008

You can do this yourself.
Massachusettes abandoned property.

Also, see this thread.
posted by Floydd at 12:13 PM on September 12, 2008

You can't necessarily do this for yourself. Companies use Keane as a last resort before turning things over to the government. For instance, if a mutual fund has decided for whatever reason that you're unreachable, they hire Keane. This means that that mutual fund won't yet be listed in the unclaimed assets websites.

You can call Keane and find out the name of the asset and then try to track it down yourself. Otherwise they'll do it and take a big cut off the top.

(They ARE legit, though.)
posted by small_ruminant at 12:26 PM on September 12, 2008

I have done searches on the Massachusetts websites and found nothing in my name except for a few <> This is for quite a bit more than that.
posted by jozxyqk at 1:31 PM on September 12, 2008

(oops, my above comment got eaten.. "a few less-than-$100 class-action settlements not worth pursuing")
posted by jozxyqk at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2008

Hi, as a matter of fact i work for Keane. and rinosaur is correct, our biggest issue is getting people to understand we're not a scam at all. we are a business, after all, and how we make our money is by going through all the legal hurdles for you to get you your money from whatever company or trust or stock etc etc is hold it, so naturally our fee is a cut of it, albeit not a big one at all. there's no money up front, and they just take a cut of whatever the asset that is owed to you is. think of it this way- it's free money you didn't know you had, and had we not contacted you, you would have never known it was out there. we really are honest people. if you'd like to email me with any questions, my email is, and my AIM and Yahoomessenger screen names are the same. i'd be interested to know who sent you the letter, ie. who the relationship manager or case manager/analyst is. i can let you know if they're good or not ;-)
posted by assasinatdbeauty at 4:08 PM on September 12, 2008

This isn't a knock on Keane at all, but sometimes the folks who hire them aren't exactly scrupulous about tracking you down to begin with.

We just had a client get a letter from Keane for a mutual fund which had decided her account was inactive because the post office mistakenly rejected a piece of her mail once. (She has lived at the same address for more than 30 years.) The mutual fund did not call her, did not call the rep (us) on the account, and never mailed her anything again. We were still getting our electronic downloads so it didn't occur to us that the account was "frozen."

Keane wrote her a letter. The client called them, and was told something that she interpreted as: "If you don't hire us to fork over this asset, the government will get it! You'll lose your money forever!"

I no idea what Keane actually told her, and we did straighten it out with the mutual fund, but I have spent 2 days now getting phone calls from her about every other asset she owns: Do I think THIS one is in danger of getting sent to the government? How about THAT one? This isn't Keane's fault, but since this is what's been filling too much of the last couple of days I'm a little jaded about the whole process.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:51 PM on September 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

small_ruminant: As I said, I've got zero clue about what this money is.. and the address that it's linked to is from at least 5 years ago. So, something could have been returned-to-sender if it was trying to get to me recently, but that wouldn't be any mistake.
I'm so curious about what this money is, I'm now willing to take the risk with the little assurance I've gotten from people on the inside.
posted by jozxyqk at 5:28 PM on September 12, 2008

Here's the end of the story:

The very long story, very very short, comes down to this:

Keane is a "legitimate" company. They were contacted by a holder of one of my accounts who had gotten a Return To Sender notice. This was my money. The account, however, was one that I knew about, and the reason that my address was incorrect were unclear. Seems like an accounting/paperwork error.

Unfortunately, I didn't know that this was the account in question until after I signed something (following the advice of askmefi, including a couple of Keane employees).
When I called the account holders to find out what was going on, they fixed my address over the phone, told me that this was the end of it, and they'd contact Keane to close the case.

It wasn't that easy.

It took me several months to clear this issue up; I was pretty convinced that I was going to get sued or sent to collections; even my lawyer friend said that I signed a pretty airtight contract. And Keane's case rep was really pushy and unwilling to negotiate, despite this obviously being a mistake.

But the end of the story is a positive one. Phone calls were made, and they finally closed the case, releasing me from my burden.

Lesson learned: If you are contacted by a company like this, don't ignore it, but immediately review all of your records, even the unlikely ones, to see if you can figure out what's going on before you sign anything.
posted by jozxyqk at 2:42 PM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Why exactly were you in danger of being sued? Did Keane consider it a breach of contact when you didn't go through them (and give them a cut of the money)?
posted by Deathalicious at 5:05 PM on January 16, 2009

Yeah I'm a little confused too.
posted by cashman at 5:16 PM on January 16, 2009

Yes Deathalicious, something like that.
I signed their piece of paper and they felt entitled to their 25% cut.
posted by jozxyqk at 5:23 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Would Keane tell you the name of the account or the amount of money in there before you signed the contract?
posted by footnote at 7:10 PM on January 16, 2009

No, footnote.
posted by jozxyqk at 5:03 AM on January 17, 2009

Did Keane tell you (or imply) that if you didn't hire them then the money would be lost forever?
posted by JonB at 6:05 AM on January 17, 2009

Before I signed anything -- when I had just gotten the initial notification -- they implied that if I could figure it out myself then I wasn't obligated to them.
But they wouldn't reveal anything about the account until after I signed something, at which point the implication was that they could control the money until the case was resolved. And, again, I had no reason to believe that the account-in-question was the account-in-question.

wow, I didn't expect all these followup questions to my resolution
posted by jozxyqk at 7:20 AM on January 17, 2009

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