As we all reflect on the economic impact recently felt during the Coronavirus pandemic—not to mention, look back on the financial crisis of 2008—it comes as no surprise that many are plotting a return to the career drawing board. There is a shared desire to avoid the vulnerability that so often comes with recession, and to reinforce personal financial positions for a future yet unknown.
While the need to reinvent oneself always presents a substantial challenge, it also offers the empowering opportunity to rethink our personal values and lifestyle-related desires. Few roles offer the work flexibility, emotional reward, and chance to learn as that of a Claim Researcher—whose work involves reuniting people with their lost assets. Here, we will explore exactly what this career path involves, the robust nature of this professional field, and the rewards available to those who go all-in for this unique commission only sales role.
Why The Role of a Claim Researcher Is Invulnerable to Recessions
Many don’t realize that billions of dollars worth of assets are currently cast adrift in the United States. These may be in the form of abandoned savings accounts, unsuccessful trust distributions, forgotten payroll checks, orphaned 401(k)s, and countless other types of unclaimed funds. For every individual who may be entirely unaware that they are entitled to a portion of those lost assets, there is likely to be college tuition to cover or bills to pay—or perhaps even the dream to re-imagine life completely if only the funds were available.
Because of the sheer scale and prevalence of these types of unanchored assets,
the work of the Claim Researcher is never done. Their role is to identify unclaimed assets and find those to whom they should be returned. Year upon year, the number of unrecovered assets continues to grow, alleviating the threat of layoffs within the Claim Researcher field. Meanwhile, professional Claim Researchers enjoy reduced tax burdens thanks to Home Office tax deductions, and incentive programs that tangibly reward performance within this commission only sales role.
The Effort to Return Assets Is More Relevant Than Ever
It’s hard to put a pin on the exact value of lost assets in the United States, although some have tried. In 2013, CNN reported that states, federal agencies and other organizations were collectively holding more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. More recently, in 2020 Forbes shared that independent research from SmartAsset had highlighted roughly $49.5 billion in unclaimed assets across the country.
Wherever the true figure may fall, the same Forbes article also highlighted that roughly $3 billion in lost assets is successfully reclaimed each year. As the economic impact of Covid-19 continue to bite, some states are ramping up their efforts to reunite assets with their rightful owners—but due to limited resources many potential claimants will remain unaware of their camouflaged value. It is within the facilitation of these very returns that the diligent work of the Claim Researcher comes to shine in all its glory.
What We Do At Lauth Investigations
While Lauth Investigations is based in Indianapolis, Indiana—with an additional base of operations in Boulder, Colorado—crucially, our Claim Researchers enjoy working independently and remotely from all over the country. Between our Missing Persons, Corporate Investigations, and Asset Returns divisions, joining Lauth Investigations means entering a large family of highly motivated and value-driven professionals. With an exceptional rating of 4.9 on GlassDoor, the results of our ambition to be an employer making positive strides in the world speak for themselves. One employee and reviewer speaking of Lauth Investigations shared, “Through this work, they help change lives by returning assets to their rightful owners.” If you are passionate about uncovering every stone in the name of helping others, and would like to enjoy the flexibility and recession-resistance that comes with a role as a Claim Researcher, visit our Careers page to learn more.
Top Reasons Why Claim Researchers Love their Position
Freedom, flexibility, helping others, and high-earning potential to hours worked ratio are the top reasons Claim Researchers at Lauth Investigations International love what they do. The main function of a Claim Researcher at Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International is to connect identified assets to the rightful owner or heirs. When a Claim Researcher calls the potential owner or heir and alerts them of the found asset, the individual is typically unaware of the asset. In some cases where the assets go into probate, the family doesn’t have the financial resources to open probate to recover the funds. Since Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International works on a contingency fee, the Company pays all expenses to reclaim the assets and then returns the balance, minus a commission, to the owner or heirs.
The Claim Researcher position is a virtual contract position so Claim Researchers work on their own schedule, around their own lifestyle needs which in turns helps them create a healthy work/life balance.
I interviewed three claim researchers this month to get their perspective on what it’s really like “in the field” so people considering becoming a claim researcher can learn what it’s like beyond the official job description.
Three Claim Researchers Share their Experience
Spotlight on Stephanie Spangler
Being a claim researcher, I love helping make a difference in people’s lives but I also appreciate the freedom in this position,” says Stephanie Spangler, a Claim Researcher with Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International since September 2017. Stephanie finds it fulfilling to help people and support them by finding money they didn’t even realize they had due to them. “Clients say this is a godsend; unexpected money helps people get ahead. I’ve had people say they can pay for a water heater; have a good Christmas; pay bills. I want to do something that feels good and makes a difference in someone’s life,” explains Stephanie.
For Stephanie, she enjoys the flexibility, working around her family’s schedule: being there for her teenage son when he leaves for school and comes home, the general freedom of being self-employed; a healthy work/life balance; not having to commute or get stuck in traffic; being efficient about work; and how this position opens the potential to be qualified for this type of work.
When Stephanie began, she worked 10 hours a week—2 hours a day—to call through her people and do research. Now, Stephanie works full time splitting her time throughout the day and sprinkling work in during the weekend. Stephanie says she gladly takes calls even at 8 PM since a lot of people work during the day and return calls at night. The same holds true about working on the weekends when traditional workers are home. Five months into the position, Stephanie is busier since her pipeline is constantly growing, as are her commission earnings.
Stephanie found the position when she was searching for a new virtual position and was attracted to the business model. Stephanie’s favorite part of the job is its exponential potential and she loves the freedom behind it. More importantly, Stephanie loves that “I’m scheduling my day the way I want and that we are helping people. I love how technology involved in the workplace is getting us further away from scheduled days.”
“I’m passionate about this; I deeply care about impacting people for their financial well-being; I’m passionate about returning property to the rightful heir. In some cases, it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars,” explains Stephanie.
Stephanie’s average time spent on a completed claim is 1-2 hours. The research can take an hour and the rest of the time is spent talking to the claimant.
Spotlight on Paula Douglas
Paula Douglas started as a Claim Researcher in April 2017 and also approaches her cold calls to potential claimants as a service not a sale. Paula takes a slow-measured approach with her clients allowing them to do their own due diligence on the Company after announcing to them they may be potential owners or heirs of lost assets. Since the potential claimants typically don’t know anything about these assets when she makes first contact with them, many are skeptical at first. After several weeks of contact through phone calls, email, and USPS, many of the people come around and sign the agreement. From this point, there’s a little research and paperwork to do to close the claim. For Paula, the work varies from 2-5 hours per claim. “For some families our service is very important because they don’t have funds to open probate or necessary time or skills to do the required paperwork to recover the assets themselves,” says Paula. “Once you get someone on the phone, the money you can recover for them can be a life-changing moment,” adds Paula.
Paula’s favorite part of the job is the thrill of the chase she gets from receiving new lists and connecting new assets to rightful owners, and thinks to herself “This is the next big one!” Paula compares it to gambling and the equivalent to pulling the slot handle! Paula looks forward to getting through her lists when she receives them and starts calling people right away. Paula loves the excitement and “then we get paid!” Paula exclaims.
Paula describes her work process and on average spends less than five hours on each claim. The work is typically divided into a ten-minute call; five minutes on paperwork; and very rarely does she spend more than an hour on research. The most time-consuming part of the position is making the calls and getting people on the phone. Once you get them on the phone, it’s really not that much work. Paula makes 100-150 calls a day, connects to an average of 35, and actually speaks to approximately 10. Mostly the time is spent leaving voicemail messages since it’s hard to catch people. Today people just don’t pick up their phone and answer calls; instead they screen them. Then when the voicemail system comes on, “You don’t always know if you’re reaching the right person,” explains Paula.
Spotlight on Ashley Willette
Ashley Willette began her work as a Claim Researcher with the Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International in September 2017. Ashley loves the ability to earn extra income for her family while being able to stay home with her kids. Since her children are young, she organizes her time and tasks that require a professional, quiet background (no crying or kids talking, or worse) around quiet pre-planned activities that her children do on the other side of her glass French doors of her office. Ashley says the work can be time intensive. For example, when Ashley gets a new list, she works on it until she’s done. “My kids are here with me at home but it takes a lot of concentration, researching, and then after that you’re on the phone with people so you can’t have distractions and a lot of noise. You get this list and you want to get through it quickly so you can get a new list—this is how you make money” explains Ashley.
“It’s exciting,” Ashley ads, “You never know when you will come across a really big claim, with a big amount, which means you’re going to get a big commission if you can secure the deal. It’s an exciting process”, Ashley continues. During the list review, Ashley’s adrenaline kicks in and her self-talk motivates her with questions like, “How much are these assets worth? Can I find any other assets for this person?” The more assets discovered, the bigger the commission with relatively little added work. This is the part Ashley really loves in addition to the job being pretty flexible allowing her to take vacations when it works best for her family, and working from home. Another important aspect of the position Ashley appreciates is the possibility of making more money than she expected.
Ashley spends on average 2.5 hours on a claim she closes with research consisting of an hour, and paperwork and talking to the claimant the balance of the time.
Prior to working as a Claim Researcher for Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International, Ashley worked for Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Ashley was accustomed to spending a lot of her work time on the phone and talking with people, explaining procedures, and performing research. As a result, Ashley hasn’t had to make many adjustments based on her work style.
What Current Claim Researchers Recommend
Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International is currently expanding and looking for motivated self-starters who want to work from home in a virtual position to fill the claim researcher role in an effort to return the $58 billion in lost assets in the United States. If you’re considering becoming a claim researcher, here’s what these three successful producers recommend.
Advice for someone just starting out:
Be patient. It’s a numbers game: the more you send out; the more you’ll get back (one claim researcher says she closes 50% of what she sends out).
Work on a regular basis to keep the pipeline full; this helps to create consistent commission checks.
Even though there’s huge potential for high earnings, new claim researchers have to understand there’s a commission payment lag when just beginning—commissions may not arrive for three months or longer depending on the state that holds the asset. Each state law varies.
People in general are peculiar about money which sometimes makes it very difficult to close a deal—must be tenacious and keep going. Celebrate getting a contract and then use that momentum to get the next and keep adding on to that effort.
Persistence pays: Keep making repeat calls to the same people on your list until you actually connect. For example, on the fourth call, the person thanked the claim researcher for her persistence.
Follow up with claimant after they sign the agreement—once you get a signed agreement, work diligently to keep the claim process moving along.
Must be motivated and a self-starter: you must put in the work; you can’t get rewarded without putting in the work.
I asked the three Claim Researchers what they considered to be the top traits to be successful and while there was much overlap, each claim researcher added something different we hope helps potential claim researchers self-qualify themselves for the role.
Top traits to be a successful claim researcher:
Persistence and tenacity—must be able to keep making phone calls
Passion and be self-motivated—must be able to work effectively from home. If you can’t work from home alone, you will fail. Must be motivated to close deals and motivate self to actually work and ignore the many “home” distractions
Organized—must be able to keep track of each claim and its status in addition to keep making phone calls to build the pipeline
Fun personality and outgoing—need to get people on board and feel comfortable talking with people on the phone
Be able to listen—people want to talk and tell you their story
Stephanie takes the approach of providing a service to heart. When she makes a call, she doesn’t consider it a sales call. While Stephanie was in sales 20 years ago and was formally trained in the sales process, she knows people can feel when they are being “sold”. There’s an edginess when you’re trying to close them and it can push people away from the sale. Instead, she practices what Zig Ziglar preaches: selling is serving, and serving is selling. Some of the best sales people provide a service or product the client or customer wants or needs. In this case, Stephanie informs the potential claimant about what the Company can do for them. “I’m trying to help them, so I ask them to let me help them,” Stephanie explains. “When you do this, you’re more relaxed and they don’t feel like they are being scammed or sold,” adds Stephanie.
Some helpful background or skills for effective claim researchers:
Banking and financial services
Skip trace/active or former law enforcement
Life and health insurance
**We encourage military veterans, homemakers, disabled, and retired individuals to apply. **
Benefits of Claim Researcher Position
Work independently and remotely from a virtual office – no commute! Work from wherever you have laptop, internet, and phone service!
Provide a service to consumers, returning property that is rightfully theirs—sometimes it really makes a huge impact on the lives of the recipients and that is a wonderful feeling!
Self-employed, independent contractor status allows you to create the schedule that works best for you and your life
Recession proof—unclaimed property continues to increase
Home-office tax deductions save you money
Learn how-to conduct genealogy & historical research for personal or professional purposes
Support staff assists with research and expediting claims—help when you need it
Monthly incentive programs for additional earnings and competing in a group
Online team community so you feel connected to a larger group for support, guidance, and camaraderie—even in a virtual environment
About the Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International
The Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International focuses on returning assets that have been escheated to the rightful owners and their heirs. Our extensive resources and highly skilled claim research team diligently seek to streamline the process of documentation of ownership in an effort to reduce the $58 billion in assets that are sitting in escrow accounts across the country. After twenty years in investigations, Thomas and Rain Lauth developed the Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International in 2012, after discovering the staggering amount of assets held by various entities. Regrettably, the holders have neither the labor or technology resources to locate literally millions of owners and then work each case collaboratively with the owner in returning the assets. That’s where Return Assets Division of Lauth Investigations International steps in; we connect rightful owners and heirs to assets being held by these entities. The asset owners, families, and heirs of these assets rightfully deserve the property. Our mission is to return as many of these assets as possible to the rightful owners and heirs thereby improving the lives of each of our clients, one claim at a time.
Earn Income While Working from Home
With $58 billion and rising in escheated assets in the United States, our team is growing. We seek motivated individuals who can successfully work from a home or virtual office with a passion to help other people. If you would like to see if you qualify, please check out our careers and training page or view the official job description. If you’re ready to begin the application process, apply here.
Lauth Investigations International, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Lauth Investigations International, Inc. complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Lauth Investigations International’s Return Assets Division is a company focused on recovering your assets in a expeditious and professional manner. Our claims researchers are well trained and highly skilled to identify these assets and return it to it’s rightful owner.
According to a CNN report form 2013, there’s more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. The report says, “That’s roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The assets come from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.”
At Lauth Investigations International we strive to help families across the country. As a family run business we understand the hardships families face every day in America. Our goal is to make the process of recovering your assets as quick and easy as possible. Here’s just one of many testimonials from our satisfied clients:
“Sincerely, thanks for everything. If you ever need a reference or a testimonial, let me know. Your perseverance really kept us going,” wrote Linda B. of Denver, CO. “My daughter is a single mom with a full time job and going to night school for her teacher’s certificate. I can’t tell you how much this meant to her to get this cushion money. We even took the kids to the circus last weekend on the “found” money…So, like I said, if you need a reference for someone who is skeptical (and there are so many scams out there), let me know. Thanks again, you did a terrific job.”
Part of what sets Lauth Investigations International’s Return Assets Division apart is the personal care we put into every case we handle. Claim researchers like Maria Moreland aren’t doing this job just to earn a paycheck. We are personally invested in helping families across the country.
“I left a career after 25 years that I was good at, but was burned out and bored with my everyday tasks,” Maria said when asked how she became a claims researcher. “Every day is a new adventure. The best part is I assist individuals and families in obtaining assets that are rightfully theirs and most of the time they had no idea these assets existed.”
Our Claims researchers are excellent at identifying assets people have no idea are even out there. Maybe you never collected your last paycheck from a job or it’s possible you had a deposit with a utility company that you forgot was coming before you moved. No matter how your asset was displaced, we will work with you to build a case and get your property returned to you.
After we identify your assets, we get to work building a case to prove it’s yours. The nature of the asset dictates what evidence needs to be presented to claim it. If it’s a forgotten deposit then we’ll likely need proof of your previous address. Sometimes claims require a little more elbow grease, but claim researchers like Maria are ready to heed the call.
It’s possible you have a relative you don’t know about who’s inheritance you’re entitled to. These cases revolve around proving you are related to the deceased. This is one of the more difficult claims to prove, but one Maria specializes in.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to find family members,” Maria says. “But that’s par for the course when conducting genealogy investigations.”
One example of a successful genealogy investigation is the case of Coleen W. of Martinsville, IN. Coleen and her husband had been receiving dividends’s from his deceased mother’s estate when Coleen’s husband tragically passed away.
“Six years ago, my husband passed away and I was still receiving dividends from his deceased mother’s estate, which were being sent to our address,” Coleen said. “I sent them back marked return to sender. I contacted the sender and said these dividends were not in my name and nothing could be done.”
Since the the checks from the dividends were in Coleen’s husband’s name she couldn’t cash them. This money was rightfully Coleen’s, but as happens in matters like this, clerical errors prevented her from being able to claim the funds. Fortunately our claim researchers happened across the funds and contacted Coleen to get them back to her.
“And then, six years later a case came to me from Barbara Day with Lauth Investigations and she guided me through all the paperwork that finally resulted in a happy ending. Thank you Barbara and thank you Lauth Investigations,” Coleen said.
Lauth Investigations International Return Assets Division has a long history of helping people recover what’s theirs. If you believe you have unclaimed assets out there then don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will help you just like we’ve helped so many others.