How to Find a Lost Wallet

What do I do when I find a wallet?

Whether you find a wallet, a piece of jewelry, or something else, you are bound to find it Return the item to the owner. There are of course various options for doing this.

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In the case of the wallet, it is very easy to access the Identify owner. If you know where the person lives, you can head out and return the wallet straight away. Then the owner also has the opportunity to thank you directly.

What if the owner accuses me of stealing money?

Many finders are afraid of returning a wallet in person because they are afraid that the owner will accuse them of theft. Make yourself in this case three things clear:

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  1. The owner cannot prove a theft to you
  2. The owner will be grateful that you returned the wallet with all the documents
  3. Hardly anyone gets involved in a legal dispute for no reason

Important: Don't just throw your wallet in a mailbox. This is not a safe place for the lost property.

If the personal delivery is not possible - for example because the owner comes from another city or cannot be determined - you can do so Hand in your wallet at various locations:

  • police
  • Lost property office
  • Find in the town hall / in the citizens' office

When the wallet on a train, a tram or another public transport found, then it must be with the respective Transport company be delivered. This then takes care of everything else.

Important: If you do not report the find to the wallet, you will be liable to prosecution. They could then be accused of embezzlement and sentenced to fines or even imprisonment. Therefore, the following always applies: hand in your wallet directly to the owner or report the find to one of the above-mentioned locations. Then you are on the safe side and do not have to worry about anything.

If you have found a wallet, you not only have an obligation to return it, but also a right to a finder's reward. This can be found in Section 971 of the German Civil Code (BGB). Many people are unaware that this is a legal matter that you can insist on. The amount of the finder's reward depends on the value and type of item found. In the case of wallets (which are rarely more than 500 euros), the finder's fee is included 5% of the value.

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Important: The rights and obligations mentioned above only apply to you if you are a finder in a legal sense. This is the case when you take the wallet with you. However, if you leave it there, there is no obligation to report. In that case, however, you cannot hope for a finder's reward either.

Advantages and disadvantages of the finder's fee

  • regulated according to BGB
  • by paying a finder's fee, others are encouraged to give things up
  • not everyone knows the legal regulations

When the find becomes property

As a finder of a wallet, you not only benefit from the finder's fee. The found item can also pass into your possession - if it does six months is not picked up by the owner after it has been found and reported.

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This fact applies to all finds and rarely applies to purses (after all, this is an important item that is rarely lost unnoticed). the wallet passes into your possession. You are then no longer obliged to do soto hand it over to the previous owner.

Finder's reward
  • see §971 of the German Civil Code (BGB)
  • in the case of a wallet, 5% of the value
Right to keep
  • longer than 6 months with the finder

If you have no interest in owning the wallet, it will become the property of the city where you found it. Then it is most likely that the wallet is at auction by Finds auctioned off to a new owner becomes.

When you find a wallet, it is always important that you act immediately. Either determine the owner on your own or hand in the item to an appropriate agency. If you don't do this (keep your wallet), get it Embezzlement is a punishable offense. Then you can face high penalties in some cases. When you find a wallet, however, always keep in mind that you are entitled to a statutory finder's fee, which you can also claim from the owner.

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