WHAT IS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY?

Unclaimed property consists of accounts and other financial instruments, usually intangible, being held at corporations, financial institutions, financial intermediaries, courts, and life insurance companies, that have gone dormant for a specified period of time based on property type.

Common types of unclaimed property include: checking and savings accounts, uncashed wage and payroll checks, uncashed stock dividends and stock certificates, insurance payments, utility deposits, customer deposits, accounts payable, credit balances, refund checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, mineral proceeds, court deposits, uncashed death benefit checks and life insurance proceeds. Unclaimed property does not include real estate or vehicles.

Unclaimed property laws began in the United States as a consumer protection program and they have evolved to protect not only the owners, but their heirs and estates as well. Once property is in the custody of the state and its unclaimed property program, the state will maintain custody of the property in perpetuity until the rightful owner or heirs come forward to claim.