Filing an unclaimed property claim:
All states have
specific procedures, filing requirements and forms to use when claiming unclaimed
property - nearly all states maintain the unclaimed asset as custodian forever.
The turnaround time for
claiming an asset may vary, however, states attempt to expedite claims in a timely manner
when sufficient ownership documentation is provided. Often a claim requires a review and
approval by more than one agency, or payment is issued by an agency which is not
associated with the program administration.
States offer assistance
to eliminate unnecessary delays in documentation requests and payment of the unclaimed
asset. Some of the most common reasons for delays in processing are:
form is not signed by claimant, or signature is not notarized;
identification is presented by claimant;
No supporting proof of ownership is filed with the claim;
There is insufficient information available to verify property ownership;
Some states issue an annual listing of all owners of unclaimed property which causes
an influx of claim-related inquiries and processing requirements;
Additionally, states have reporting deadlines for businesses to follow when
remitting unclaimed assets. These peak periods of reporting and owner notification can
have an impact on the time frame needed to process a claim for approval.
Claimants are encouraged to contact and work with state or federal agencies as claims
processing is a FREE public service to the owner. Likewise, our site is
totally FREE; providing you first with a centralized unclaimed property
search tool then the appropriate state and/or federal agency contacts for you to file your
Private recovery agencies, tracers and other third party companies may offer assistance in
reuniting you with your lost or abandoned property. Do your homework, understand your
potential costs and options before you choose to use any of these companies. Look for
upfront or hidden costs such as access or search results fees which may
range from $10 to $20 per search or contingency fees from recovery agents or tracers which
may cost you 10-50% of your money.
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