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What is Unclaimed Property?

The most frequently asked question is, "What is abandoned or unclaimed property?"

While state laws vary in periods of dormancy (inactivity), a wide range of reportable property includes but is not limited to dormant checking and savings accounts, uncashed money orders, cashiers checks, unclaimed insurance benefits, mineral royalty payments, safe deposit box contents, unused gift certificates, unclaimed security deposits, cash dividends, stock, court deposits, and utility deposits.

A second question frequently asked is, "Where or what state should receive the property once it is identified?"

Through reciprocity and streamlined reporting, assets are properly reported and placed in the custody of the state of the owner's last known address. An important U.S. Supreme Court decision, Texas vs. New Jersey, 379 U.S. 674 (1965), provides a guideline in reporting unclaimed property. Briefly summarizing, unclaimed property is to be returned to the state of the property owner's last known address. If there is no owner's address associated with the property, then it should be returned to the state in which the business remitting the funds is incorporated.

States regularly exchange property and related information. This is known as "reciprocity".

This is why it is important to check all states for unclaimed money and property which may be owed to you regularly, not just the most recent state you may have resided in.

NOTE: 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 claim.

CAUTION: 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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