February 27, 2024 peaccadmin

Where Do I Report My Unclaimed Property?

Unclaimed Property: Who Gets It and Why?

Have you ever forgotten about an old bank account or safety deposit box? If so, the funds inside might end up as unclaimed property. But how do states decide who gets to hold onto that unclaimed property?

The answer lies in a landmark 1965 Supreme Court case, Texas v. New Jersey. This case established two key rules to settle disputes between states over unclaimed intangible property, which includes things like stocks, bonds, savings accounts, and uncashed checks.

1. Owner’s Last Known Address

The first priority goes to the state of the property owner’s last known address, according to the holder’s records. This makes sense because the state where the owner resided likely has the strongest connection to the property. For example, if a company owes money to someone who last lived in California, that money would be reported to California as unclaimed property.

2. State of Incorporation

If the owner’s address is unknown, incomplete, or in a state that doesn’t handle that type of unclaimed property, the second priority kicks in. Under this rule, the property gets reported to the state where the company (the holder) is incorporated. This ensures that unclaimed property has a clear destination even if the owner’s whereabouts are a mystery.

Beyond the Basics

These are the foundational rules, but unclaimed property reporting can get more complex. Different states have varying definitions of unclaimed property and dormancy periods (the amount of time inactivity triggers a report). Some states may have reciprocity agreements, allowing them to share information and claim property even if it doesn’t fall under the standard priority rules.

Finding Unclaimed Property

If you think you might have unclaimed property out there, you can search the website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) https://unclaimed.org/. This site provides links to each state’s unclaimed property website, so you can search for your name and see if any forgotten funds are waiting to be claimed.

By understanding these priority rules and the resources available, you can increase your chances of reuniting with any unclaimed property that might be rightfully yours.

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