Finance

Reclaiming Lost Money

Do you know what escheatment and unclaimed property are?  I had never heard these terms prior to starting my current job so I’m guessing you haven’t either. Let me explain since you may have money owed to you and not even know it.

Each state collects funds from entities in instances where the entity wasn’t able to locate the owner of the funds. This is common if someone has a change in address. For example, if you are due a refund check but either never received the money or forgot to cash the check before it became void (usually at 90 days), the entity owing you that money ends up handing the funds over to the state you live in.

The process goes something like this: A customer is issued a refund check but the check isn’t cashed before it’s voided at 90 days. The company will then reach out to the customer to let him know that money is owed to him. At that point, the customer either completes paperwork to receive a new check or the company never hears back from the customer.

If the customer can’t be located by the company, the funds are then escheated to the state where the customer lived at the last known address. Each state has their own escheatment schedule. Some require funds to be paid to them as soon as a year after the initial check was issued. Most are around the two-year mark.

What happens once the state has the funds? It’s then up to the customer to contact the state to receive the payment.  Back in September, it was reported that Minnesota has over $700 million in unclaimed property. $700 million!

The best way to see if you have money owed to you is through this website. Type in your first and last name, as well as the state you live in.  A list of items will appear, including who escheated the funds to the state and the amount. If you see an item that matches your info, you can then request a claim form.

I wasn’t able to find anything under my name. Do you have money owed to you?