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A sampling of different state’s laws on unclaimed property

Each state has their own rules or laws governing what constitutes unclaimed property as well as when is the property classified as unclaimed or abandoned property. Read on for a sampling.

Under Wisconsin’s unclaimed property law, banks, savings institutions, credit unions, insurance companies, utility companies and other businesses must report when they have somebody’s money in an account that hasn’t been active for five years and they cannot locate the owner.

In Michigan if the account remains dormant for a year, the banks are legally obligated to turn it over to the state.

Colorado names five years for lost or forgotten property—such as utility deposits, tax refunds, stock certificates, items left in wills and safety deposit boxes as unclaimed property. After five years of holding items that were left in safe deposit boxes and are still unclaimed the state will auction them off on eBay. The proceeds from the sale are held in perpetuity by the state for the owners or heirs to claim.

In Illinois, property is assumed abandoned after it remains unclaimed for five or more years and attempts to contact the owner of the property prove unsuccessful.

Here is a list of items that are considered unclaimed property by the State of Illinois if abandoned for over five years.

      * Bonds and interest
* Court ordered distributions
* Credit balances-accounts receivable, checks written off, employees bond buying and profit sharing
* Credit checks or memos, or customer overpayments
* Deposits or payment for repair or purchase of goods or services
* Estates
* Inactive savings and checking accounts
* Paid-up life insurance policies
* Safe deposit box contents
* Stock shares, dividends and mutual funds
* Uncashed checks, money orders and gift certificates
* Uncashed death benefits checks
* Unclaimed wages
* Unidentified remittances, unrefunded overcharges
* Unpaid claims, unpaid accounts payable or unpaid commissions
* Utility deposits

Unclaimed property under Connecticut law can involve bank accounts, stock holdings, insurance policy benefits, cash deposits filed with courts, unclaimed wages, and customer overpayments collected by a business. According to law, when banks, credit unions, and other organizations cannot locate owners entitled to cash, stocks, or other property, it becomes the responsibility of the treasurer’s office to administer such assets.

In many instances, property became classified as “unclaimed” if an institution had lost contact with the owner for at least five years. In 2003, though, the legislature lowered the dormancy period for many types of property from five years to three.

With Pennsylvania the money comes from financial assets such as bank accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, certificates of deposit, insurance benefits, unused gift certificates, and property abandoned in safe-deposit boxes, which if left untouched for about five years is declared unclaimed property.

South Carolina state law says when the holder of property (e.g., a bank, insurance company, brokerage firm or utility company) is unable to locate the owner after a certain period of time (usually five years), the holder must send the property to the state treasurer.

The South Carolina State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Program then holds the property for the owner until the owner can be found. There is no time limit for an owner to claim funds.

Under Maryland law, banks, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report any unclaimed accounts or property after three years. Typical unclaimed property includes paychecks that bounced back due to a wrong address or money in abandoned savings accounts.

Alaska defines unclaimed property as any intangible amount owed or held by an organization that remains unpaid, uncashed or has no evidence of positive owner activity for an extended period of time. Most property is considered abandoned after three years.

Alaska’s unclaimed property includes:

      * Bank accounts
* Uncashed checks such as payroll, insurance payments or travelers checks;
* Utility and/or phone company deposits
* Safe deposit box contents
* Insurance proceeds
* Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
* Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

This information was not gathered to confuse you, but to help you understand the many different categories for unclaimed property as well as different laws governing returning and claiming unclaimed cash and property.

A company was founded to assist you in finding your unclaimed assets. This company, www.CashUnclaimed.com, will do a comprehensive search of all states and federal databases when you enter your name. This will make your search faster and more convenient for you. You will also be informed how to make your claim to the found treasure.

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