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How Oregon handles unclaimed property

Each state has laws to govern the unclaimed property collected, held and distributed, read on for how Oregon handles their unclaimed money and property.

Oregon currently holds $200 million in unclaimed property at the Department of State Lands. The money is held in the Common School Fund. This trust fund also receives the profits from economic activity on state-owned land. Interest earned on that fund goes to help K-12 schools.

The money and property is derived from a variety of sources, such as utility refunds, uncashed payroll checks, estates with no known heirs, stocks, unclaimed tax refunds and abandoned safe deposit boxes.

It is the responsibility of employers, businesses, estate trustees, landlords and banks to try and locate people who are owed money or who abandoned a safe deposit boxes. But if those efforts fail, the assets are sent to the state for safekeeping.

Cheryl Gladden, a claims coordinator with the unclaimed property section of the Department of State Lands, said improving technology has allowed Oregon to do a better job of reconnecting people with their money, but much still goes unclaimed. She said the state receives more than $20 million in unclaimed assets annually, and returns about $8 million to rightful owners.

There are almost 1.4 million separate unclaimed properties in the state database, dating back to 1967.

Every state holds unclaimed funds and the total value of those is estimated at more than $15 billion, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

Under unclaimed property law, states do not take permanent title to the property but act as custodians and safeguard it for the rightful owner or heir.

Oregon tries to track down the owners of unclaimed property worth $5,000 or more, but puts the names of anyone who is owed at least $10 on an online searchable database.

The state workers who try to find the rightful owners of abandoned property employ sophisticated tracking software. However to make their job easier, do your own money search. No matter what state you reside in you can don one comprehensive search with www.CashUnclaimed.com. This Website has all state and federal databases as well as instructions on claiming your found money.

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