The Great Colorado Payback Program – Do You Have Any Money Owed to You?

Just recently, the state of Colorado decided to start advertising its Great Colorado Payback program. The state has launched a campaign for the purpose of getting word out that there is still hundreds of millions of dollars still waiting to be claimed by rightful owners. This program is responsible for connecting citizens with unclaimed property. Businesses and banks in the state are required to report unclaimed checks, accounts, refunds, estates, etc to the state’s dept. of unclaimed property.

Colorado has been providing similar services since 1988, and the newly revised Great Payback program is its first real attempt to organize the 1.5 million names of people and companies who have unclaimed funds and property. 500,000 of these are names of Colorado citizens. Other names are of businesses and of individuals in other states. To date, more than $100 million has been paid back to Coloradans since 1988. Thousands of new names are added annually.

With the creation of the new program, it appears that Colorado is taking huge steps in the right direction. Not all states give a very serious attempt of reuniting unclaimed money to its rightful owners. There are many reasons why people can lose or forget about money. Indeed, some aren’t even aware that they have any!

Businesses sometimes lose track of payments. Accounting departments and banks both make mistakes, and one small mistake can result in lost money. In addition to consumers, schools, small businesses, hospitals, and various organizations have lost money held by the state.

Examples of unclaimed money include:

  • Savings accounts that have been inactive for years
  • Uncashed checks
  • Money orders and traveler’s checks
  • Payroll wages
  • Mutual funds, bonds, and stocks
  • Uncashed gift certificates
  • Security deposits
  • Estates
  • Safe deposit boxes and contents

The safe deposit boxes are the only tangible items that are part of the “unclaimed properties” category. After five years of having an unclaimed status, they are put up for auction.

Approximately one out of ten people is owed money in CO. Individuals can search online or call 800-825-2111 to see if they have any property. If so, they can make a copy of their ID and verify their SS# and proof of residency. Businesses must provide verification of its physical address and a notarized claim form. They need to prove that they are still operating and that the claimant is authorized.

According to State Treasurer, Cary Kennedy, Colorado has been reducing the information and documentation people need to provide in order to get their money back. Despite recent efforts however, the Great Colorado Payback has “only scratched the surface”.

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