Are You Supposed to Own Unclaimed Property in Maine? How Can You Find Out?

Unclaimed property includes money and personal assets that are considered abandoned or lost when the owner can’t be located after a certain amount of time. Known as the “dormancy period”, this amount of time varies, although 3-5 years is the norm.

Most types of personal property are presumed to be abandoned if no activity has occurred in the account for a number of years. The holders, which are usually banking institutions, places of employment, and other types of businesses, must escheat the property to the state after failing to find the rightful owner(s).

The Unclaimed Property act in Maine was created in 1979. Since that time, more than $155 million has been paid out to date. Hundreds of thousands of accounts have been paid out to owners. However, there is still $135 million left to be paid out. Furthermore, millions more are taken in by the state every year. Some of the unclaimed funds belong to businesses and some belong to residents.

Maine has an online database of over 150,000 names of people with unclaimed property to date. About one in every nine residents is owed money. If you want to know if your name is included, all you have to do is search.

If you have done any of the following, there’s a chance the state of Maine owes you money:

  • If you have moved within the past decade, and forgot to notify everyone of your new address.
  • If you left a job but never bothered to return for your last paycheck.
  • If you have a distant relative who has passed on recently.
  • If you have ever overpaid a bill and are owed a refund.
  • If you’ve ever bought any stock shares and forgot about them.
  • If you have ever been given a gift certificate but never used it.
  • If you have any traveler’s checks or money orders that you have never cashed.
  • If you have ever held any bonds that were called.
  • If you have any bank accounts that have been inactive for years.
  • If you have an account in a financial institution with a broker or agent safeguarding the funds, and have not made contact with them in years.

These are just a few examples of how people can lose track of funds. The state of Maine has around 680,000 accounts to date, belonging to more than 150,000 people. The state treasury office updates the database regularly. When searching, use all combinations of your name. Include every town in which you’ve lived. If your name comes up in the results, you will be provided with information on what to send in to make your claim. Generally, requirements include the claimant’s SS #, ID, and proof of address. Maine can take up to 90 days to process a claim.

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