How to Find Out if You Have Any Unclaimed Property in Montana
There are less than a million people living in Montana, yet the unclaimed property division holds about $31 million, which belongs to residents and businesses throughout the state. Around one in ten people in Montana are owed some of this money. Each year, around $4 – $5 million more is added to the amount and only half of it is paid out.
Unfortunately, the state doesn’t put up a whole lot of information on the web. Many states have been increasing their efforts to reunite owners with money, and these efforts include providing residents with resources on the internet. As for local publications, Montana only runs an insert in newspapers consisting of only the latest names. People with older accounts might not ever know that they are owed money.
Montana, it seems, is a state that prefers residents and businesses to take the initiative in regards to unclaimed property. People can find out if they have money in one of two ways: search through third party databases on the internet or call the Department of Revenue in Helena at 866-859-2254.
Where does this unclaimed property come from, anyway? Whenever assets, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, dividends, stock, etc, are inactive for a number of years, the holder must turn it over to the state. The holder is the bank or company in charge of the customer’s or former employee’s accounts. Whenever the organization cannot get a hold of the owner of the asset after one to five years, it is taken over by the Department of Revenue, at which point it receives “unclaimed” status.
Some of this money belongs to people of other states. Whenever an individual works for a chain with headquarters in Montana, and is owed wages or commissions, Montana’s Department of Revenue takes control of the money after the headquarters is unable to contact the former employee.
It’s best to perform multiple searches online with different name variations AND call the state’s Department of Revenue to find unclaimed money. Those who are owed money can request that a claim form and documents checklist be sent to them. There are certain documents required by the state of Missouri in order for a claim to be processed.
The type of documentation required depends on the type of unclaimed asset. Generally, a SS #, ID copy, and a notarized claim form are required. However, additional documents, such as old utility bills, former job information, old business forms, tax forms, etc, may be required as well.