A Guide to the Unclaimed Property Division in Nebraska

The Unclaimed Property Division in Nebraska holds more than $85 million, which belongs to 250,000 Nebraskans. To date, the division has paid out more than $50 million. Each year, it accumulates even more money. However, the state does schedule regular events in order to get word out about the unclaimed assets. It’s the job of the Nebraska State Treasury to reunite the assets to their rightful owners.

Approximately one in seven Nebraskans are owed money. Unclaimed property includes a variety of personal assets including dividends, life insurance proceeds, uncashed checks and money orders, stocks, bonds, checking accounts, unredeemed gift certificates, refunds, reimbursements, safety deposit boxes, etc. Whenever the holders lose track of the owners, and are unable to contact them after a number of years, they must turn the assets over to the state’s Treasury office.

The State Treasurer is responsible for dealing with all of the unclaimed property. There is no time limit – owners can claim their money anytime. If the owner is dead, his or her heirs may fill out a claim form. In regards to property with interest, such as unclaimed stocks or bonds, the interest is sometimes used to benefit the state’s school fund.

How do assets go unclaimed in the first place? Who would “forget” that they have money? Believe it or not, many people do. After all, 250,000 people in the state of Nebraska alone have unclaimed assets. Sometimes people just get caught up in everyday life that they forget to cash checks, pay on insurance policies, forward their new address to banks and businesses, and so forth.

In Nebraska, banks and businesses are supposed to try and contact the owners before turning the money over to the state. A period of inactivity is required before assets receive “unclaimed” status. This period of inactivity is usually around three years, depending on the asset.

Here is an overview of dormancy periods in Nebraska:

  • Payroll – 1 year
  • Unredeemed gift certificates – 3 years
  • Utility deposits, court deposits, and mineral proceeds – 3 years
  • Court or public entity held funds – 3 years
  • Uncashed money orders – 7 years
  • Uncashed traveler’s checks – 15 years

Residents can look online to see if Nebraska owes them any money. There is a searchable database on the internet. Any property that is valued under $300 can be acquired through an online claim. Property that is worth more than $300 must be claimed through regular mail. A form needs to be filled out and notarized. A social security number and photo ID also must be mailed in with the claim.

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