Learn About the Unclaimed Property Laws in the State of New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Treasury Department has been committed to returning millions of dollars to its rightful owners since 1985. Since the Unclaimed Property Division began, tens of millions of dollars has been returned to thousands of owners. In 2009, for instance, nearly $5 million was returned to over 7,000 claimants.
What is unclaimed money, anyway? In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for people to be so caught up with everyday life that they lose track of accounts, misplace money, or, for whatever reason, be unaware of assets belonging to them.
Abandoned or unclaimed property is money and other assets that are considered abandoned whenever an owner can’t be located after a period of time. In New Hampshire, this amount of time is usually five years, except for payroll checks, wages, and utility deposits, which are considered unclaimed after one year.
Here are examples of assets that can be considered “unclaimed” or “abandoned”:
Whenever businesses and banks fail to get a hold of an owner of one of these assets, the money is turned over to the State’s Treasurer Office. From there NH will try to reunite owners with their money by promoting the unclaimed property program. By November 30 of each year, the New Hampshire Treasury Department publishes information about unclaimed assets for two consecutive weeks in newspapers. The Dept. also mails out notices to owners.
However, not all account information is listed in newspapers – just accounts totaling $50 or more, excluding money orders and traveler’s checks. Also, some of the owners are no longer residents in the state. Some former NH residents who have moved to other states still have unclaimed funds in New Hampshire.
Those interested in locating assets can do an online search. They can also contact the state’s Treasury Office. Out of state residents who are owed money can contact their own state’s governmental agency to learn how to acquire the money. There is no time limit on claiming the money – the state of NH acts as custodian for the property until rightful owners or their heirs come forward.
New Hampshire doesn’t charge any money for claiming properties. However, a $20 fee is required for the re-registration or liquidation of certain securities. Most of the claims can be processed by mail, so claimants aren’t required to show up at the State Treasurer’s office in person.