Unclaimed Property Guide – How to Find Out if the State of New Jersey Owes You Money

The New Jersey Unclaimed Property Statute states that the government must recover, safeguard, and reunite unclaimed assets with its rightful owners. The owner’s rights to the property last forever. There is no time limit in the state of NJ for people to claim their abandoned or unclaimed assets. If the rightful owner has passed on, his or her heirs have the right to send in a claim for it.

To date, more than $85 million worth of unclaimed funds has been paid out to nearly 40,000 people. However, there are still hundreds of millions left in assets, and each year, millions more dollars are accumulated. Nearly 1.2 million New Jersey residents are owed a share of this money. Approximately one in eight people in the state are owed money.

If you think you might be one of these people, you need to make sure you understand what “unclaimed property” is and what it isn’t. This category mainly covers intangible assets, although some tangible properties can be considered unclaimed as well, depending on where it comes from.

Here are some examples of unclaimed property:

  • Uncashed pay checks, traveler’s checks, & money orders
  • Court ordered refunds
  • Savings Accounts
  • Insurance benefits/policies
  • Gift certificates
  • Checking accounts
  • Stocks and dividends
  • Safe deposit boxes & contents
  • Stocks and dividends
  • Retail refunds
  • Mutual funds
  • Certificates of deposit

Clearly, the only physical items which would fall under the “unclaimed” category include the safe deposit box contents.

The state of NJ has an outreach program through which it tries to reunite owners with their property. There are several events held throughout the year, during which time the state Treasury Department tries to get word out about the unclaimed property program. Booths are set up at state fairs, festivals, and other public events.

Still, hundreds of million dollars remain unclaimed. For this reason, you need to be active in your search for money. Try conducting more than just one online search. There are a number of databases you can search. Also, try different combinations of your name. Search every address you’ve ever had. While you’re at it, call the state’s Treasury Office and ask if they can check for you.

If you find that you are indeed owed money, you will be given a chance to file a claim. You can fill out an inquiry form online, after which it must be printed out and mailed into the Unclaimed Property Division.

Once your form is received, a claim packet will be sent to you. You’ll need to go through the claim packet to see what type of credentials you’ll need in order to establish your identity. You’ll also have to send in your SS #, proof of name change (if different than that of your unclaimed property account), copy of your ID, and so forth.

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