What is Unclaimed Property? Why Does Utah Owe Residents Millions of Dollars?
In Utah, the State Treasurer’s Office is in charge of safeguarding unclaimed money until the rightful owner comes forward to claim it. Businesses and banks transfer the responsibility of dormant accounts to the state after failing to locate the owners. Usually, a period of three to five years of inactivity has to pass before the account can be turned over to the state.
What kinds of assets can be turned over to the state for being inactive? Unclaimed property can be any type of money that is owed to an individual or business from a financial institution, company, insurance company, and so forth. Some examples include mineral royalty payments, ant type of uncashed check, lost stock, lost cash dividends, insurance benefits, checking or savings account, court deposits, rebate checks, wages, deposit box contents, and so forth.
How can people prevent their accounts from being abandoned? They need to make sure that all of their accounts are active and up to date. They need to leave forwarding addresses if they ever relocate. Sometimes people simply lose track of all their financial accounts. This is why conducting a thorough search to see if they are owed money is so important.
Fortunately, there is no deadline on making a claim. The money remains in the State Treasurer’s Office until the owners or heirs come forward to claim it. Unclaimed property is kept safeguarded by the state until the owner is found. To date, Utah owes more than $100 million to residents and businesses. One in every ten Utah residents is owed money.
Millions have been paid out over the years, but more than $100 million still remains and this number grows every single year. Around 250,000 people are owed money. Most of the unclaimed property belongs to residents and businesses in St. Lake City.
Utah tries to find all of the owners by publishing information about unclaimed property in newspapers, and by setting up Unclaimed Property Division booths at state events. Many people see the advertisements and don’t believe they could be lucky enough to have money. Some people want to try a search but are unaware of the fact that not all internet databases are complete.
Utah residents and former residents can call the state’s Unclaimed Property Division and do an online search at the state government’s website. The state will work to reunite owners with their money without charging any fees. Owners might have to provide some documentation to prove that the funds do indeed belong to them in order for the claims to be processed.